May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Chesapeake College Catalog 
2023-2024 Chesapeake College Catalog

Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S. Degree (141)

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This program of study meets all the Maryland State General Education Requirements.

Award: Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Mission: The mission and philosophy of the Chesapeake Area Consortium for Higher Education (CACHE) PTA Program is to educate students to become competent and caring physical therapist assistants. The program values and promotes excellence in education that includes evidence based knowledge and clinical skills essential to the physical therapist assistant. CACHE strives to produce practitioners who hold high ethical standards, demonstrate critical thinking, and communicate effectively with a diverse population. The unique three college consortium makes optimal use of academic and clinical resources that allow greater outreach to students and physical therapy clinicians across the Chesapeake Bay region in Maryland.

Program Description: The Physical Therapist Assistant Degree program prepares students to provide physical therapy services according to the plan of care developed by the physical therapist. The physical therapist assistant administers direct patient care; teaches patient’s families, and other healthcare providers how to perform selected procedures; and provides desired psychosocial support to patients and their families. Physical therapist assistants are employed primarily in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practice, extended care facilities and home healthcare settings. Physical therapist assistants work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

Students in the CACHE Physical Therapist Assistant program complete their general education requirements at Chesapeake College, their professional training at Anne Arundel Community College, and their clinical internships in their local service area when possible. Distance learning technology is used as appropriate. This is a five-semester, two-year program with courses that build on the knowledge from previous courses. After the first semester, the program is a full-time experience with a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Students should anticipate study and attendance needs and adjust work schedules accordingly.

Students have to be selected for admission into the program and must meet specific academic standards prior to admission. A grade of “C” or better in physical therapist assistant courses and general education course work is required to progress in the program. Students should consult with the College’s Admissions Office or the Program Director in planning an appropriate program. NOTE: CPR Certification - Students must complete the American Heart Association Basic Life Support course for healthcare providers (Modules 1-4). Certification must remain valid through graduation.

Program Goals:

  • To graduate students who meet the program objectives
  • To strive for excellence in PTA education in the academic setting by utilizing state-of-the-art instructional tools and pedagogy
  • To strive for excellence in PTA education in the clinical setting by promoting clinical faculty development
  • To serve as a liaison to the clinical community to promote excellence in physical therapy
  • To model professional and ethical behaviors to students in both the clinical and academic settings
  • To clarify and promote the role of the physical therapist assistant, consistent with the standards of practice and applicable laws of the profession

Student Learning Outcomes: By the end of the curriculum sequence the student will have completed didactic, laboratory and clinical practice courses to enable them to:

  • Assist a physical therapist in the delivery of selected interventions in an ethical, legal, safe and effective manner under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, consistent with the standards of practice of the profession.
  • Use critical thinking and problem solving skills to perform data collection, conduct tests and measures, and implement selected outcome-oriented interventions, within the plan of care developed by the physical therapist.
  • Teach patients, families and other health care providers selected treatment interventions and participate in discharge planning under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Provide psychosocial support to patients and families.
  • Utilize effective communication skills when interacting with patients, families and other interprofessional team members.
  • Be prepared to take the National Licensure Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants.

Admissions Requirements: Students enter the program in the fall semester and admission to the program is required prior to registering for any PTA course. Applications must be submitted by March 30 of each year. Students must meet the following requirements prior to admission to the program:

  1. High school graduation or equivalency (official transcripts required).
  2. Apply for admission to Chesapeake College.
  3. Completion of the College’s Academic Skills Assessment (ASA) administered through the Office of Student Success and Enrollment Services. College placement test scores at ENG 101+  and MAT 113+  levels, or completion of any remedial course work or prerequisite courses to achieve these levels.
  4. CHM 012+ - Introduction to Chemistry , must be taken if chemistry was not completed in high school with a grade of “C” or better.
  5. A college grade point average of 2.0.
  6. Submission of a Health Examination Record which is supplied by the program and completed by a physician, validating that a student is in good health and able to perform the Technical Standards Requirements. (To be completed only after admission to the program.)
  7. Documentation of current immunizations and health insurance. (To be completed only after admission to the program.)
  8. Students who are offered admission into the program will be required to submit to a complete criminal background check.

Admission Procedures:

  1. Program application and admission requirements are available online by November 15 for the upcoming fall semester:
  2. Apply for admission to Chesapeake College.
  3. Complete a program application form. Applications must be submitted no later than March 30.
  4. Residents of Chesapeake College’s five support counties will be given first priority for selection.
  5. All applicants must attend the mandatory PTA Pre-selection Meeting in April. 

Selection Criteria

Students will be admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant course sequence each fall as the number of students permit. Applications recevied by the deadline will be assured consideration based on space availability. Applications received after the deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. Applications will be available in November on the College website. To be considered for conditional acceptance, appilcants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must satisfactorily complete all academic and admission requirements.
  2. Final selection for the Physical Therapist Assistant course sequence will be based on the criteria described in the PTA department admission requirements available at the program information session.
  3. Final acceptance into the program shall be contingent on satisfactory completion of a criminal background check, health examination record and submission of current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR certification card. Information and deadline for completion will be sent in applicant’s conditional acceptance packet. These are not to be completed prior to acceptance notification.

Technical Standards

Students who are conditionally accepted to this program of study will be required to submit a health examiniation record completed by a physician, nurse practitioiner or physician assistant validading that the student meets the technical standard of good physical and mental health as established by the School of Health Sciences, and verifying that the student is free of communicable diseases as evidenced by required immunizations/titers. 

Program Accreditation:

The CACHE Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: ,website: . If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 410-777-7036 or email .

For More Information, Contact:

Dr. Carol Wilson-Robbins

Program Requirements:


MAT 113, ENG 101, PSC 150 Co-requisites for PTA 101 (Fall semester of First Year)
BIO 211 Pre-requisite for PTA 106
PSC 250 Co-requisite for PTA 104/105. Must be completed before entering PTA 201

Total Required Credits: 70

ART/HUM Elective, BIO 211, 212; ENG 101; MAT 113, PSC 150, 250.

PTA 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207.


Field work, clinical placements, and certification/licensure may involve drug testing and/or background checks performed at the student’s expense.


+ See course description for details.

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