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Curriculum Overview

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Curriculum Plan


The curriculum is arranged to provide students with a sound educational experience in 4 semesters.  Students begin with a semester of general education courses in college level English, general psychology, general medical ethics, and anatomy and physiology.  These courses help provide a sound foundation to foster success in the physical therapist assistant courses. The program takes full advantage of Kingsborough’s unique academic calendar.  Kingsborough’s academic programs are offered via a 12 week fall semester followed by a six week winter module (Fall B), which is followed by a 12 week spring semester followed by a six week summer module (Spring B).  The program uses the modules for completion of one academic course and both eight week clinical education courses.

Fall Semester

BIO 11—Human Anatomy and Physiology                              4 credits

ENG 12—Freshman English I                                                   4 credits

MAT 20-- Elements of Statistics                                              3 credits

PSY 11—General Psychology                                                    3 credits

Spring Semester

PTA 1—Foundations of Physical Therapy I                            3 credits

PTA 2—Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology                            4 credits

PTA 10—Introduction to Physical Therapy                             3 credits

PTA 20—Pathology                                                                      3 credits

Summer Module

PTA 3—Foundations of Physical Therapy II                            3 credits

Fall Semester

BIO 12—Anatomy and Physiology II                                          4 credits

PTA 4—Modalities and Procedures I                                        5 credits

PTA 5—Therapeutic Exercise                                                      5 credits

Winter Module

PTA 6—Clinical Practicum I                                                          3 credits


Spring Semester

PTA 7—Modalities and Procedures II                                        4 credits

PTA 8—Selected Topics                                                                5 credits

ENG 24—Freshman English II                                                      3 credits

SPE 24—Career Communications                                                3 credits

PTA 25---Interactions in the Clinic                                              3 credits

Summer Module

PTA 9—Clinical Practicum II                                                         3 credits


Course Descriptions


Foundations of Physical Therapy

This course is designed to introduce students to medical terminology and abbreviations, effective documentation, and interpretation of physical therapy documents.  Students are introduced to multimedia documentation strategies.  This course also introduces students to basic skills and competencies including: range of motion, vital signs monitoring, body mechanics, lifting techniques, bed mobility/draping, and transfer activities.

Kinesiology and Applied Anatomy

This course is designed to introduce the student to the anatomy of the musculo-skeletal system as well as basic kinesiology concepts.  Joint goniometry is presented.  The course emphasizes the significance of muscles, muscular origins, insertions, and innervations, articular function and structure.


Foundations of Physical Therapy II

This course is a continuation of Foundations of Physical Therapy (PTA 1) and is designed to introduce students to gait deviations, ambulation activities using assistive devices, and guarding techniques.  Wheelchair activities are also presented.  This course begins to consider the rehabilitation population including the effects of aging and the geriatric patient.


Modalities and Procedures I

This course is designed to introduce students to physical therapy thermal modalities, including physiological principles, indications, contraindications, and precautions.  The origins and management of pain are also discussed.  This course also introduces the student to basic assessment techniques necessary to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic interventions including length and girth assessments, height and weight measurements, as well as integument and sensation assessments. 


Therapeutic Exercise

This course is designed to introduce students to therapeutic exercise techniques.  Manual muscle testing is presented and practiced.  Topics including resistive exercise, passive stretching, and range of motion techniques are studied.  Students are introduced to therapeutic exercise equipment such as:  computerized isokinetic testing and exercise systems, aerobic devices and techniques, free standing resistive exercise equipment, ergometers, treadmill, and basic exercise equipment including cuff weights and elastic resistance. Therapeutic exercise techniques are studied by anatomical regions.


Clinical Practicum I

This course represents the initial eight week, full time clinical experience as assigned by the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.  Under the supervision of clinical faculty, at a facility providing physical therapy services, students interact with patients, provide physical therapy treatment, and assist the therapist in measurements and complex procedures.  Students apply acquired knowledge and practice the skills of transfer and gait training, the application of physical agents, and therapeutic exercise.  Students must be assessed as being competent in all previous course work prior to the first clinical practicum.


Modalities and Procedures II

This course presents the physical basis of electrical modalities along with physiological principles, indications, and contra-indications and precautions.  The course also introduces the student to pulmonary toilet, compression therapy, phototherapy  and therapeutic massage.  


Selected Topics in Physical Therapy

This course presents selected topics related to the physical therapy management of pathology with emphasis on comprehensive physical therapy.  These topics include normal motor development, neuro-developmental techniques, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, low back pain, orthotic management, amputee and prosthetic management, basic concepts in pharmacology, and administrative topics.  Additionally, this course reviews and presents ethical and legal issues including sexual harassment and misconduct, and multicultural sensitivity.  Application of all previously learned material in the classroom, laboratory and clinical setting is also facilitated.  It includes a two hour weekly seminar/mock clinic.  Seminar hours are used to provide students with opportunities to implement comprehensive physical therapy treatments utilizing the knowledge and techniques gained from all physical therapist assistant courses.


Clinical Practicum II

This course represents the concluding full time clinical experience as assigned by the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.  Under the supervision of clinical faculty at a facility providing physical therapy services, students interact with patients, provide physical therapy treatment, and assist the therapist in measurements and complex procedures.  Students apply knowledge acquired throughout the didactic and laboratory components of the program including transfer and gait training, modalities application, therapeutic exercise, clinical documentation, efficacy assessment, and multidisciplinary interaction.  Students’ skills and competence in these areas are assessed by the program faculty prior to participation in this course.  Students must be assessed as being competent in all previous course work prior to participating in this clinical practicum.  This practicum is eight weeks in duration.

PTA 10

Introduction to Physical Therapy

This course introduces students to the physical therapy profession. Topics include: the history of physical therapy, pertinent laws of practice, code of conduct, the role of the professional association, the role of the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant, definition of the rehabilitation population, communication skills and psycho-social aspect of disabilities.

PTA 20


This course introduces the students to common pathologies managed, in part, by physical therapy.  The pathologies introduced in this course are further explored in courses throughout the physical therapist assistant curriculum.  The course is divided into four distinct units of: orthopedic, neurological, cardio-pulmonary, and acute medical conditions.  The course presents general overviews of common pathologies including: anatomical and physiological considerations, etiologies, and physical therapy management.  Students complete a series of critical thinking and investigatory assignments to enhance their understanding and application of the presented material.

PTA 25

Interactions in the Clinic

  This course simulates the clinical environment through the use of specific role playing activities related to the administration of physical therapy services, PT/PTA interactions, ethical challenges, interdisciplinary communication and other relevant issues.  Students will engage in peer assessment of skills, mock person to person and telephone contact activities, independent research and reporting of pathological conditions and associated sequelae, and clinical documentation.  The purpose of this course is to enhance student preparation for the final clinical affiliation and ultimate job entry.

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