The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science program is now accepting applications for classes starting in August 2021. The program is offered at New River CTC’s Raleigh County Campus in Beaver.
The program consists of 5 semesters. Students accepted into the PTA program begin in the fall semester, complete their second semester in the spring, and finish their last semester in the summer. The clinical education portion of the program includes a series of three off-campus clinical education experiences.
Angela M. Strickland, PT, DPT
PTA Program Admissions Requirements
Applicants requesting admission to the New River Community and Technical College Associate of Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant must first meet the requirements for general admission to the respective College. The PTA Program is a select admission Program only accepting 20 students annually each Fall. Admission into the College and completion of the required pre-requisites does not guarantee admission into the PTA Program. In addition to the pre-requisites and admission into the College, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must have completed the required pre-requisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
- Applicants must have completed the Biology pre-requisite courses within the past 5 years and have a combined GPA of 3.0 of required science courses. Applicants who do not meet this requirement must either challenge the exams for all required Biology courses or retake the courses. Challenge exam score must achieve a minimum grade of a B, or higher, for that class.
- Applicants must be able to meet the essential functions of the Program as listed in the Program information packet. These essential functions are related to physical health, vision, and the ability to lift and carry up to 70 pounds, and are based on the essential functions of the professional role. Applicants must meet these essential functions without accommodations.
- Applicants must agree to travel away from campus for clinical education. Clinical affiliation sites and availability vary and are determined by each individual facility based on staffing, patient load and other factors that influence the facility’s ability to provide the student with an optimum clinical experience. 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 affiliation is to ensure that each student gains the variety of experience required to become a competent entry-level physical therapist assistant. Expenses, including gas, tolls, food, clothing and housing (if necessary), are the responsibility of the student.
Program Admissions Procedure
- The PTA Program receives the student’s application and it is logged and filed.
- After the June 1st application deadline, the PTA Program evaluates all of the received applications and ensures they are complete and eligible for enrollment into the Program.
- The Administrative Assistant then assigns each applicant a number and completes the required fields in the admission rubric.
- The rubrics are then given to the PTA Program faculty and they are entered into a Cohort Selection Spreadsheet and the results calculated.
- The top 20 applicants’ numbers are provided back to the Administrative Associate and the students are sent a letter of acceptance.
- In the instance of >20 qualified applicants, there is a two-tiered tie breaker system:
a. The first tiebreaker will be the Anatomy and Physiology I grade.
b. Applicants with the highest grades will be selected. In the event that there are still more applicants than openings, the second tiebreaker is used. The second tiebreaker will be to utilize the Kinesiology grade. Applicants with the highest grades will be selected.
- Notification by mail and/or New River email account of final decisions for admission into the PTA Program will be made by July 1st annually.
- Students who have been accepted into the PTA Program have 14 days after notification to acknowledge their position.
- Students who fail to acknowledge their position within the 14 days will be removed from the upcoming fall roster. This position may be filled with another qualified student.
- Students, once accepted into the PTA Program, must pass a background check prior to beginning any class with a PTHA prefix. An unsatisfactory background check may result in loss of position in the PTA Program. (At the discretion of the Program Director and the Dean of Pre-Professional and Transfer Programs).
Student Contingency Plan
If the program fails to achieve candidate status or initial accreditation, the Office of Student Success and the PTA Program faculty will assist the students with identifying other accredited programs to which they can apply or with obtaining degree credentials based on credits previously earned.
Notice to all Prospective PTA Students
Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; email@example.com is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
New River Community and Technical College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. On March 1, 2021, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.
Implications of August Graduation
The developing physical therapist assistant program at New River Community and Technical College is planning for a charter class graduation in August 2022. Initial accreditation decisions are acted upon at the next regularly scheduled Fall Meeting of the Commission following the on-site visit, which must occur during the penultimate term when the charter class is enrolled. CAPTE will not make exceptions to its Rules to accommodate graduation dates that precede regularly scheduled CAPTE meeting dates, e.g., graduation in the summer. A summer graduation does not allow the initial accreditation decision to occur prior to the graduation date. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) sets the dates for licensing exams. The first sitting for which students with an August graduation date would be in January. Therefore, the timing of the planned graduation date increases the likelihood of a significant financial disadvantage for students due to an approximate six-month delay in possible employment as a physical therapist assistant.
CAPTE considers complaints about programs that are accredited, or are seeking accreditation by CAPTE, and complaints about CAPTE itself. For information on filing a formal complaint, visit http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/. To obtain the materials necessary for submitting a complaint, contact the APTA Accreditation Department at 703-706-3245 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. To download New River CTC’s complaint form, click here.