Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages and help people who have movement difficulties due to injury or disease get back to doing the things in their lives that they want and need to do. Unlike a physical therapist, the PTA cannot evaluate a patient, but can provide vital and ongoing assessment and treatment interventions toward specific short- and long-term goals.
Care provided by a PTA may include therapies designed to improve mobility, strength or function; to relieve pain; to prevent or limit disability; and to promote overall wellness and fitness.
Generally, PTAs are employed wherever physical therapists work. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home and public health agencies, schools, private physical therapy practices, and the armed forces are major employers.
Admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program is limited and is not guaranteed by admission to the pre-major or by completion of the program admission requirements below. Complete information about the application process is on the Physical Therapist Assistant Application Procedure website.
To be considered for admission, students must:
- Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Associate Degree Programs.
- Meet with the UAA Physical Therapist Assistant program advisor well in advance of the September 1 deadline regarding program admission requirements, as well as the application deadline and process.
- Complete the Physical Therapist Assistant program application form.
- Provide transcripts documenting successful completion of the following courses with a minimum grade of C, with the exception of BIOL A111 and A112 for which the student must have a minimum grade of B. (Courses may be in progress at the time of application.)
|BIOL A111||Human Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|BIOL A112||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|One of the following:||3|
|Fundamentals of Oral Communication|
|Small Group Communication|
|WRTG A111||Writing Across Contexts||3|
|MA A101||Medical Terminology||3|
|MA A104||Essentials of Human Disease||3|
|PSY A111||Introduction to Psychology||3|
|or PSY A150||Lifespan Development|
- Complete thirty (30) hours of clinical observations and provide documentation using the Clinical Observation form.
- Provide three (3) recommendation letters by non-family members.
- Provide a copy of current Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification.
- Once admitted, provide evidence of current immunizations as requested by the department.
- Once admitted, and prior to program start, submit to a national-level criminal background check.
Special admission and application procedure requirements apply. Interested students should contact the Physical Therapist Assistant Department for selection criteria. Completion of admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Due to the risks associated with working in a health care setting, students are required to have health insurance. Health insurance is available for purchase through the UAA Student Health and Counseling Center.
- Satisfy the General University Requirements for Associate of Applied Science Degrees.
- Complete the General Course Requirements for Associate of Applied Science Degrees in oral and written communications (9 credits). In the Physical Therapist Assistant program, the General Course Requirement is fulfilled by completing BIOL A111 and BIOL A112.
- Complete the Program Requirements with a minimum grade of C or P.
|PTA A101||Fundamentals of Physical Therapy||2|
|PTA A105||Tests and Measures||3|
|PTA A110||Kinesiology and Biomechanics||3|
|PTA A120||Rehabilitation I||3|
|PTA A130||Physical Therapy Interventions I||4|
|PTA A150||Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care||2|
|PTA A195||Clinical Practicum I||1|
|PTA A210||Therapeutic Exercise||4|
|PTA A220||Rehabilitation II||3|
|PTA A230||Physical Therapy Interventions II||4|
|PTA A250||Neurological Interventions Across the Lifespan||3|
|PTA A292||Physical Therapist Assistant Seminar||2|
|PTA A295A||Clinical Practicum II||5|
|PTA A295B||Clinical Practicum III||5|
A total of 61 credits is required for the degree.
Licensure and/or Certification
Graduates of the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
Students planning to seek a professional license or certificate in a state other than Alaska are required to contact the UAA offering department before enrolling to determine if the program meets the licensing/certification requirements of the state in which they wish to practice.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant program, students are able to:
- Exhibit professional behavior in their role as responsible physical therapist assistants, adhering to appropriate ethical, legal and regulatory standards.
- Engage in evidence-based practice, responding to the dynamics of a changing healthcare system.
- Integrate the principles of the physical, biological and behavioral sciences with the clinical practice of physical therapy.
- Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families and other members of the health care team.