The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is an intensive 5 semester program designed to provide the student with the technical education required to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Examination. Physical Therapist Assistants work under direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Their duties include instructing patients in exercises and activities of daily living; administering therapeutic modalities, utilization of assistive equipment, and other patient care procedures; communicat¬ing with patients, families, caregivers, physicians, and other health care workers; and documenting the patients' status. Licensed physical therapist assistants find employment opportunities in such settings as hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, school systems, sports medicine facilities, and private practices.
Persons with a felony conviction are eligible for licensure based on terms and conditions of the state in which they intend to apply.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Total Associate Hours: 70
|Stephanie Dotson, MS, PT
Director, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
|Ron Moreland, AS, PTA
Instructor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Program Application and Admission
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is selected enrollment, meaning that students must apply to and be accepted before enrolling in any course with a PTHA prefix. Acceptance to New River and meeting the program application requirements do not guarantee admission.
Students must complete or be enrolled in the program's 30 credit hours of prerequisite courses when applying to the program. Equivalent pre-requisite courses may be completed at any college or university; New River students are not given preference during the selection process. All pre-requisite courses of the curriculum must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher by the end of the traditional fall semester prior to the start of a new class. Students must have an overall GPA of at least 2.75 for all college-level work. The application process also includes submission of a program application, documentation of at least 40 volunteer hours under the direction of a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. All program application materials including the program application and documentation of all completed volunteer hours must be submitted to the PTA Program by the student in a single envelope. Application materials may be hand delivered or mailed to the PTA Program and must be received on or before 5pm on October 31st. Students are not permitted to submit application materials to any other New River office. Faxed or e-mailed information will not be accepted.
Students must take all courses with a PTA prefix in sequence, with a minimum grade of C in all courses. The program includes a series of three off-campus clinical education experiences. Students are required to work during the days and hours of operation of their assigned facility. Every effort is made to place students in facilities that disrupt their domestic arrangements as little as possible, but the primary purpose of the clinical experiences is to ensure that each student gains the variety of experience required to become a competent entry-level physical therapist assistant. Expenses, including travel, food, and housing (if necessary), are the responsibility of the student.
Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical therapy Education (CAPTE), 111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone 703-706-3245;
is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Effective November 6, 2013, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at New River Community & Technical College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email:
). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
Students interested in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program are strongly encouraged to schedule an advising appointment with Stephanie Dotson, Program Director or Ron Moreland. Advising is essential to assuring accuracy of information, clarification of questions, and for scheduling required pre-requisite courses. Please call 304-929-3324 or e-mail
to schedule an advising appointment.
Forms and Information
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Volunteer Form
PTA Program Application
Estimated Program Cost 2014-2015
Members of the public who would like to submit comments and/or feedback about New River Community & Technical College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program may send written comments to the Department Chair at