Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant

Program Outcomes

The Physical Therapist Assistant program will:

  1. prepare entry-level PTAs as indicated by the Terminal Competencies,
  2. prepare the graduates to pass the NPTAE allowing for state licensure to practice as a PTA, and
  3. prepare students to maintain PTA Program accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).


Terminal Competencies:

At the completion of the PTA Program the student is expected to demonstrate entry-level performance in the following areas:
  • Performs in a safe manner that minimizes risk to patient, self and others.
  • Conducts self in a responsible manner.
  • Interacts with others in a respectful manner.
  • Adheres to ethical standards.
  • Adheres to legal standards.
  • Communicates in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
  • Produces documentation to support the delivery of physical therapy services.
  • Delivers established patient care to reflect respect for and sensitivity to individual differences.
  • Participates in patient status judgments within the clinical environment based on the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Obtains accurate information by performing selected data collection consistent with the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Discusses the need for modification to the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Performs physical therapy interventions in a technically competent manner.
  • Educates others (patients, family, caregivers, staff, students, other health care providers) using relevant and effective teaching methods.
  • Participates in activities addressing quality of service delivery.
  • Participates in addressing patient needs for services other than physical therapy.
  • Manages resources (e.g., time, space, and equipment) to achieve goals of the clinical setting.
  • Participates in fiscal management of the physical therapy clinical setting.
  • Uses physical therapy aides and other support personnel according to legal standards and ethical guidelines.
  • Implements a self-directed plan for career development and lifelong learning.
  • Assists the physical therapist in addressing primary and secondary prevention needs of individuals and groups.
Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument
American Physical Therapy Association
March 1998


NWACC strives to provide reasonable accommodation as necessary to allow a PTA student to be successful. If you feel you would need accommodation, please contact the Disability Resource Center in the Becky Paneitz Student Center or 479-986-4076.

Students with disabilities who have formally declared their disability with the Disability Resource Center, and who would like accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment with the course instructor as soon as possible for each class as indicated.

Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Available at: Accessed October 16, 2006.