Physical Therapist Assistant Degree | Naugatuck Valley Community College

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Download the 2019-20 College Catalog in PDF format.

Allied Health, Nursing & Physical Education Division

Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Description

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 111North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone: 703-706-3245; Email:; Website:

The PTA works under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist and is a valued member of the healthcare team. Career opportunities are in hospitals, school systems, private offices, home health agencies, industry, rehabilitation hospitals and nursing homes. This is a two year, full-time curriculum for an Associate in Science degree. More than 90 physical therapy clinics from around the state collaborate with this program to provide internships. The course of study begins in January and includes a minimum of 63 credits.

In reading this section candidates must note the special requirements of this program. Additional information may be found on the PTA webpage,

Selective Admission Requirements

  1. Submit a PTA program application, in addition to the college application for admission, and an official final high school transcript indicating date of graduation, General Education Development (GED) Diploma, or State High School Equivalency Diploma. Submit all application materials, including college transcripts from all previous colleges attended, by the posted deadline for consideration for the upcoming spring semester.
  2. Courses which must be completed by the application deadline of June 1 to meet these requirements are:
    1. BIO*211 Anatomy & Physiology I (minimum grade of C+)
    2. ENG*101 Composition
    3. MAT*Elective (Any Quantitative Reasoning course higher than MAT*H136/H137 and minimum grade of C+)
    4. PSY*H111 General Psychology I
  3. All Math elective and BIO*211 and BIO*212 courses must be completed within five (5) years prior to entering the PTA Program.
  4. Earn a minimum PTA GPA of 2.7 for coursework required for the degree. A minimum of “C+” for Math elective and BIO*211 and BIO*212 and minimum grade of “C” is required for all other courses for the degree.
  5. Documented volunteer/observational experience totaling a minimum of 10 hours in each of an out-patient and an in-patient physical therapy setting (minimum 20 hours total) completed prior to application deadline.
  6. Complete the Nursing TEAS (version 5.0 with Adjusted Individual Score (AITS) of 60% or higher or version ATI TEAS (beginning 8/2016) with score equivalent to AITS of 60% or higher.) Test scores will be valid for the three (3) years prior to the application deadline. For testing schedules, registration information, and study manual information go to Applicants that have not taken the exam at a CT Community College must arrange to have their scores sent to NVCC.
  7. All applicants should attend a PTA Program Information Session. Students are highly recommended to observe a laboratory class. Please refer to the website for additional information.
  8. Students must be able to perform common physical therapy functions as defined in the program's Technical Standards. Please go to under "Application Requirements" for a copy of this document.
  9. In addition to tuition and fees, students in the PTA Program must pay for books, APTA membership, appropriate attire for internships, licensure review course, and transportation. Students must complete and verify all required immunizations and provide certification by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross in Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Health Care Provider and First Aid before the start of clinical activities.
  10. Clinical Education Experiences: The NVCC PTA Program offers clinical education experiences throughout Connecticut. Students may be required to travel more than 75 minutes to their assigned clinical site. Students are required to provide their own transportation, living expenses (as necessary), health insurance, and any other expenses while on clinical education experiences.
  11. Students will be required by the program to undergo a background check with fingerprinting for felony convictions and to undergo a drug/substance screening. Students who do not pass the background check may be excluded from the clinical site and may not be able to meet the competencies required for graduation from the program, may not be eligible to take the licensure exam and/or may not be eligible for PTA licensure. Students who have a positive toxicology screen are not eligible to enroll in the program and will forfeit their admission seat.

Learning is planned as a progression of increasing complexity. The general education courses are supportive of the PTA courses. Therefore, all courses must be taken in sequence and/or no later than scheduled in the PTA curriculum. General education core classes and electives may be taken prior to entering the PTA program or completed earlier. Applicants are encouraged to complete the general education core classes and electives prior to entering the PTA Program. A minimum grade of “C” is required for all degree requirements, a minimum grade “C+” in BIO*211, BIO*212 and mathematics elective (higher than MAT*H136/H137), and an evaluation of “Pass” indicating satisfactory completion must be attained in clinical internship courses in order to progress. The faculty reserves the right to withdraw a student whose clinical performance is unsatisfactory. Attendance for class, lab, and clinical experiences is required. Sixty-three (63) semester hours are required for graduation from the PTA Program.

General Education Core course listings and definitions appear on pages 53-54. Placement testing will determine the sequencing of courses. Additional courses may be required. The suggested sequence for full-time students is shown below. Refer to page 53 for a listing of courses that will satisfy elective requirements.

Program Requirements

Competency or Program Requirement Course Number and Title Required Credits
Social Phenomena1 PSY*H111 General Psychology I 3
Critical Analysis and Logical Thinking/Written Communication1 ENG*H101 Composition 3
Quantitative Reasoning1 Choose any Quantitative Reasoning listed higher than MAT*H136/H137 3
Scientific Knowledge1◊◊ BIO*H211 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
FIRST SEMESTER (spring)    
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics - Program Requirement PTA*H120 Introduction to Physical Therapy (Continuing Learning/Info Literacy/Ethics) 3
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics - Program Requirement PTA*H125 PT for Function (Continuing Learning/Information Literacy/Ethics) 4
Scientific Reasoning1◊◊ BIO*H212 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Program Requirement PTA*H130 Clinical Anatomy and Kinesiology 3
Written Communication1 ENG*102 Literature and Composition OR ENG*H200 Advanced Composition 3
Program Requirement PTA*H155 Pathophysiology in PT I 3
Program Requirement PTA*H145 Physical Agents in Physical Therapy 3
Program Requirement PTA*H150 PT Interventions I 4
THIRD SEMESTER (spring)    
Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications1 Choose Any Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications listed 3
Program Requirement PTA*H251 PT Interventions II 3
Program Requirement PTA*H255 Pathophysiology in PT II 3
Program Requirement PTA*H258 PTA in the Healthcare Arena 2
Program Requirement PTA*H260 Physical Therapy Seminar 2
Program Requirement PTA*H262 PTA Internship II 5
Program Requirement PTA*H265 PTA Internship III 5

Total Credits: 63 (General education credits: 23 credits / PTA credits: 40)

Any given course may only be used to satisfy one of the competency areas even if it is listed under more than one. Oral Communication and Historical Knowledge competency courses are waived.

1 There may be a prerequisite course that must be successfully completed prior to taking the course.

MAT*H137 and courses numbered lower than MAT*H137 will not transfer to Connecticut State Universities as Quantitative Reasoning courses.

◊◊ At least one Scientific Knowledge and Understanding OR Scientific Reasoning course must have a lab component.


Program Mission

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is committed to high standards as it educates students with the knowledge, clinical skills, professional behaviors, and core values essential to evidence-based and culturally competent care.

Program Vision

The program emphasis on technology and communication facilitates learning in the classroom as the program endeavors to educate students who:

  • strive for excellence as physical therapist assistants
  • commit to high ethical standards
  • appreciate and value racial, social, economic, and cultural diversity
  • utilize critical reflection
  • invest in community improvement
  • engage in lifelong learning

Program Outcomes

The design of the PTA curriculum, along with the mission of the PTA program, and the activities undertaken by the faculty and staff of the NVCC PTA Program should achieve the following program outcomes:

  1. Produce safe, competent, caring graduates with the entry-level skills of a physical therapist assistant.
  2. The average two-year passing rate of the graduates who choose to take the Physical Therapist Assistant national licensure examination will be at least 95%.
  3. The average two-year employment rate for the graduates who seek employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant and will attain a position within one-year of graduation will be 100%.
  4. 90% or more of students entering the program will complete the program within 1 1/2 times the length of the program (6 semesters or 3 years) as reported using CAPTE standards.

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