Pearl River Community College

Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Information

Location(s) of Program: Forrest County Center

Brief Description of Program: The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is a two-year program of study that prepares students to work within the practice of physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs are employed in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, home health agencies and other health care settings. Admission to the program is selective and competitive. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, students earn the Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible for state licensing.

Essential Requirements of a person in this career field: The graduate must be able to multi-task, demonstrate high energy for a fast paced work environment, communicate well, and display a superior level of ethics to provide quality health care.

Instructor Contact Information for the Program:

Karinna Lee, Program Director
Tracie Thornton, PTA Instructor

Possible Careers in this Program: Physical Therapist Assistant

What a student can expect from a career in this field: The PTA graduate will work with a variety of patient diagnoses such as orthopedic, neurological, wounds, and trauma to a varied patient population including pediatrics, geriatrics, pre and post-partum patients, athletes, post-operative patients, as well as many others under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Possible earnings of jobs in these career field: 40,000 – 52,000 per year

Mission of Program: In keeping with the mission of the college, the mission of Pearl River Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to improve the quality of life for the community by implementing a quality educational program to produce competent, caring, and ethically responsible entry-level physical therapist assistants. The program includes a distribution of both general education and PTA courses to maximize the intellectual, psychosocial, and professional development of each student. The PTA program believes that each student has the potential for growth and strives to facilitate the process of personal progression to stimulate a lifelong commitment for professional development.

Goals of Program: The PTA Program will:

  • Provide students with quality education in contemporary PT practice taught by qualified faculty, appropriate clinical experiences, and curricula modeled from the Mississippi Curriculum Framework: Postsecondary Physical Therapist Assistant and The Standards and Required Elements for Accreditation of Physical Therapist Assistant Education Programs.
  • Prepare graduates to competently perform entry-level skills, data collection, and selected intervention techniques operating as an effective health care team member within the plan of care and under the direction and supervision of the licensed physical therapist in an ethical, legal, and safe manner.
  • Provide learning experiences that prepare the graduate to secure an entry-level position as a licensed physical therapist assistant who practices within the legal and ethical framework of physical therapy while under the direction of a licensed physical therapist.
  • Ensure that both program quality and curricular content are responsive to the needs of our students and the communities served by the Pearl River Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program with ongoing assessment to determine achievement of program goals, learning outcomes, NPTE success rate, job placement and graduate and employer satisfaction.
  • Ensure that faculty models professional characteristics through professional growth, service to the physical therapy profession and continued education.
  • Act as a source of information to past graduates and the community for information on the practice of Physical Therapy.
  • Ensure compliance with The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), state and federal guidelines for physical therapist assistant education.