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North Shore Community College
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  • Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
    Program Description

    Career, Degree (AS)

    TThe Physical Therapist Assistant program has been designed for students seeking entry-level positions as Physical Therapist Assistants. The comprehensive curriculum has been designed to develop competency in the entry level skills necessary for the Physical Therapist Assistant practicing in the field. Theoretical and practical experience in classroom and laboratory are supplemented by three clinical rotations over two full-time or three part-time years of study.

    The program prepares graduates to work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in a variety of health care settings, including rehabilitation facilities, schools, long term care, home health care, pediatrics, acute care hospitals, orthopedics, and sports medicine clinics. Students in the program are encouraged to apply for student membership to the American Physical Therapy Association during their first year in the program. Graduates of the program receive an Associate's degree in science and are eligible to take the national licensing exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. In order to practice in the state of Massachusetts physical therapist assistants must be licensed.

    Although the program is non-transferable as a whole, on an individual basis graduates of the program considering a further degree have been able to obtain transfer credits for some courses to schools offering a baccalaureate degree in exercise physiology or related health program. Acceptance of transfer credits depends on the receiving institution. Students should consult directly with the institution of their choice. NSCC's PTA program has an official transfer agreement with Salem State University, Bachelor of Sport and Movement Science.

    Students interested in participating in an academic program that involves working with children, the disabled, or the elderly, or which includes a clinical experience, internship, or field placement with a private or public healthcare provider, may be required to undergo criminal background checks, including a national as well as local check (i.e. Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Record Information (SORI)). Depending on the contents of these criminal background check(s), a student's participation in an academic program that involves working with children, the disabled, or the elderly or which includes a clinical experience, internship or field placement with a private or public healthcare provider may not be allowed, and therefore may impact a student's ability to complete program requirements. Furthermore, please note that eligibility to participate in the program and/or clinical experience, internship or field placement as a result of screening requirements, such as criminal background checks, is not a guarantee of eligibility to sit for professional credentialing examination(s) or employment upon graduation.
    The PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Information regarding accreditation and professional licensure may be obtained from the following organizations:
    Commission on Accreditation for Physical Education (CAPTE)
    111 North Fairfax Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    (703)-706-3245
    Email address: accreditation@apta.org
    www.capteonline.org
    Board of Registration of Allied Health Professions
    Division of Professional Licensure
    1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
    Boston, MA 02118-6100
    (617)-727-3071
    www.mass.ov/dpl/boards/ah
    The PTA program is a selective admissions program. Further information about the program, application process and admission requirements can be found on the academic department web page at www.northshore.edu

    For more information email us at: PTA@northshore.edu or call 978-762-4160


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