Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Caldwell Community College and Technical institute offers educational opportunities in Physical
Therapist Assistant on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson, NC.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111
North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 704-706-3245; email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://capteonline.org
The Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum prepares graduates to work in direct patient care in
various practice settings (home health, acute care, outpatient, skilled nursing, etc.) under the
supervision of physical therapists. Assistants work to improve or restore function by alleviation
or prevention of physical impairment, handicaps, and disability. The Physical Therapist Assistant
will also perform other essential activities in a physical therapy department.
PTA Program Mission & Philosophy
CCC&TI’s PTA program provides qualified students instruction in highly effective lecture, lab,
and clinical courses. The PTA program is designed to support transfer students from other community
colleges and universities to better serve the regional needs of the Physical Therapy community.
Associate level PTA graduates, upon successful completion of the National Physical Therapist
Assistant exam, are ready for entry-level employment in diverse physical therapy settings. It is
the philosophy of the PTA program faculty that most students can achieve their goal of becoming a
licensed physical therapist assistant through prioritizing social and family commitments, a strong
commitment to learning, and hard work within the established curriculum.
Emphasis is placed on:
- normal human anatomy and physiology
- the consequences of disease or injury
- physical therapy treatment of a variety of patient conditions affecting humans throughout the
Graduates from this program may be eligible to take the licensure examination administered by
the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Upon passage of the national PTA Examination,
the candidate may become licensed by the NC Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. Employment is
available in general hospitals, wellness facilities, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing
facilities, extended care facilities, specialty hospitals, home health agencies, private clinics
and public school systems.
Program of Study Information
The PTA Curriculum, or program of study, at CCC&TI is performed over six consecutive semesters,
including two summer sessions. It consists of a general education phase and a technical phase.
Courses are designed to begin with the most basic knowledge and skills to application and analysis
of patient care.
Therefore, students will progress through the technical phase of the program with a cohort;
meaning courses will be completed in the prescribed order with the same class mates.
The PTA program’s technical phase is designed for full time students. Working while in the second
year of the program places even a good student at risk of being unsuccessful.
Successful completion of the program leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS).
CCC&TI offers the following educational program in this area:
Select the link above to access the online catalog for the Plan of Study,
Course Descriptions and other information about this program.
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program has limited
enrollment based on competitive admissions. Twenty-four students are accepted into a cohort annually.
All admissions requirements must be met by the February 1st deadline to be considered a qualified
applicant and eligible for admission into the PTA program.
The Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Application is available online here:
Admission Requirements for the Physical Therapist Assistant programs:
Students will participate in two full time (40 hour per week) clinical affiliations during the
- One 6 week clinical
- One 10 week clinical
Clinical affiliations may require PTA students to drive at least one hour or more one way from
the student’s home. Travel is at the student’s expense.
Please review the immunization requirements in the
PTA Admissions Information Document
It is the student’s responsibility to maintain current in immunization and share with their clinical
sites proof of vaccinations, CPR and pertinent medical examinations and update any vaccination or
health requirement and provide the school with verifying documentation. If the student fails to
maintain these records and is denied access to a clinical site, due to lapsed CPR or immunizations,
the student will be required to make up any missed time and maybe at risk of being dismissed from
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen
The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners requires proof of good moral character to
take the NPTE licensure exam. Any criminal activity may limit applicant’s eligibility to become
Please review Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Criminal Background Check and Drug
Screen information in the PTA Admissions Information Document
Students with unsatisfactory findings will not be allowed to participate in clinical components of
the program resulting in failure of program progression and termination from the program.
Any dispute concerning unsatisfactory background findings or drug screen will be between the student
and the party providing the service.
Graduation from the PTA program DOES NOT guarantee a right to take the NPTE licensure exam. If you
have any questions regarding your background history, please contact the following agency:
North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners
Students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at CCC&TI must demonstrate competence in various intellectual, physical and social aspects, which represent the fundamentals of professional
Physical Therapy practice upon graduation. The PTA curriculum provides the general, technical and
clinical education required to enable the student to independently deliver entry-level clinical services
in an array of health settings. All students must meet the minimum criteria established by the Commission
on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and the PTA Program at CCC&TI.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures qualified applicants to public institutions the ability to pursue program admissions, however, the applicant must meet essential requirements. All students
admitted to the PTA Program will be held to the same standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
The following functions are considered essential requirements for admission, retention and graduation in
CCC&TI’s PTA Program:
- Mobility/Motor Skills
- Sensory Abilities
- Communication Skills
- Behavioral/Social Interpersonal Skills
- Intellectual/Problem-Solving Skills
Detailed descriptions of this functions can be found in the
PTA Admission Information Document
. The purpose of these functions is to ensure PTA students provide
safe, competent and timely care to patients receiving physical therapy services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?
From the American Physical Therapy Association webpage: “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 work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more. PTAs may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy provided.
Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercise for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.”
For more information on the role of the Physical Therapist Assistant, please visit the following link:
Will I need a license to practice physical therapy as a physical therapist assistant?
Licensure is required in North Carolina and most states in the US. You will be granted licensure if you graduate from an accredited program, such as the one at CCC&TI, are of good moral character, and receive a passing score on the national licensure examination. It is the job of this program to present you with the information required to pass the licensure exam.
What do I have to do to become a licensed PTA in the state of North Carolina?
To practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the state of North Carolina, you must be licensed by the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. To become licensed, applicants must:
- Graduate from an accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Program
- Submit Application for Physical Therapist Assistant Licensure and $150 fee at least 90 days before sitting for the NPTE exam including:
- Two Character references
- Official school verification stating graduation has occurred or Assurance of Graduation
followed by notification of final graduation
- Documentation of completion of Jurisprudence Exercise 1
- Consent to and pass a criminal history record check performed by the North Carolina State Board
of Physical Therapy Examiners
- Pass the NPTE exam ($400 testing fee)
What is the application deadline?
The application deadline is February 1st of each year for the cohort entering the program in May of
How long does the program take?
It takes six semesters to complete the program. The first two semesters consist of general education courses.
PTA program courses begin in the spring after you are admitted to the program and take a total of four
semesters to complete. The PTA program begins in the summer semester and continues year-round for two full
Can I take PTA courses part time or in the evening?
The PTA program is offered only full time during the day. You may take general education courses when
Can I take the PTA courses in any order I prefer?
All the students accepted into the PTA program in any one year progress through the program together.
The courses are offered in a specific order so that each course can build on the information learned in
the ones before it. If you need to leave the program before you complete it, you will have to apply for
admission with a new group of students.
Can I complete the program while working full time?
Working full time is strongly discouraged. Clinical affiliations consist of a time commitment of 40 hours
per week. We advise our students to not work during the technical phase of the program because of the
riggers of study. Some students do work, but it is very challenging.
Will I get paid for clinical affiliations?
Individual clinicians take on the job of converting your classroom knowledge to the ability to care for
their clients in health care facilities. They generously offer time and expertise to students but do
not receive any financial reward for their efforts. The students’ education is not complete without
this exposure to real patients. No, you don’t get paid either.
Are non-traditional students encouraged to apply?
Yes, we encourage all non-traditional students to apply to the program. The average age of our last
graduating class 27 years old with a range from 18 – 50+. Work and background experience is just as diverse.
What if I have a learning disability?
There is help for students who wish to pursue the PTA program and have a learning disability. Students
should contact Disability Services at 828.726.2716 to discuss options for assistance with test taking
and other classroom activities special arrangement
How many applicants are accepted to the PTA program each year?
We accept up to 24 students in the PTA program every year.
How much money do licensed PTAs make?
The job market for PTAs is very good at present. The average annual wage in North Carolina as of May 2015
is $55,250. (
) New graduates can expected to earn $43,000 - $46,000
according to salary.com
What is the job outlook for PTAs in the next 10 years?
Approximately 128,700 people were employed as physical therapist assistants in the USA in 2014. Employment
is projected to grow 40% from 2014 to 224 which is much faster than average for all occupations. Demand
is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an older population and individuals with
chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm
Will you place me in a job after I graduate?
No, we do not offer a job placement service. We will, however, make you aware of the many job
opportunities presented to us by employers as well as other job search avenues that are open to licensed
Is Caldwell’s PTA program accredited?
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 704-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://capteonline.org
What if I want to go on to get a Bachelor’s Degree?
Many of the courses offered at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will transfer to a
UNC system campus. Many UNC system campuses have “pathways” to help make transferring easier.
Review the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA), a statewide agreement governing the transfer
of credits between NC community colleges and NC public universities. https://www.northcarolina.edu/college-transferarticulation-agreements/comprehensive-articulation-agreement-caa
The transfer course list provides NC community college courses eligible for transfer to a UNC campus https://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/caa-transfer_course_list-feb_21_2014-board_approved.pdf
Students should contact a transfer counselor and / or attend a transfer admission event at their chosen campus.