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    Florida State College
  Sep 26, 2022
2009-2010 Catalog [Aug. 2009-Aug. 2010] 
2009-2010 Catalog [Aug. 2009-Aug. 2010] [Archived Catalog]

Physical Therapy Assistant (Physical Therapist Assistant) (222A) (A.S.)

Associate in Science

Mission Statement

Creating competent, ethical, confident entry-level health care practitioners committed to professional development through life-long learning in a positive, non-discriminatory and supportive learning environment.

The Career

The physical therapy assistant (PTA) is a skilled technical health care provider who works under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist (PT) in the assessment, treatment and prevention of physical disability resulting from injury, disease, pain, birth defects and other health-related conditions. The PTA, working as a member of the rehabilitation team, assists in implementing the treatment program according to the plan of care developed by the PT. Typical duties of the PTA include training patients in exercise, ambulation and activities of daily living; conducting treatment using specialized equipment; administering therapeutic physical agents such as heat, cold and electrical stimulation; assisting in the performance of tests; and observing and reporting patient responses and changes in condition to the PT.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles rates the strength demands of a PTA at the medium level. This translates into lifting or exerting a force of 20 to 50 pounds occasionally, 10 to 25 pounds frequently and 10 pounds or less constantly.

Interested students can learn more about the profession of physical therapy and the role of the PTA by contacting the professional association.

American Physical Therapy Association
111 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(800) 999-2782

The Program

A limited access program.

Florida State College’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The PTA program is a combination of general education and technical courses including lecture, laboratory and clinical education components. Graduates of the program are prepared to function as entry-level practitioners. Upon completion of the program, you are awarded an A.S. degree. You are then eligible to apply to sit for a state administered national examination in order to qualify for licensure to practice as a PTA. Admission to this program is limited and is based on academic performance and other criteria.

Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement

According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2008-09 Occupations Outlook Handbook, the demands for PTA’s is expected to grow by 29% between 2006 and 2016. The U.S. Department of Labor lists PTA as one of the 30 fastest growing occupations through 2010, with starting salaries ranging from $40,000 to $45,000 annually in Florida, depending on employment setting and geographic location.

Internships and Rotations

Employers view clinical experience as essential to understanding the responsibilities of a physical therapist assistant. Clinical training at local physical therapy facilities is arranged as part of the PTA curriculum. Students will be required to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to clinical placements.


Florida State College’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Interested students can learn more about accreditation of physical therapy education by contacting CAPTE.

111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Application Procedure

The PTA program is a selective access program. Admission to the technical phase of the program is limited and based upon academic performance and other criteria. An information/application packet outlining requirements, procedures, costs and other pertinent information is available from the PTA department, North Campus.

Original transcripts are required for students who wish to receive credit from schools other than Florida State College.

Minimum requirements that must be met for consideration for admission to the technical phase of the PTA program are as follows:

  1. Applicants must be accepted for admission to Florida State College or be currently enrolled at Florida State College. Acceptance to Florida State College does not guarantee admission to the technical phase of the PTA program.
  2. Applicants must submit a completed application for the technical phase of the program to the PTA department. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered. Contact the PTA department for information/application packets and deadlines.
  3. Applicants must have completed 16 credit hours, including ENC 1101, DEP 2004 or PSY 1012, BSC 2085C, a mathematics course and a humanities course with a minimum grade of “C” and minimum combined grade point average of 2.5 prior to beginning the technical phase. It is highly recommended that all of the prerequisite courses be completed prior to beginning the technical phase.
  4. Applicants must complete the Revised PSB — Health Occupations Aptitude Examination. Contact the assessment and certification center of any campus for scheduling information.
  5. Applicants must submit documented evidence verifying completion of a minimum of 20 hours of observation, volunteer service and/or work experience in physical therapy. Verification forms can be obtained from the PTA department.
  6. Applicants must provide a copy of your official college transcript(s), including pre–technical coursework, to the PTA program. Students not currently enrolled in Florida State College and/or who are transferring college credit courses are required to have a second copy of their official transcript(s) sent directly from the college or university to the registrar’s office at Florida State College.

Students who have submitted completed applications to the PTA department by the deadline will be ranked according to a point scale based on grade point average in the required general education courses, scores on the Revised PSB — Health Occupations Aptitude Examination and accumulated hours of observation, volunteer service and/or work experience in physical therapy departments. The 30 highest ranked students will be accepted into the technical phase of the PTA program and notified of their acceptance by mail. A ranked alternate list will be established. In the event of forfeiture, the next highest ranked student will be notified of acceptance. Refer to the PTA program information/application packet for a complete description of the point system on which ranking is based.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is February 15 of each year for classes starting in May of the same year.

Need More Information?

View Program Information and Contacts


  Refer to A.S./A.A.S. degree General Education Requirements
  Refer to A.S./A.A.S. degree General Education Requirements


Total Credit Hours: 74

General Education

Credit Hours: 16

  Mathematics Credit Hours: 3
  Refer to A.S./A.A.S. degree General Education Requirements 
Humanities Credit Hours: 3
  Refer to A.S./A.A.S. degree General Education Requirements 

Technical Courses

Credit Hours: 7

Physical Therapist Assistant Courses

The PTA program is a limited access program. Students may not enroll in the following courses unless accepted into the technical phase of the program based on the selection criteria and available seats. A minimum grade of “C” must be earned in each of the following courses in order to continue in the technical phase. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 must be maintained throughout enrollment in the technical phase of the program.

All prerequisites should be taken prior to applying to the program.

Credit Hours: 51

University Transfer

This associate in science degree program is intended primarily for students who desire to complete an associate in science degree and become employed. Students who decide to pursue university transfer study must meet certain course and test requirements. For details refer to the university transfer guide.

Record of Conviction of a Crime

Effective July 1, 2009, pursuant to Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes, health care review boards shall refuse to renew a license, certificate or registration, issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant has been convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendre, regardless of adjudication, to a felony violation of: chapters 409, 817, or 893, Florida Statutes; or 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 or 42 U.S.C. ss 1395-1396, unless the sentence and any probation or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the application, terminated for cause from Florida Medicaid Program (unless the applicant has been in good standing for the most recent 5 years) or terminated for cause by any other State Medicaid Program or the Medicare Program (unless the termination was at least 20 years prior to the date of the application and the applicant has been in good standing with the program for the most recent 5 years). The Florida nursing or allied health licensure or certification application requires disclosure of any criminal history and the disposition of all cases prior to board review. Being convicted of, or having entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any of the listed felonies in Florida Statute 456.0635 or termination for cause from the statutorily-described Medicaid programs will preclude an applicant from obtaining a nursing or allied health license or certification in the state of Florida. Entry and acceptance into the nursing or allied health program does not guarantee licensure or certification in the State of Florida.


Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screen and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

The cost of the background check and drug screen is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline.

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition.

Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded the associate in science or associate in applied science degree, students must have met the following requirements:

  1. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at Florida State College in courses eligible toward the associate in science or applied science degree programs (A.S. Florida State College GPA or A.A.S. Florida State College GPA).
  2. Earned an all–college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) on all courses attempted, including transferred credits. (All college cumulative).
  3. Completed at least 25 percent of credit semester hours required for the degree at Florida State College.
  4. Completed a minimum of 60 semester hours, as specified by the degree, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours must be General Education requirements.
  5. Earned a grade of at least a “C” in each course used to satisfy the General Education Requirements .
  6. Can demonstrate mastery of the Information Literacy Assessment. Refer to the assessment section for details.

Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.

  1. Graduation dates will be the date at the end of the college term in which the students complete the academic requirements for the degree or certificate for which students are applicants. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates, since the grade change is effective as of the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  2. If students expect to complete the coursework under the terms of the catalog in effect during the term of their first registration, they must graduate within five years or they will need to be reassigned to an active catalog. Accordingly, students who enter under this catalog (2009/2010) must graduate by the end of the Summer Term 2014, or they will automatically be reassigned to the 2013/2014 catalog requirements. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  3. The General Education Requirements may be taken on any Florida State College campus or center.
  4. Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite and/or corequisite courses which are listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  5. Students who place into college preparatory courses are required to complete designated college preparatory courses with a grade of “C” or better regardless of program of study.
  6. Students enrolling in associate in applied science programs must pass all sections of the placement test before award of an A.A.S. degree, regardless of the degree program’s general education requirements.
  7. Degree–seeking students whose native language is not English, who fall below a designated cutoff score on the English as a second language (ESL) entry placement test, will be required to take ESL courses with EAP prefix prior to registering for other college credit classes. The level of these courses will be determined by the entry placement scores. Individual exceptions will be determined by the ESL program manager.
  8. Degree–seeking students identified as non–native speakers must take an English as a second language (ESL) placement test prior to taking the College’s standard course placement test. Students who place into ESL, as determined by the test, must complete ESL courses before registering for other college credit classes. Non–degree seeking college credit students who plan to take English or reading courses must also meet these requirements. Exceptions to these requirements can be made by the ESL program manager or designee.


This A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program. For more information, please visit the Transfer Services Web page and look for your A.S. program of study.