NVCC 1997-1998 Catalog
    Instructional Programs

Associate in Applied Science Degree AN

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Purpose: The PTA program is designed to prepare students to utilize exercise, specialty equipment (modalities), assessment skills and other treatment procedures to prevent, identify, correct and alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction of anatomic or physiologic origin. Such procedures are directed toward individuals of all ages for the promotion of optimum health and performance. The program design includes a background in philosophical, theoretical and clinical knowledge necessary for the delivery of high-quality care. Ultimately, students are prepared as skilled technical health providers who possess the knowledge and abilities that are necessary to assist the professional physical therapist in the provision of services. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Virginia State Licensing examination leading to licensure as a physical therapist assistant (PTA). Students are prepared for employment in a variety of health care settings, including acute care hospitals; general and specialty outpatient practices; extended care facilities; rehabilitation centers; contract agencies; and schools.

Application Procedures: To be admitted to the PTA program, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

1. Admission to Northern Virginia Community College.

2. Completion of all program prerequisites.

3. Attendance at PTA Program Group Interview/General Orientation Session. (This satisfies the "Interview with the Program Head" requirement.)

4. Confirmation that Admissions and Records has received college transcripts.

5. Documentation of completion of a clinic observation/interview.

6. Submission of a one-page paper summarizing the clinic interview, and/or interest in the PTA program.

7. Program placement into the PTA curriculum.

Completion of steps 1-7 above constitutes a completed PTA Program Application Portfolio. Completed PTA Program Application Portfolios will be accepted in the PTA program office between October 1 and March 31 each year. Application portfolios postmarked or hand-delivered before October 1, or after March 31 will not be accepted. Notification of acceptance into the PTA program occurs in April. Students not accepted into the program are required to re-submit a PTA Program Application Portfolio as part of the application process in subsequent years.

Advanced Placement Admission: The program makes every effort to acknowledge previously completed physical therapy education. Students seeking advanced placement, e.g., military physical therapy technicians, should contact the program head for individual counseling.

Admission Requirements: Students must complete NAS 150, Human Biology, 4 credits, or the equivalent with a grade of "C" or better. Students must also complete a basic first aid course prior to admission to any PTH courses.

Completion Requirements:

1. Students are required to pass all laboratory practical exams with a grade of 70% or better on each exam. If a student receives a grade less than 70% on any exam, a maximum of one re-examination is permitted. The maximum permissible grade from the re-examination is 70%. If the student fails to achieve a 70% on the re-examination, the student will not be permitted to complete the course during that semester.

2. Students are expected to demonstrate behavior consistent with the APTA Code of Ethics for Affiliate Member at all times. Behavior unbecoming of a physical therapist assistant will result in dismissal from the program.


1. Students are permitted to re-enroll in the PTA curriculum on a space available basis.

2. Students who leave the program for any period up to two years for either personal or academic reasons are required to demonstrate proficiency in all previously enrolled skills courses prior to re-entering the program. "Practical exams" are administered and scheduled by the program faculty. A written exam may be required.

3. Students who leave the program for two years, or more, must re-apply to the program.

4. Students who leave the program for medical reasons are required to submit evidence of good physical and mental health, as substantiated by a newly completed Pre-Admission Health History and Physical for Health Technology form (NVCC 125-7) signed by the primary physician responsible for care.

Accreditation Status: The program is fully accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Prerequisites: NAS 150 is required for program placement in the PTA program. BIO 141-142 or NAS 161-162 may be substituted for NAS 150. Contact a counselor or program faculty advisor if you have any questions.

In addition to the courses outlined, IST 116 and PSY 231-232 are strongly encouraged.

First Year1st Sem.2nd Sem.3rd Sem.

   ENG111College Composition I3
   PED220Adult Health and Development2
   PTH105Intro. to Physical Therapy3
   PTH121Therapeutic Proc. I5
   PTH151Musculoskeletal Structure5
___ Humanities Elective 3
   PSY201Intro. to Psychology I 3
   PTH115Kinesiology for the Physical 
   Therapist Assistant 5
   PTH131Clinical Education I 3
   MTHElective  3
   PTH122Therapeutic Proc. II  5

Total Credits/Semester19148

Second Year1st Semester2nd Semester

   PTH225Rehab. Procedures5
   PTH231Clinical Education II5
___ Social Science Elective3
   PTH210Psych. Aspects of Therapy 2
   PTH227Pathological Conditions 3
   PTH232Clinical Education III 5
   PTH245Professional Issues 3

Total Credits/Semester1313

Total credits for the A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant = 67 (71 credits including NAS 150, 4 cr. prerequisite).

1 SPD 126, SPD 110, or SPD 115 is recommended to satisfy the HUM requirement.

2 The following are recommended: PSY 202, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 225, PSY 235, PSY 237, SOC 201, or SOC 207. See NVCC Catalog for additional courses which satisfy the Social Science requirement.

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