Sep 28, 2022  
2012-2013 Catalog 
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

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Within the discipline of physical therapy, the position of physical therapist assistant (PTA) has emerged as an integral, technically trained, skilled clinician supervised only by the physical therapist (PT). The PTA plays a key role in the patient’s recovery from injury or dysfunction, as well as in the client’s pursuit of wellness and health promotion. The PTA program at Shawnee State University strives to fulfill the University’s mission by developing students to become self-driven, critically thinking individuals, and productive members of society. Shawnee State University prepares students to become general practitioners in the field of physical therapy under direction of a licensed physical therapist.

Shawnee State University Mission Statement

Shawnee State University—the regional state university for Southern Ohio—prepares students for the changing needs of business, industry, education, and society through its diversified degree programs. Recognizing the importance of knowledge, values, and cultural enrichment, Shawnee State University is committed to providing higher education that fosters competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking. To enrich the lives of the community, the University provides opportunities for continuing personal and professional development, intellectual discovery, applied research, and appreciation for the creative and performing arts.            

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Shawnee State University is to provide regional training via coordinated broad based learning experiences through excellence in teaching and transforming therapeutic principles into clinical applications. The PTA program is committed to providing higher education that fosters competence in communication, scientific reasoning, and logical reasoning to enrich the lives of the community. The PTA program at Shawnee State University is committed to the development of life-long learners that are both professional and sensitive to the ever changing environment of healthcare.  The PTA faculty will strive to prepare the entry-level PTA to collaborate with the PT in a variety of settings and patient populations. This training enables students to prepare for the National criterion-based Physical Therapy Examination for the Physical Therapist Assistant (NPTE-PTA).   

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Philosophy

We, the faculty, value the physical therapist assistant (PTA), as an extension of the physical therapist, helping to carry out the physical therapist plan of care. The faculty strives to train the PTA as a generalist in the field of physical therapy, in which the PTA will work under the supervision of the physical therapist. The laws that mandate practice of physical therapy in the state in which the PTA is practicing shall govern such supervision.  

We, the faculty, strive to prepare student physical therapist assistants to be well suited to treat clients from a continuum of care, to practice in an ethical and safe manner.  

We, the faculty, are committed to providing a coordinated curriculum based upon a broad spectrum of research, theory, function and life skills. We will train and educate the PTA to communicate in ways that are congruent and appropriate within the program, clinical environment, and community. It is our philosophy that a keystone to the educational process is the ability to critically think and use sound judgments. The faculty strives to train the PTA to be patient caregivers, educators, patient advocates consistent with the governing state laws. Clinical data collection will be taught using standardized tests appropriate for Physical Therapist Assistant education. Students are assessed and evaluated on an ongoing basis to assure procedural knowledge, as well as completion of performance indicators (CPI) with regards to safety and technical competencies.  

Educational Process

Students are required to complete general education courses that will better prepare students for the technical course work of the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Physical Therapist Assistant courses emphasize the four major components of physical therapy (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary). There are 67-69 total credit hours required to complete a degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The course work is divided into 29 general education credit hours, 30 PTA technical credit hours, and 10 PTA clinical credit hours. Students will be required to successfully complete a mock computer based exam at the end of the curriculum.


PTAs are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitative centers, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient ambulatory centers, home health agencies, federal or state agencies, and within school settings. Currently the job outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants is in high demand and is projected to be the second highest growing career in the next decade according to an independent researcher. Our graduates enjoy a near 100% job placement upon graduation.

Application Information

Prospective PTA students are required to progress through a selective admission process. The program is limited in terms of size, and the availability of clinical sites. In addition to being accepted to the University at large, the student must also apply to the PTA program. The application deadline is April 1st for the upcoming fall semester.  The application may be accessed on our website at Continue to check for the most updated application packet as it may change from year to year.

Minimum requirements to apply for admission to the PTA program are a 2.66 gpa, 18 composite score on ACT or SAT equivalent, 40 observation hours under a licensed PT or PTA (20 hours in two different types of PT settings).  If applying without college credit a student must have completed biology, chemistry, algebra and a third science with a minimum grade of (C). If applyling with more than 24 college credit hours, college gpa will be used, but high school chemistry, biology or SSU equivalent to CHEM 0099, BIOL 1110.

Please note that meeting the minimum criteria for admission consideration does not guarantee admittance into the PTA Program. All candidates meeting the minimum criteria for admission consideration are subsequently ranked and only a selected number are admitted due to clinical site limitations. In most years the number of applicants meeting the minimum criteria far exceeds the numbers of seats available in the PTA Program. As a result, the qualifications of those students admitted are much higher than the minimum requirements for admission consideration.

Special note: Interested students with a background of felony convictions are advised to contact the State of Ohio PT Section and Licensing Board (1.800.871.1921) prior to application to assure that he or she will be eligible to obtain licensing in the future.

Criminal background checks and drug screening are required upon acceptance into the PTA program prior to starting clinical afffiliations .

Scoring the Application

All categories are worth 4 points.

Overall gpa  ____

Science Math gpa ____

ACT Composite ____  (18-19 = 1; 20-22 = 2; 23-25 = 3; 26+ = 4)

Essay ____

Observation Hours ____

Interview +1 or 0 ____

Special notes: If applyling without college credit a conversion factor of 0.9 will be used for gpa.

Applicants whom have received an associate degree will be given 0.5 bonus points, bachelor degrees will be give 1.0 bonus points, master degrees will be given 2.0 bonus points.

Academic Requirements

In order to remain in good standing in the PTA program, students must obtain a minimum of 2.66 gpa (B- average). Students may receive a grade of “C” (2.0) in a course; however if a student receives too many grades below B- then they would be subject to academic suspension from the PTA program.

PTA-AAS/Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training

Students interested in obtaining both the Associate Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant and the Bachelor Degree in Athletic Training may do so concurrently.  Students should seek out advising from the PTA program and Athletic Training program as soon as possible to reduce delay in graduation.  The Athletic Training Education Program requires successful completion of the following courses with a grade of ”C” or higher as one of the pre-requisites for admission: ATTR 2100 Introduction to Athletic Training; ATTR 2150 Taping and Bracing; ATTR 2200 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries; AHNR 1102 Medical Terminology; BIOL 1130 Principles of Anatomy and Physiology 1; and EMTP 1010 First Aid and CPR.  Students may take these courses during the first year of the PTA Program.  See the BS in Athletic Training, Application for Admission section for a full list of requirements for admission to the program.


The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Shawnee State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) at the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703.706.3245; email: web site:

Please Note

  • Only those students who have been officially accepted into the program are eligible to take any course beginning with the PTAT prefix with the exception of PTAT 1111 Introduction to Physical Therapy.
  • Clinical practicums are contracted training sites with over 80 facilities throughout the United States. It is the student’s responsibility to assure adequate funding for travel and/or room and board for clinical affiliations.
  • If accepted to the PTA program, students will be required to obtain CPR/First Aid certification, TB skin test, Hepatitis B vaccinations, Federal and State background checks, 5 panel drug screen, physical at the student’s expense and provide the program with immunization records.


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