Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

Program Code


Program Director: Heather MacKrell, PhD, PT 256-306-2805


Additional information is on the PTA program website:


A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is an educated, skilled, and licensed healthcare worker. Under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, PTAs help people of all ages with health conditions that limit their ability to move and perform activities in their daily lives. PTAs treat persons with disabling conditions such as arthritis or head injury, individuals recovering from surgery or a sports injury, and accident victims. PTAs help clients to exercise, learn to use crutches or other assistive devices, and provide electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, or other treatments.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Calhoun Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program directly, please call 256-306-2805 or email


PTA graduates are qualified to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for the PTA administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Successful completion grants the individual eligibility to apply for licensure in the state of their choice. The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy application for licensure states: Licensure shall be refused to any applicant who is of other than good moral character and the determination as to what constitutes good moral character and reputation shall be solely within the judgment of the Board. Grounds for refusal of licensure may include, but are not limited to conviction of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude, conduct detrimental to the best interest of the public, or conviction of violating any state or federal narcotic law.

The PTA program is designed to be completed in 5 terms. The coursework is sequential, requiring a grade of 75% or higher in each PTA course to progress and a “C” or higher in general education courses. General education courses may be taken prior to beginning the program or as sequenced in the plan. Graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree.


A new class of PTA students is enrolled once a year and begins fall semester. Applicants must minimally:

1. Meet all admission requirements of CCC

2. Submit an unofficial CCC transcript documenting all previously completed applicable coursework taken at Calhoun or accepted in transfer by the CCC Office of Admissions and Records,

3. Submit an ACT reading score of 18 or > or a Next-Generation ACCUPLACER reading score of 250 or > from an ACT or ACCUPLACER test taken in the past 3 years.

4. Submit documentation of participation in physical therapy observation hours.

5. Submit a current year PTA Program Application

Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Class size is limited and there is a selective application process. An application and the selection criteria can be found on the PTA webpage.


Students enrolled in the physical therapist assistant program are required to successfully complete both academic and clinical requirements. The purpose of the PTA Eligibility Criteria, found on the PTA webpage, is to delineate the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed minimally necessary for admission, progression, and graduation, and for the provision of safe and effective client care. Safety is paramount in all health programs. The College endorses the Americans’ with Disabilities Act. If a student cannot meet the Eligibility Criteria it is their responsibility to request appropriate reasonable accommodations through the Student Disability Services Office.


· Retain reliable transportation to and from the campus and assigned clinical education facilities.

· Comply with a dress code that includes an assigned uniform

· Undergo a health examination, TB screening, and validate immunity to infectious diseases

· Submit proof of current certification in basic life support at the healthcare provider level

· Purchase low-cost malpractice insurance through the CCC health sciences division

· Submit to a background check by a designated vendor

· Undergo drug and alcohol testing by a designated vendor

In the interest of the patients they will serve, every health science student is obligated to complete the above requirements. Policies for the background check and drug testing are provided upon enrollment. Results may prohibit a student from participating in clinical education and necessitate withdrawal or course failure.


In addition to tuition, health students will have expenses related to the listed requirements, books, and associated supplies. Approximated costs are discussed in information sessions and program orientation.


Additional PTA program information including policies on application, readmission, and transfer students are available on the PTA webpage or by contacting the program director. The curriculum plan and policies of the PTA program are subject to change. Written notice will be given to students enrolled in the program prior to implementation.


*CPR is required in the Semester 3 Summer if not already certified at the professional level


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