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; communicating 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 may not be eligible for licensure based on terms and conditions of the state in which they intend to apply.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Total Associate Hours: 71
|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.
To apply to the program, students must complete the program application and volunteer hours. Applicants are required to complete volunteer hours in at least two physical therapy settings (out-patient, acute care, skilled nursing facility, etc.), each with a different licensed PT or PTA. A minimum of 40 volunteer hours is required to apply to the program; however, applicants may choose to complete up to 80 volunteer hours. Persons that have been or are currently employed in a physical therapy setting and wish to use their work experience for credit must provide documentation from a PT or PTA member of the physical therapy staff. All volunteer hours should be completed on the program’s volunteer reference form and submitted in a signed and sealed single envelope from each setting.
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 4pm on October 31st. However, if the 31st falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the materials must be submitted the Friday prior to the 31st. Materials submitted separately as well as faxed or e-mailed material will not be accepted. Because the application deadline falls in the middle of the fall semester, students have until the end of the fall semester to complete pre-requisite courses. Students are not permitted to submit application materials to any other New River office.
Students accepted into the program 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), 1111 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
Program Application Process
Volunteer Reference Form
Policies & Procedures
New River Community & Technical College Mission
New River Community and Technical College provides accessible, affordable, quality education and workforce programs to meet the needs of the region it serves.
New River Community & Technical College Values
Shared values guide New River Community and Technical College in fulfilling its mission. These values influence thoughts, guide decisions, mold policies, and determine courses of action. Our employees are expected to support and enact these values in our daily work.
Community, Integrity, Justice, Service, and Scholarship.
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New River Community & Technical College Vision
New River Community and Technical College improves students’ lives and enriches communities.
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Mission Statement
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Department is to provide each student the necessary education to become a competent entry-level physical therapist assistant. This is achieved through professional education and training using sequential instruction, practical clinical experiences, and mentoring. Emphasized throughout the student experience are critical thinking, scientific inquiry, ethics, professional behaviors, and team skills, as well as examination of the preferred relationship between the PT and PTA. Also emphasized is development of professional behaviors that facilitate and enhance positive therapeutic relationships with patients including respect and sensitivity for ethnic, cultural and spiritual differences. Qualified clinical sites further support these ideas through clinical education and mentoring.
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