Is the Physical Therapist Assistant Program accredited?
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) serves the public by establishing and monitoring standards and criteria that assure quality in the entry-level preparation of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, and that reflect the evolving nature of education, research and practice characteristics of physical therapy.
As a result of two years (2011, 2012) of lower than expected retention/graduation rates, CAPTE has changed the PTA Program status to Probationary Accreditation. All PTA programs are expected to maintain a minimum three year retention/graduation rate of 60%. Since the two years of the lower retention rates the program has experienced retention rates of 75%, 67%, and 92%. These higher retention/graduation rates can be partially attributed to program policies that address and enhance student academic support. These policies include enhanced student advisement and changes in classroom practices. Based upon the above retention statistics, program faculty are confident that the Probationary Accreditation status will soon be rescinded and “Accreditation” status restored.
How many students actually apply for admission to the advanced courses?
· About 36-48 students apply for admission to the advanced courses each year. The admission acceptance rate is approximately 60%. In other words, if applicants were placed in groups of ten, about six students in each would be accepted.
What percentage of students admitted to advanced courses actually graduate?
· The PTA program at Kingsborough is rigorous. Students must be prepared to study hard, apply previous knowledge, and commit themselves to success. As of 2012 the overall graduation rate for the program is about 60%. In other words, roughly six out of every ten admitted students graduate.
Can I complete the advanced courses as a part time student?
· No. PTA courses must be taken as outlined in the curriculum plan. Courses in any given semester are co-requisite to each other and pre-requisite for courses in the subsequent semester. Therefore, part time study is not possible. Students are able to complete all general education (English, anatomy and physiology, mathematics, etc) courses on a part time basis.
Once I am enrolled in the advanced courses will I have a lot of additional expenses?
- There are not a lot of additional expenses. Program expenses (excluding books) are estimated at about $150.00. These expenses include the purchase of liability insurance, professional association membership, laboratory attire, name tag, goniometer, etc. Other costs include transportation and food during clinical internships.
I understand the program requires full-time internships. Can I continue to work my regular job and complete this requirement?
- The program includes the completion of two full-time 8 week clinical affiliations. During these periods you are required to work (unpaid) under the supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in a contracted health care facility. The clinical affiliation provides you with the opportunity to apply all of the skills and techniques learned in the classroom and laboratory in real clinical situations. Students work at their assigned clinical site for 40 hours per week. Affiliation schedules may include a combination of day, evening, and sometimes weekend hours. Some students have continued to work part-time jobs while completing their affiliations. However, given the required level of commitment, it may be difficult to work and complete clinical affiliations simultaneously.
If I decide to go on to PT school, will I get credit for my PTA courses?
· No. Physical therapist assistant education is not a short cut to physical therapist school. Physical therapist education occurs at the doctoral level (DPT). Though courses in PT school may have similar titles as courses in PTA school, the depth, breadth, and emphasis of content may be very different. Certainly completing courses at the associate level may enhance your understanding of physical therapist education course material. General education courses such as English, math, philosophy, etc. are generally transferable to the baccalaureate degree.
Do you have to take an examination after graduation in order to be a PTA?
- Yes. Following completion of all academic requirements graduates must successfully complete the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for Physical Therapist Assistants. Graduates must pass this examination in order to work as a PTA in the United States.
What percentage of program graduates pass the examination?
- The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) reports a program three year examination pass rate of 80.4% (2008-2010). This number changes as more students who may have not passed, re-take the examination. Program records indicate that the overall pass rate for graduates is about 88% with a first time examination pass rate of 67%.
How difficult is it to find a job as a PTA?
- Program statistics indicate that 100% of program graduates who seek employment are employed either full or part-time within 3 months of graduation.
Does the PTA program have a job placement program?
- No. However, the program offers job placement assistance by informing students and graduates of available jobs and providing resume and interview training.
What kind of salaries do PTA’s earn?
· ·The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics recently published the following information:
· “Median annual earnings of physical therapist assistants were $49,690 in May 2010. The middle 50 percent earned between $31,060 and $44,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $52,110. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of physical therapists assistants in May 2004 were:”
Nursing care facilities
General medical and surgical hospitals
Offices of other health practitioners
It has been the program experience that in the New York metropolitan area, new graduates earn between $35,000 and $44,000 in annual salary. These figures differ greatly depending upon type of facility, full-time versus part-time, and other factors.