Associate of Science - Physical Therapist Assistant

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FranU’s Associate of Science - Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree program is designed to prepare individuals to effectively assist in treatment and assessment of physical therapy patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Graduates of the program can pursue PTA licensure through the FSBPT national physical therapy examination.

The mission of the physical therapist assistant program is to educate and form Franciscan servant leaders who are highly skilled and compassionate physical therapist assistants. Graduates of the PTA program will be prepared to think critically and deliver holistic patient-centered care.

FranU PTA courses include those in anatomy, physiology, psychology, kinesiology, neurophysiology and more. Students will learn both inside the classroom and hands-on in lab environments.

School
School of Health Professions
Career
Physical Therapist Assistant
Program Contacts

Career

Graduates of the PTA program at FranU become licensed physical therapist assistants (PTAs) that work in a variety of healthcare settings. Learn more about PTA careers.

Program Highlights

  • Complete in as few as five semesters - Earn your associate’s degree in physical therapy in just five semesters, the minimum length of the program. You may also choose to proceed at a slower pace, making the FranU PTA program all the more flexible to your needs and goals.

  • Transfer friendly - FranU Office of Admissions will review your college transcript(s) to determine which of the courses you have previously taken will transfer to FranU. When selecting courses at other universities, consider ones that match the course descriptions of the courses required for the FranU PTA program.

  • Skilled faculty - Our PTA faculty members are highly skilled professionals with extensive subject-area expertise and a passion for helping students reach their goals. Our faculty train students to become successful in both their education and career. Meet our PTA faculty.

  • High graduation rate - The physical therapist assistant degree program produces graduates who are highly skilled and competent PTAs comfortable leading in the workplace. With a graduation rate of 95.45% (2 year average 2021-2023), we’re proud to help students launch their career in physical therapy.

  • 93.4% pass rate on licensing exams - 100% ultimate pass rate on licensing exams: FranU PTA graduates had an average first time pass rate of 80.95% , from 2021-2023. During this same period, our PTA graduates had a ultimate pass rate of 100%, more than the ultimate national average of 95.32% .

  • Become a licensed PT assistant - Our physical therapist assistant degree program yields tangible results with an employment rate of 100% from 2021-2023. In our program, you’ll be equipped with the skills and tools necessary to succeed as a PTA.


Physical Therapist Assistant Program Features

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission to the PTA program, all applicants must complete the entire PTA application process by February 1 and meet the minimum admissions criteria listed below:

  • Meet all University minimum admission criteria at the time of application

  • Minimum grade of C in all prerequisite coursework in the degree plan

  • Minimum GPA of:
    • 2.0 in all college level courses pursued

    • Recommended 2.75 in Arts and Science prerequisite courses listed in the PTA Curriculum Plan (applicants who fail to meet minimum GPA requirements may be enrolled in the PTA program after consideration by the program director but may be required to take additional coursework).

  • Completion of, or enrollment in, the following prerequisite coursework or an approved equivalent at the time of application:
    • WRIT 1310 and 1311

    • ACSM 1100

    • MATH 1315

    • THEO 1310

    • BIOL 1110

    • BIOL 2310

    • BIOL 2310L

    • BIOL 2311

    • PTAP 2310

    • PTAP 2310L

    • Philosophy Elective

    • Natural Science Elective

  • Priority is given to:
    • Applicants who complete all prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in the PTA program.

    • Applicants who have completed Arts and Science prerequisite courses at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

Guaranteed Admissions

There are two ways in which a student can qualify for guaranteed admission into the physical therapist assistant program:

  • A student who enters the University as a freshman is guaranteed admission to the PTA program when:
    • All prerequisite courses toward the PTA degree are taken at FranU with at least a grade point average of 3.0 on all prerequisite coursework.

    • All other minimum admission requirements are met.

  • A transfer student is guaranteed admission to the desired program when:
    • Required prerequisite coursework in the physical therapist assistant program (including courses that are in progress at the time of application to the University) are transferred in with at least a grade point average of 3.2 in these courses.

    • A grade point average of at least 3.0 is maintained while completing remaining prerequisite courses at the University.

    • All other minimum admission requirements are met.

*Selection is competitive and is limited due to clinical resources available. Qualification does not assure selection.

Upon entry into the clinical portion of the desired program, ALL students must have successfully completed all program specific admissions requirements.

Non-Academic Factors

  • Completion of 100 (recommended) volunteer or work experience hours in a physical therapy clinic or department under the direct supervision of a licensed PT or PTA practitioner. (It is recommended that the 100 hours of volunteer/work experience includes hours in both an inpatient and outpatient setting.)
    • Volunteer or work experience in a physical therapy department provides the opportunity to explore the practice of physical therapy, identify the roles of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants within the clinic and observe the treatment settings and patient characteristics in which physical therapy is practiced.

    • Hours contributing to the total applicant’s work or volunteer experience must be verified at each physical therapy facility by a supervising PT or PTA. Hours should be verified via the “clinical” recommendation letter form that is included as part of the online application. Unverified hours will not be counted toward the applicant's work or volunteer experience total.

    • Only volunteer or work hours obtained prior to turning in the application packet will be used in the admissions process.

    • Completed application form, with official transcripts of college grades from all colleges/universities attended.

  • Additional documentation of evidence that attest to the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the PTA program, which includes but is not limited to:
    • Life experiences

    • Extraordinary educational accomplishments (honors courses, academic clubs, additional degrees or certifications, academic scholarships, etc.)

    • Personal attributes/characteristics

    • Proven leadership experiences

    • Effective communication skills

    • Effective time management and organizational skills

    • Ability to overcome academic challenges

    • Community service activities

    • Motivation and initiative

    • Application of critical thinking and problem-solving skills

    • Cross-cultural experiences, etc.

  • Life experiences that may have prohibited academic success but contributed to overall personal development. The following are provided as examples only: family crisis, financial hardships, educational hardships, personal conflict, etc.

Admission Priority

Admission priority is given to applicants who demonstrate:

  • Higher cumulative and program prerequisites GPA scores (a sliding scale)

  • Higher numbers of volunteer or work hours completed (100 hours = full credits)

  • At least two physical therapy settings in which they have worked or volunteered (two or more = full credit)

  • Higher clinical supervisor ratings on clinical recommendation form(s)

  • Successful completion of all Arts and Science prerequisites courses at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

  • Guaranteed admission policy for transfer students

Note: Applicants with a positive criminal background or record may or may not be accepted to the PTA program, based on the individual nature of the offense. All applicants with a criminal background should plan to meet with the admissions committee to discuss their individual case and also acknowledge that accepting a place within the PTA program comes with some inherent risk of the Louisiana PT Board not granting an applicant with a positive criminal background licensure to practice within the state of Louisiana.

Application and Admissions Cycle

The application cycle to the FranU PTA program begins in October and concludes February 1 of the following year. During this time, the student interested in the physical therapist assistant program should consult with the Office of Advising to begin the process of being admitted to the University and subsequently applying to the PTA program.

The Office of Advising can assist you as you submit all of the documents needed for admission to the University. The Office of Admissions will review your transcripts and other documents. Once you are admitted into the University, you would next meet again with the Office of Advising to set your spring semester schedule and begin the process of applying to the PTA program. Each year, the program admits students to begin in the summer semester.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Funding your education can be challenging and overwhelming. At FranU, we work to serve students with the highest level of respect, care and professionalism as they navigate the process of finding financial aid options that work for them. Visit the Office of Financial Aid page to learn more.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program FAQ

How do I apply to the PTA program?

Each year, the PTA program admits students to begin in the summer semester of each year. The application cycle to the PTA program begins in October and concludes February 1 of the following year. During this time, the student interested in the PTA program should consult with the office of advising to begin the process of being admitted to the University and subsequently applying to the PTA program. The office of advising can assist you as you submit all of the documents needed for admission to the University. The office of admissions will review your transcripts and other documents. Once you are admitted into the University, you would next meet again with the office of advising to set your spring semester schedule and begin the process of applying to the PTA program.

When is the deadline to apply to the PTA program?

With only a few exceptions, physical therapist assistants can work in any setting that delivers physical therapy services to patients/clients. Moreover, the BLS reports that the job outlook for careers as physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 24% over the next decade, much faster than the national average of 5%.

Of the courses that I have previously taken, which ones will transfer to FranU?

The Office of Admissions will review your college transcript(s) to determine which of the courses you have previously taken will transfer into FranU. When selecting courses at other universities, the student should consider courses that match the course descriptions of the courses required for the FranU PTA program.

Does FranU accept online courses from other universities?

The Office of Admissions will consider any online course for transfer credit at FranU. However, the course must match the course description of a similar course offered at FranU. The online course should be offered at the same level as the course at FranU and have appropriate rigor. Lastly, the student must achieve a passing grade in the course (C or better) using the same grading scale used in the similar course offered at FranU.

How can I find out more information about the PTA program?

For more information about the PTA program, email: pta@franu.edu.

How long is the PTA program?

The minimum length of the PTA program is 5 semesters, though many students choose to proceed at a slower pace.

What is the average starting salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for PTAs is $49,180.

Where can I work?

With only a few exceptions, the PTA can work in any setting that delivers physical therapy services to patients/clients.

Do I need to turn in my log sheet indicating my total volunteer or work experience as part of my application?

No. The PTA admissions team does NOT need a copy of your log sheet to be submitted as part of your application packet. An example template of a log sheet is provided to you on this page as a courtesy under the Resources section.

A component of your online application (Clinical Reference Form) will ask your supervising PT or PTA to indicate the total number of volunteer and work hours you completed in their clinic. The log sheet simply helps you and your clinical supervisor PT or PTA keep track of the total number of hours that you have either worked or volunteered while in their clinic.

Accreditation

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Accreditation - CAPTE Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085. Reach CAPTE by email, telephone (703-706-3245), or via the CAPTE website. If you need to contact the FranU program/institution directly, please call Marty Aime at (225) 214-6965 or send us an email.

Regional Accreditation

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. Questions about accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500 or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

The student learning outcomes of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program define the expected performance level of all Program graduates, and are derived from the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Mission and Institutional Goals and the PTA Program Philosophy and Goals. The learning outcomes identify the skills and competencies of the entry level physical therapist assistant as reflected by the current practice of Physical Therapy.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Practice within safe, ethical and legal boundaries in compliance with national, state and local standards of practice and within the scope of practice of the physical therapist assistant, as defined by the Louisiana State Practice Act, the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant and the Code of Ethics of the American Physical Therapy Association.
  2. Implement a comprehensive treatment plan within the plan of care developed by a PT, utilizing data collection skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science and humanities, grounded in evidence based theory and practice.
  3. Pursue personal and professional development based on inquiry, self-assessment and utilization of valid and credible resources.
  4. Communicate appropriately and interact effectively with a variety of audiences, with sensitivity and awareness of individual differences.
  5. Approach patient care from a holistic perspective, incorporating aspects of spiritual, physical and emotional well-being.

1996, Revised 2002, Revised 2007 Revised 2009, SASHP Assessment Committee, Curriculum Committee

Resources

Document TitleTypeFile Size
Document Title: Core Performance Standards for PTA 2019Type: pdfFile Size: 388.36 KBDownload
Document Title: Work Or Volunteer Experience Log SheetType: xlsxFile Size: 11.296 KBDownload
Document Title: Physical Therapists Assistant Program Financial Fact SheetType: docxFile Size: 20.829 KBDownload

Accreditation

Regional Accreditation

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

CAPTE Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.&nb... needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 225-526-1965 or email pta@franu.edu