2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate of Applied Science

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The Associate of Applied Science Degree

Graduates of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science Degree.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the Louisiana College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to provide an environment and opportunity in which the three fold strands of the PTA curriculum are woven into a tapestry representing the PTA career. The strands of the tapestry are:

Christian Service

The Associate of Applied Science Degree program reflects the mission of Louisiana College’s Christian service component delivered to the client. The official seal of Louisiana College bears three Latin words: Deo, Veritati, and Patriae. These words describe our school as dedicated to God, to truth, and to country. The program seeks a diverse population of students who will share their talents and gifts in their growth as physical therapist assistants through Christian service by developing a spirit of altruism and healing-with reverence and love for all of life with all of those entrusted to their care and by serving as a Christian role model/compassionate health care provider to the physical therapy profession and community at large.


Competencies relative to the PTA career will be acquired upon completion of the program, initiating a commitment to a high standard of scholarship and ethical standards which reflect the institution’s mission and heritage of academic excellence. Through facilities of the institution and clinic with emphasis on technology and communication, opportunities will be provided for engagement in scholarly activities to advance the knowledge of physical therapy and an understanding of one’s role as a PTA working under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

Life-long education

Life-long appreciation for and furthering of education within the Physical Therapist Assistant career will inspire a commitment to achievement of advanced knowledge, skills and abilities for excellence in provision of care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist and will assist in creating, anticipating and responding to an evolving health care system and new responsibilities.


The Louisiana College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program subscribes to and supports the mission, philosophies, values, and goals of Louisiana College and the accreditation standards established by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The Louisiana College PTA faculty and students recognize the intrinsic value and right to optimal health. These rights and values are embraced in the three fold strands of the PTA curriculum which are: Christian service, competencies relative to a Physical Therapist Assistant Career, and a lifelong commitment to the PTA career. The PTA Program at Louisiana College is committed to the highest standards of ethics, professionalism and academic excellence. The stakeholders of the PTA Program believe the PTA Program must provide a variety of didactic and clinical learning experiences which support the acquisition of knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to practice safely and effectively under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in order to become a vital member of the health care team.


The mission and philosophy of the Louisiana College PTA Program are reflected in the following goals which correlate to the performance and behavioral expectations of the normative model:

Upon successful completion of the PTA Program the graduate will:

  1. Exhibit effective verbal, non-verbal, and written communication necessary to obtain as well as convey information and/or education to patients, caregivers, other members of the healthcare team, and the community. Incorporate technical skills, knowledge of physical therapy theory, and the knowledge of the utilization of fiscal and human resources into a meaningful, effective and accountable treatment process under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. This process facilitates the delivery of cost effective quality patient care and attainment of established treatment goals.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to adapt to a dynamic health care environment while remaining aware of their responsibility and accountability to the patient, Physical Therapy profession, and the community.
  3. Promote awareness of his/her career role development and lifelong learning opportunities through career advancement, degree advancement, and continuing education.
  4. Provide care as a member of the PTA career within the context of a Christian philosophy and standard of ethics in the provision of health care that fosters tolerance for cultural and religious diversity and facilitates ethical choices in professional practices.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with members of the healthcare team and others in the profession of physical therapy, to actively promote the profession and contribute to societal well-being.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with members of the healthcare team and others in the profession of physical therapy, to actively promote the profession and contribute to societal well-being.

Admissions Criteria

The Louisiana College PTA program selects a maximum of 20 students each year to enroll in the technical education component of the program. To ensure that the PTA program enrolls students who reflect its mission and goals, the preferred applicant to the program will give evidence of and/or demonstrate the following:

  • Successful academic record as evidence by a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all college coursework pursued and a grade of “C” or better in all prerequisite courses at the time of submission of application in February. The courses Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with laboratories (BI 231 -BI 234 ) must be taken within 5 years of application to the technical portion of the program. The application average GPA in all sciences courses completed at the time of application will be factored into the overall application score as well. Applicants must submit with the application packet official transcripts from each/every college/university attended. Due to the competitive nature of the application process, a higher overall GPA may be desirable.
  • Due to apparent variance in academic rigor among the various institutions, program applicants are required to take a standardized critical thinking examination. Applicants’ scores on the exam will be factored into the selection rating scores. More information about the examination can be obtained by contacting the PTA Program office.
  • A record of observational/work experience that reflects a commitment to the profession of physical therapy and acquisition of knowledge related to the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant- Minimum of 30 observational hours in two different settings with two different licensed physical therapists (total of 60+ hours of observation). Again, due to the competitive nature of the application process, additional hours may be desirable. Hours may be paid or voluntary and must be completed prior to submission of the application process and documented on Documentation of Observation Forms provided in the application packet.
  • Written, oral, and technological communication skills that reflect logic and clarity. Applicants who meet the minimum criteria (minimum of 2.5 GPA with a “C” or better in all prerequisite coursework and ≥30 hours observational experience in two different physical therapy settings) at the time of application submission will be extended an opportunity to engage in the interview process. The Admissions Committee will assess the applicant’s ability to communicate orally and in writing. Interviews of qualified applicants will be scheduled with the Program’s Admissions Committee. Candidate’s writing ability will be assessed through a short, spontaneous narrative on a topic related to the applicant’s experience within the field of physical therapy.
  • Ability to meet the essential requirements of the program. Prospective PTA students must demonstrate, with or without appropriate academic adjustments or reasonable modifications to policies and practices (see Disability Accommodations below), the ability to perform at least the functions listed in the Essential Requirements Form safely, reliably and efficiently, in compliance with legal and ethical standards while enrolled in the technical phase of the PTA program. The PTA Program at Louisiana College is in agreement with and adheres to the college’s policy noted below on accommodations for individuals with disabilities:

“A student that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and who desires modifications or accommodations should contact the Director of the Program to Assist Student Success (PASS) at 487-7629 for information and guidance.”

All students admitted to the program will be offered the opportunity and encouraged to alert faculty to any diagnosed/documented limitations which might impact their accessibility and completion of program. Any student who identifies or displays limitations with any of the above mentioned skills, should work with PTA faculty to determine realistic and acceptable accommodations or ways to compensate, so that the student can have potential for success in the program. Accommodations used in the program will be structured to be consistent with situations the student could expect in the clinical work environment.

  • Personal characteristics necessary to meet the Program goals as evidenced by Reference Evaluation Forms completed by 3 non-family members and Verification of Observations forms completed by licensed physical therapists with whom hours of observation are completed.
  • Applicant’s Level of Professionalism exhibited throughout the application process as assessed by program faculty/program’s admission’s committee.
  • Background Check and Drug Screening- The Joint Commission, which accredits healthcare facilities across the country, enforced background screening beginning September 2004 and has set requirements for students in the healthcare field to complete the same background check as hospital employees. A criminal history may also disqualify one from becoming licensed as a physical therapist assistant in the state of Louisiana. A background investigation and drug screening must be completed prior to acceptance into the Louisiana College Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Applicants are responsible for the payment of $88.00 to cover the cost of their background investigation and drug screening which must be conducted by American DataBank®. Instructions related to completion of the background check and drug screenings are provided on the program’s application.

Admission to Louisiana College does not constitute admission to the PTA program’s technical education courses. In addition to meeting general college admission requirements, meeting the admission requirements to the technical education portion of the PTA curriculum is mandatory. Applicants must submit a completed application packet including all items noted above by the 2nd Monday of February in order to be considered for admission.

General Education Requirements (30 Hours)

Technical Education Courses (45 Hours)

Total Degree Requirement: 75 hrs

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