2020-2021 College Catalog

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS (Major Code: PTA3)

Program Description

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed to work with patients and administer physical therapy interventions under the direction and supervision of licensed physical therapists. The duties of PTAs include implementing the plan of care and performing interventions using heat, cold, electricity, ultrasound, water, massage, therapeutic exercise, gait training, balance and coordination, and functional activities. The program combines general education, health core curriculum, and specific occupational courses and clinical experience over five semesters of continuous full time study. In addition to half-day clinical observations and laboratory experiences off campus, students will attend three full-time clinical experiences: two 4-week rotations and one 7-week rotation. Students are wholly responsible for all transportation to and from clinical facilities and are financially responsible for their clinical uniforms and laboratory clothing. The program is offered on a full-time basis during daytime hours. There is no online option. The program admits 12 – 15 students once a year, with an application deadline of May 1st annually. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS). Upon completion of the degree requirements, graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the state-administered National Physical Therapy Exam [NPTE]. Georgia requires licensure to be eligible for employment as a physical therapist assistant.

Once admitted, students must maintain current CPR certifications in Basic Life Support of Infant, Child & Adult, and student membership with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) each year in the program. Students must also submit physical examination records clearing them for participation in the program, all immunization records including an annual TB test, undergo a criminal background check, and drug screening. While in the program, students must maintain a C average or better to remain in good academic standing.

Mission Statement

In keeping with the mission and values of Atlanta Technical College and its commitment to workforce development, the PTA Program will produce skilled entry-level Physical Therapist Assistants, who will master the process of self-awareness, knowledge building, and skill development that result in cultural competency in their provision of Physical Therapy under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. By integrating academics and applied career preparations, PTA program graduates will engage in health encounters that are positive and affirming to patients, families, friends, and colleagues, and enhance the diverse society in which they will practice.

Accreditation: Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Atlanta Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100 Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-7063245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Career Information


Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

Work Environment

Physical therapist assistants work in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, the school system and home health. Hours of work vary with each practice setting based on the needs of the facility.

Nature of Work

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed healthcare provider who is part of the healthcare team working under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT). PTAs assist patients to improve their function in order to be able to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). A physical therapist assistant must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to appropriately interact with patients, coworkers and other members of the healthcare team and to be able to motivate patients to do their best. The job of a physical therapist assistant may be physically demanding at times and may involve lifting.

Career Projections

The number of jobs in this field is expected to increase by 32% nationally and % in the State of Georgia over the next several years. Estimated salaries in this field start at $45,000 a year.
Labor market data was compiled using Economic Modeling Specialists, international and is updated annually. 


Graduation Rate

Board Pass Rate

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Career Coach

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Admission Requirements

College Admission

General College Admissions Requirements

Program Admission Requirements

- Must be eighteen (18) years of age.


- Complete and sign application for admission and pay a nonrefundable fee to Atlanta Technical College (Business Office.)


- Submit official High School or GED Transcript and/or official college transcripts from all colleges attended in the past to the Office of Enrollment Services (see General Admissions Requirements).


- Must attend a PTA Information Session within the same year for which admission is sought. Information sessions are held every 4th Thursday of the month at 5 pm via Webex from September – November and January – April. To request an invitation, please email pta_program@atlantatech.edu and include a copy of your state-issued ID. An email will be sent to you with details on how to login to the session.


- Complete the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Competitive Admission Application. Applications are accepted annually from February 1st - May 28th.


- Must attain >60% on the TEAS VI or HESI entrance exam within the last three (3) years


- Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA


- Complete a total of twenty-four (24) hours of volunteer, observation, or work experience ideally in more than one physical therapy setting. Hours must be completed within two (2) years of the application date.


- Upon conditional acceptance into the program, the student must submit criminal background check and drug test.


- Provide a valid copy of your American Heart Association CPR card (needs to be valid for program duration) along with application documents. Criminal background checks and drug screens will be required at various intervals throughout the program as designated by the program faculty.


If the above criteria are not met, the applicant’s file cannot be processed for selection in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Selection Process


- Weighting will be assigned to applicants who have completed general education courses with a grade > (B). Consideration will be given for completion of college courses weighted higher than the general education courses required (e.g., Calculus) by the registrar. All transfer credits decisions are made by the Office of the Registrar.


- Requirements for transferring courses from another approved institution includes ensuring BIOL 2113 & Lab, BIOL 2114 & Lab, PHYS 1110 & Lab are less than five (5) years old.


- Greater consideration is given to applicants who score >75% on the TEAS VI or HESI exam

The program requires a full-time commitment from the student as classes are scheduled daily from 8:00am-6:00pm with some evening and/or weekend time commitments.

Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures

1. Objective of the Policy

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Atlanta Technical College seeks to maintain and enhance our reputation of providing you with high quality services. We value complaints as they assist us to improve our services and customer service.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Atlanta Technical College is committed to being responsive to the needs and concerns of our customers or potential customers and to resolving your complaint as quickly as possible.

The policy has been designed to provide guidance to both our customers and staff on the manner in which the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Atlanta Technical College received and manages your complaint. We are committed to being consistent, fair and impartial when handling your complaint.


The objective of this policy is to ensure: You are aware of our complaint lodgment and handling process, both you, our students and our staff understand our complaints handling process. Your complaint is investigated impartially with a balanced view of all information or evidence. We take reasonable steps to actively protect your personal information. Your complaint is considered on its merit taking into account individual circumstances and needs.

2. Definition of a Complaint
In this policy, a complaint means an expression of dissatisfaction by a customer relating to services provided by us.

3. How to Make a Complaint
If you are dissatisfied with services provided by us, you should in the first instance consider speaking directly with the staff member/s you have been dealing with. If you are uncomfortable with this or consider the relevant staff member is unable to address your concerns, you can lodge a complaint with the Office of the Dean of Public Health and Safety Technologies Division.

4. The Information You Will Need to Tell Us
When we are investigating your complaint, we will be relying on information provided by you and information we may already be holding. We may need to contact you to clarify details or request additional information where necessary. To help us investigate our complaint quickly and efficiently we will ask you for the following information:
- Your name and contact details,
- The name of the person you have been dealing with about your services,
- The nature of the complaint,
- Details of any steps you have already taken to resolve the complaint,
- Details of conversations you may have had with us that may be relevant to your complaint,
- Copies of any documentation, which supports your complaint.


5. Help When Making a Complaint

The person receiving or managing your complaint should provide you with any assistance you may need to make your complaint.

However, if you consider you need further assistance please contact: the office of the Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at 404-225-4601.


6. Recording a Complaint
When taking a complaint, we will record your name and contact details. We will also record all details of your complaint including the facts and the cause/s of your complaint, the outcome and any action taken following the investigation of your complaint. We will also record all dates and times relating to action taken to resolve the complaint and communication between us.

As part of our on-going improvement plan, complaints will be monitored for any identifying trends by management and rectification/remedial action taken to mitigate and identified issues.

If you lodge a complaint, we will record your personal information solely for the purposes of addressing your complaint. Your personal details will actively be protected from disclosure, unless you expressly consent to its disclosure.

7. Feedback to Customers
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Atlanta Technical College is committed to resolving your issues at the first point of contact, however, this will not be possible in all circumstances, in which case a more formal complaint process will be following.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three (3) business days. Once your complaint has been received, we will undertake an initial review of your complaint.

There may be circumstances during the initial review or investigation of your complaint where we may need to clarify certain aspects of your complaint or request additional documentation from you. In such circumstances, we will explain the purpose of seeking clarification or additional documentation and provide you with feedback on the status of your complaint at the time.

We are committed to resolving your complaint within 10 business days of you lodging your complaint, however, this may not always be possible on every occasion. Where we have been unable to resolve your complaint within 10 business days, we will inform you of the reason for the delay and specify a date when we will be in a position to finalize your complaint.

During the initial review or investigation stage, we may need to seek further clarification or documentation from you to assist us in resolving your complaint.

If we have sought clarification or additional documentation from you and we are waiting on you to provide this information, we may not be able to meet our 10 business day finalization commitment. In such circumstance upon receipt of your clarification or additional documentation, we will indicate to you when we expect to be able to finalize your complaint.

Once we have finalized your complaint, we will advise you of our findings and any action we have taken. We will do this in writing, unless it has been mutually agreed that we can provide it to you verbally.

You have the right to make enquires about the current status of your complaint at any time by contacting us.

8. Our Six Point Complaint Process
We acknowledge within three business days of receiving your complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint.

We review: We undertake an initial review of your complaint and determine what if any additional information or documentation may be required to complete and investigation. We may need to contact you to clarify details or request additional information where necessary.

We investigate: Within 10 business days of receiving your complaint we will investigate your complaint objectively and impartially, by considering the information you have provided us, our action in relation to your dealing with us and any other information which may be available, that could assist us in investigating your complaint.

We respond: Following our investigation, we will notify you of our findings and any action we may have taken in regards to your complaint.

We take action: Where appropriate we amend our business practices or policies.

We record: We will record your complaint for continuous improvement process and monitoring through regular review, your personal information will be recorded in accordance with relevant privacy legislation.

9. When You Complain About One of Our Employees
If you complain about a member of our staff, we will treat your complaint confidentially, impartially and equally (giving equal treatment to all people. We will investigate your complaint thoroughly by finding out the relevant facts, speaking with the relevant people and verifying explanations where possible.

We will also treat our staff member objectively by:
- Informing them of any complaint about their performance
- Providing them with an opportunity to explain the circumstances,
- Providing them with appropriate support,
- Updating them on the complaint investigation and the results.


10. Complaints Under Investigation by a Regulator or Law Enforcement Agency
If your complaint is currently being investigated by a relevant federal, state or territory consumer protection regulator or law enforcement agency we may cease to take further action in relation to your complaint pending finalization of their investigation. We will assist any agency with their investigations.

Blood and Airborne Pathogens

Students enrolled in Category I and II programs at Atlanta Technical College will be performing tasks in which there is a normal occurrence for exposure to blood, other potentially infectious body materials, and airborne pathogens.

These tasks will be performed in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical activities for each occupational training program/course. Students will be required to present documentation of Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis immunizations as a result of potential occupational exposure. Students should contact their program directors for more information. Policies and procedures regarding blood and airborne pathogens may be reviewed at https://tcsg.edu/tcsgpolicy/tcsg_policy_manual.pdf.

Program Contact Information

Dr. Tamey T. Howard-Feltner
Physical Therapist, Doctorate of Physical Therapy
Program Coordinator - Physical Therapist Assistant Program
1560 Metropolitan Parkway, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310

Program Length and Cost

Minimum Program Length in Semester Terms: 5 terms

Credit Hours: 76

Estimated Program Cost: $11,297

Course Outline

General Education Courses (16 Credits)

Area I – Language Arts/Communication

ENGL 1101Composition and Rhetoric


Area II – Social/Behavioral Science

PSYC 1101Introductory Psychology


Area III – Natural Sciences/Mathematics Select one of the following

MATH 1100Quantitative Skills and Reasoning


MATH 1101Mathematical Modeling


MATH 1111College Algebra



PHYS 1110Conceptual Physics



PHYS 1110LConceptual Physics Lab


Area IV – Humanities/Fine Arts Select one of the following

ARTS 1101Art Appreciation


HUMN 1101Introduction to Humanities


MUSC 1101


SPCH 1101Public Speaking


Non General Education Degree Courses (11 Credits)

BIOL 2113Anatomy and Physiology I



BIOL 2113LAnatomy & Physiology I Lab



BIOL 2114Anatomy and Physiology II



BIOL 2114LAnatomy & Physiology II Lab



PSYC 2103Human Development


Occupational Courses (49 Credits)

PHTA 1110Intro. to Physical Therapy


PHTA 1120Patient Care Skills


PHTA 1130Funct. Anatomy & Kinesiology I


PHTA 1140Physical Therapy Procedures I


PHTA 2110Pathology I


PHTA 2120Rehabilitation I


PHTA 2130Physical Therapy Procedures II


PHTA 2140Clinical Education I


PHTA 2150Pathology II


PHTA 2160Rehabilitation II


PHTA 2170Kinesiology II


PHTA 2180Clinical Education II


PHTA 2190Clinical Education III


PHTA 2200Phys. Therapist Asst. Seminar


Total Credit Hours: 76


Program Outcomes

1. The graduate will be able to communicate verbally and non-verbally with the patient, the physical therapist, health care delivery practitioners, and others in an effective, appropriate, culturally competent and capable manner.
2. The graduate will be able to demonstrate competence in implementing selected components of interventions identified in the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
3. The graduate will be able to demonstrate competency in performing components of data collection skills essential for carrying out the plan of care.
4. The graduate will be able to recognize when intervention should not be provided due to changes in the patient’s status and reports this to the supervising physical therapist.
5. The graduate will be able to recognize when the direction to perform an intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for a physical therapist assistant and initiates clarification with the physical therapist.