Jun 15, 2024  
2020 - 2021 Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant - AAS

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Program Code: AAS.20573

Delta's program is for the training of Physical Therapist Assistants only. If you are planning to become a Physical Therapist, you should follow the Pre-Physical Therapy program guide and meet with an academic advisor.

As a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, you will work under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. Employment settings include: acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, school systems, nursing homes, home care, postsecondary education, outpatient facilities, private clinics, and specialty clinics. As a graduate of this program, you will possess the skills to implement a variety of physical therapy interventions within the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be eligible to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22344; telephone 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Recommended Track

Fall First Year:

Total Semester Credits: 12

Winter First Year:

Total Semester Credits: 12

Accelerated Track

Students may take these required courses in one semester. 

Fall or Winter First Year:

Note: Students who select the accelerated track must take ENG 112 and the LWA requirements during the PTA program.

Total Semester Credits: 20

Clinical Sequence for Both Tracks

Total Semester Credits: 14

Total Semester Credits: 13.5

Total Semester Credits: 13.5

Total Semester Credits: 12

Total Credits: 77/82.5


  1. Students must complete the Validation Application and receive a “Semester and Year of Validation” to be eligible to enter the program. It is recommended that this application be submitted during the final semester of pre-requisite courses. Validation is a process that allows the Registrar’s Office to review and confirm that the student has completed pre-requisite courses and requirements of this program.  Approximately 20 students are accepted for PTA courses each Fall semester.
  2. Validation requirements: 1) completion of prerequisite courses ENG 111 , LW 220W , PSY 101W  or PSY 211W  with a “C” (2.0) minimum grade and completion of BIO 140W  or BIO 152W  and BIO 153W  or BIO 240  and BIO 241  with a “B” (3.0) minimum grade; 2) completion of BIO 140W  or BIO 152W  and BIO 153W  or BIO 240  and BIO 241  within the past ten years. If this time period is exceeded, an approved biology course must be taken to refresh this content. Please see the program coordinator to determine which course(s) must be taken; 3) completion of observation hours.
  3. An observation series is required prior to validation. Students must observe, at a minimum, two different PTs and/or PTAs performing their skills in two different clinical practice sites for a minimum of 40 total hours. These observations must be documented using the PTA Observation Form which is available on the PTA program portal site and in the Counseling Office. The form must be stamped at the Registrar’s office at the time the validation application is turned in.
  4. Students may complete the program in five (5) semesters by following the accelerated track and completing the required courses in one semester.  These students would then complete the second level ENG course and the LWA elective during the clinical course sequence.
  5. The following courses are required for graduation and completion is strongly recommended prior to starting the clinical course sequence: HSC 105 COM 114W ENG 112  or  ENG 113 POL 103W  (or approved substitution), and an approved LWA course.  These courses must be completed with a “C” (2.0) or better.
  6. It is acceptable to take LWT 251  prior to starting the PTA clinicals course sequence. Students who choose this option should be aware that they will not be at full-time status in the first Fall semester of PTA program.    
  7. Graduates of the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center’s PT/OT/Sports Medicine program should contact the PTA program coordinator to discuss waiving the applicable validation requirements.
  8. It is recommended that students meet with the PTA program coordinator prior to validation to disclose any previous conviction, felony, misdemeanor, and/or traffic violation involving controlled substances.  All students are required to complete a Criminal Background Check following clinical entry registration.  Clinical sites may restrict students with a criminal record from being placed at the facility which could prohibit course completion and progression in the PTA program.  Students should be aware that a felony/misdemeanor conviction may constitute grounds for ineligibility to sit for the PTA licensure examination and/or obtain PTA licensure in the state of Michigan.  Questions regarding PTA state licensure can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/healthlicense.
  9. Once validated, students must waitlist themselves each year during the Special Clinical Registration Period to be eligible to begin the program and to remain validated.  Failure to complete the waitlist process annually will result in removal from the validation list.  See the validation page on the portal for more information and dates.
  10. Following entry to the program via special clinical registration, students are required to complete health requirements including but not limited to 1) physical exam with completion of physical form, 2) current American Heart Association CPR certification for the healthcare provider/professional rescuer certification, 3) a successful ten (10) panel drug screen by the approved agency, 4) an annual TB skin test, 5) immunization records including MMR, Td/Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B or signed waiver, 6) an annual flu shot.  These requirements will be discussed at the required orientation along with submission instructions via an electronic storage and clinical placement system.  All certifications and immunizations must be up-to-date and remain current throughout the program.
  11. Students who anticipate pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree are recommended to take the following courses: BIO 152W  and BIO 153W PSY 211W , and ENG 112 . If a student does not intend to transfer, ENG 113  is preferred.
  12. Physical Therapist Assistant courses are offered day and evening hours and there may also be occasional weekend courses that are mandatory.  Clinical courses must be taken in the sequence shown.
  13. In addition to tuition, fees, and textbook costs, students should plan for the following expenses following successful clinical entry: immunizations and CPR certification to meet health requirements, background check, drug screen, ACEMAPP registration, and appropriate lab and clinic attire.  Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from clinical sites and paying possible parking fees.  Program costs are published in the PTA Program Student Handbook.  Students are responsible for paying the cost of any medical care that might be necessary if they are injured or become ill as a result of clinical practice activities.  The College does not provide insurance coverage for such situations.
  14. Students must achieve a minimum “C” (2.0) grade in each Physical Therapist Assistant course to be eligible to continue in the program.
  15. Clinical hospital assignments may be outside the local area. Students must be prepared to commute up to two hours for at least one rotation.
  16. Students who have a first course failure or withdrawal within the second or subsequent semester of their clinical program may be eligible to complete a request for reentry.  Reentry guidelines are published in the PTA Student Handbook.
  17. Also see “Dual Degrees.”

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