What is a Physical Therapist Assistant?
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy provided.
What is the difference between a Physical Therapist and a Physical Therapist Assistant?
The Physical Therapist (PT) is a graduate of a university program of study and is responsible for evaluation of and development of the patient's plan of care and treatment. A PTA works under the supervision of a PT.
What are my career choices?
A few examples of workplaces in your local area:
- Outpatient clinics
- Rehabilitation centers
- Nursing homes
- Home health agencies
To learn more about these job areas, visit APTA.
What are my degree options?
Associate Degree in Applied Science
Associate Degree Physical Therapist Assistant | Download the academic plan
An associate degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years.
How Long will this Program Take?
It will take a minimum of 5 semesters to get an associate degree in the Physical Therapist
Assistant program. Students must complete a minimum of one semester of classes prior
to admission to four semesters of PTA program courses.
This program is a selective admissions program and due to these requirements students may find that it takes longer to earn enough points to be admitted into the 4 semesters of PTA program classes.
How Do I Apply For This Program?
The PTA Program admits one class of up to 16 students once a year. The application period runs from March to Oct 1 of each year. Accepted students start the program each January as a class and complete the 4 semesters of the program together. To apply to the program you must complete the steps below by October 1 to be considered by the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Selective Admissions Committee for entrance into the PTA program in January of the following year.
1. Attend a pre-admission conference. ALL interested students are encouraged to attend one of these conferences, regardless of how many courses you have taken so far. Registration/sign up is not required to attend the conferences. The program requirements, admission process and all other questions will be addressed for students at these conferences.
PTA Preadmission Conferences for 2023 will be at 4:00 PM in the Allied Health Building classroom E105 on these dates:
- Wed March 16
- Thurs April 14
- Tues April 26
- Thurs August 11
- Tues August 23
- Thurs September 15
All conferences will be in person with masking and distancing unless a new announcement is posted.
Download the Pre-Admission Booklet - Download this Pre-Admission Booklet PRIOR to attending the pre-admission conference.
2. Apply for admission to West Kentucky Community and Technical College unless you are already a student at one of the KCTCS colleges.
3. Submit official transcripts for all previous college work not completed at a KCTCS college.
4. Submit ACT or SAT score report.
5. Register for or have already completed BIO 137, Anatomy and Physiology I. This course must be completed with a C or higher prior to entering the first semester of PTA program courses.
Admission is based upon a point system. The admissions point scale is designed to objectively evaluate applicants. Applicants with the highest total points will be admitted to the program. Please see the point system at the link below.
Points are given to applicants for their ACT or SAT score and GPA in the classes required for the program. To earn additional points toward program admission you can:
- Earn an A or B in Anatomy and Physiology I or II, and/or Math 150 (College Algebra) or higher, including STA 151
- Be an Kentucky resident
- Submit documentation: employment as a PT Aide or Technician, or in a related health care position with direct patient care; or completion of direct patient care education such as NAA 100 or comparable course.
Students who are accepted to the PTA program are required to be certified in CPR at healthcare provider level, obtain the required immunizations, complete a background check, and complete the required drug screen.
Additional Resources / Training
Click on the following links to download information:
- PTA Selective Admission Points
- Download HIPAA Training Information
- Download Bloodborne Pathogens Training Information
- Visit CastleBranch
- PTA Program Technical Standards
Field Licensure Requirements
In addition to completing the program, students must pass the national certification exam to become registered. State licensure is required in all states. CPR certification at healthcare provider level, proof of immunizations, background checks, and drug screens are required after a student is admitted and prior to starting the first semester of the program.
Accreditation / Program Success
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; Telephone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Mary Jo Campbell at 270-534-3457 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College is currently accredited through 2025.
The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following:
CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at www.fsbpt.org.
This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.