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Detailed Student Information

Program Content

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Orange County Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org .

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is a two-year curriculum leading to an A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. There are a total of 66 credits in the program, 41 PTA credits and 25 non-core course credits (see College Catalog or Course Sequence).

The PTA course of study includes: biological, physical and social sciences; humanities; physical therapy technical courses; laboratory instruction on/off campus; supervised clinical experience and instruction in health care facilities located within New York State (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland & Dutchess Counties; New York City), Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Acceptance/Matriculation/Graduation Rates

The following chart provides admission data for the past five years:

Entering Year Planned Class Size # of Students who Applied # of Students who Met Criteria # of Students who Were Offered Seats # of Students who began PTA Classes
2021 24 40 28 28 23
2020 24 64 37 36 24
2019 24 32 28 28 24
2018 24 64 37 24 24
2017 24 55 32 24 25

The Physical Therapist Assistant Department is committed to assisting students who are enrolled in the program to reach their academic goals. Essentially this means successful completion of the program resulting in an A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assisting. Given the rigorous nature of the program, combined with the heavy work and family commitments of many students, retention and graduation rates of the Physical Therapist Assistant program are somewhat lower than that of other programs. The following chart provides graduation data for the last five classes:

Class of # of Students Entering the Program # of Students Withdrawing in 1st Semester # of Students Withdrawing 2nd-4th Semester # of Students Graduating in 2 Years # of Students Graduating in 3 Years
2021 24 8 0 16 1
2020 24 7 1 16 0
2019 26 3 5 14 2
2018 28 4 8 13 3

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs:

Graduation Year
Number of Exams
Number of Passing Candidates
Percentage Passing Rate for the Graduation Year
2020 First Time 16 13



Ultimate 16 15
2021 First Time 15 14



Ultimate 15 15
2 Year Average First Time 31 27



Ultimate 31 30


Course Syllabi

It is the policy of the PTA Program at the beginning of a course to provide each student with a detailed course syllabus which includes a course description, behavioral objectives, assigned and suggested readings, and calendar (assignments, lectures, examination schedules). It also contains information concerning grading policies, absences and outlines of each individual lecture and lab session, instructor's name, office extension and location, instructor withdrawal policy, etc. Students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with this document.

Use of Instructional Technology

The PTA program is committed to graduating students who have the skills to enhance their knowledge using the Internet.  Furthermore, the PTA program seeks to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles by using several methods of instructional technology.  All PTA core courses will utilize the Internet to enhance classroom instruction and as a means of research and discovery enhancing their knowledge.  The course instructor will provide an orientation to the System during the first week of classes. All PTA core courses are assigned course shells in the college's learning management system.  Students may access the web-enhanced component of the course from their homes or while on campus.  Quizzes, tests, and weekly assignments may take place online.


Academic classes take place on the Middletown campus. All classes are scheduled in the day time, usually between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Non-core classes may also be taken at night. PTA classes are only offered in one time period, so there is no choice of time slots. Due to the nature of the program, students are required to attend classes and/or clinic five days per week. Clinical Education hours vary depending on the hours of the assigned clinical affiliation.

Clinical Observations

Physical Therapy practitioner observation (48 hour minimum with documentation and essay) is part of the Admissions process.

Clinical Policies and Procedures

Starting with the third semester, students will be assigned to a total of three clinical education sites throughout the final year of the program (Fall: Clinical Education I, Spring: Clinical Education II, Summer Session I, II, or III: Clinical Education III).  The PTA faculty meets to discuss each student’s clinical needs; however, final site assignments are the decision of the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE).  The ACCE makes their decision in keeping with the philosophy of the program that we wish to expose our students to as great a variety of clinical experiences as possible.  Students are asked to complete a "Clinical Affiliation Preference List" during the first semester in which they can indicate their first and second choices for a specialty such as pediatrics, sports, etc.  An attempt will be made to place the student in at least one of their choices.  Students may request a specific clinical site with the understanding that it may not be possible for the Program to fulfill a specific request.  Trading of clinical sites will not be considered.  Announced placements are considered tentative and subject to change.  Hours may vary depending on the clinical site, i.e. 9-5, 7-3, 12-8, etc.  Another variation would be a 10 hour day with a 2 hour lunch break.  If a clinic is operative less than 7 hours/day, it will be the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education ’s decision as to whether student will need to supplement the shorter clinic hours by attending extra clinic days. It is the student's responsibility to inform ACCE if assigned clinic hours are less than 8 hours/day. Since many of our clinical education sites are located in facilities that require some traveling, it is important that students understand that making arrangements for transportation to reach the clinical site is completely the student's responsibility.  Students are financially responsible for cost of gas, tolls, parking fees, etc.  Students must adjust their work and family commitments to meet their clinic schedules.  Students may travel up to seventy-five (75) minutes each way, depending on their site assignment.

Students who are assigned to a pediatric clinical affiliation will be required to attend clinic several days prior to the official beginning date of the semester due to potential snow closings/holidays or to use Fridays as make-up days only if agreeable with clinic and if school schedule allows.

Students are required to sign an Acknowledgment Form which documents that the student has read and understands the policies described in the Clinical Education Course Outline and the Clinical Education Manual.

If a student is removed from clinic due to performance which indicates: failure to comply with facility policies and procedures, a lack of clinical safety, poor judgment, or unprofessional behavior, the student will receive a grade of “F.”  If this behavior occurs in another clinical education course, the student will be removed from clinic, receive a grade of “F,” and be permanently separated from the program.

Students will be allowed to participate in May graduation ceremonies provided that they have successfully completed all course and clinical requirements with the exception of course #PTA220, Clinical Education III.  Students will be required to register and pay for Clinical Education III which includes all fees as required by the college.  Payment needs to be received by the Student Accounts prior to attending the clinical education courses in order to assure activation of liability insurance.

Dress Code for Clinic

Students must dress in a neat, professional and appropriate manner when participating in
Clinical Education Courses and Clinical Observations.

  • Students must conform to the Physical Therapist Assistant Department’s clinical uniform attire: uniform polo shirt with school insignia, navy/black/khaki pants (dress or dockerstyle). The above uniform will not expose the shoulders or stomach.
  • Students may wear a white lab coat with appropriate identification over their program uniform (if required by the facility).
  • Sneakers and shoes must be white, black or tan, clean, neat, low in heel height, and
    closed in.
  • Students must wear their Orange County Community College PTA student name tag at all times.
  • Students must wear an ID badge if provided by the facility.
  • Students are expected to practice good personal hygiene habits at all times.
  • Students must wear an analog wrist watch at all times while in clinic.
  • Jewelry, if worn, must be modest in appearance; a maximum of two earrings in each earlobe is acceptable. Others are not allowed due to infection control policies. Bracelets, rings and necklaces must be simple and not interfere with treatment or professional appearance.
  • Any other body piercing (tongue, umbilicus, etc.) must be removed or secured and
    covered when at all possible.
  • Tattoos must be covered when at all possible.
  • All hair must be neat in appearance. Long hair must be worn up or tied back off the face. Hats and other hair coverings will only be allowed for religious observation.
  • Certain clinics may require male students maintain neatly clipped facial hair or be clean-shaven.
  • Excessive/extreme makeup, nail polish, perfume, aftershave is not allowed.
  • Nails must be short in order to perform techniques such as massage and joint
    mobilization. False nails must be removed.
  • Gum chewing is not allowed.

Please remember that you are representing the medical profession and Orange County
Community College when you are in clinic. Your conduct and appearance is expected to
demonstrate that at all times. Failure to adhere to the clinic dress code will result in a written warning from the ACCE and the Clinical Instructor. If this warning is not heeded, removal from clinic will result, with a grade of “F” given.

Dress Code for Lab

Specific clothing is required for the laboratory sections of the following PTA courses: PTA101, PTA102, PTA201, PTA202, PTA203, PTA207. Privacy and modesty are of the utmost importance, however, one must be able to practice observation skills, data collection and direct treatments in the lab setting. Shorts and t-shirts are acceptable for men. Shorts and a halter top/sports bra are acceptable for women. This manner of dress is also required for all laboratory practical exams. Students must be changed before the start of the laboratory session, otherwise they will be marked "tardy" for the class. Securable lockers and changing space are available on the same floor of the PTA lab. Students who do not dress appropriately for lab will be required to wear a hospital gown during lab, as needed. For lab sessions which do not require exposure of large portions of body surface, students should wear loose fitting clothing.

Patient Simulation by Students

All students are required to participate in demonstrations, lab experiences, skills' checks, and laboratory practicals, as part of the preparation for clinical education courses. Students will experience data collection and treatment interventions similar to that which they will render to patients in the clinic. Course instructors will take care to ensure that a safe practice environment is maintained during laboratory classes, open lab sessions and laboratory practicals. It is solely the students' responsibility to notify the course instructor and department chairperson of medical conditions which may prevent safe participation in a demonstration, lab experience, skills' check, and/or laboratory practical. This should be done during the first week of classes, or as soon as a condition becomes apparent, whichever comes first. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Students may be videotaped, audio taped or photographed for instructional purposes.

Infection Control

Students will receive lecture, video, and laboratory instruction in infection control and pathogen exposure procedures in the course entitled, "Physical Therapist Assisting I." Students must adhere to infection control procedures during all lecture, laboratory, open lab, and clinical education courses. Failure to do so will result in a written warning from the department chair for the first offense. Failure to comply in a second instance will result in removal from the course with a grade of "F."


Patient Privacy

Students will receive instruction in patient confidentiality, privacy, and HIPAA regulations in the course entitled, "Introduction to Physical Therapy." Students will sign a confidentiality statement prior to beginning the PTA core curriculum.

Student responsibility regarding academic privacy

Students must maintain confidentiality of all patients, students, and faculty members with whom they come in contact. Failure to do so will result in a written warning from the department chair for the first offense. Failure to comply in a second instance will result in removal from the course with a grade of "F."

Faculty responsibility regarding academic Privacy

The PTA program faculty are committed to maintaining student privacy and confidentiality. All information related to student performance, advising, and counseling is kept confidential within the department. Student records are kept in a secure location in faculty offices. No one, including the student's parent(s) has access to the student records except faculty of the PTA program, without express written permission of the student.


It is required that each student has a complete physical examination, as well as a 10 panel urine drug screen, prior to beginning the core classes. Following the initial physical and drug test, the students will be required to have annual physicals until the core program is completed. This should be done in the month of July (not earlier) and the completed forms must be submitted to the Wellness Center by assigned date.  Each student should obtain a copy of their "Clinical Clearance Attestation Form" from the Wellness Center following submission of physical exam form so that this information can be submitted to each of their three clinical affiliations. The Clinical Clearance Attestation Form will be emailed to students who submit their physical exam forms with ALL required information by the due date. Students with incomplete or late physicals will need to email their forms and will receive their clearance form via email from the Wellness Center after submitting required information and/or late physical exam form. Failure to comply with the above will prevent a student from being allowed to participate in classes or in their clinical affiliation. (Refer to Drug testing Policy) Physicals are good for one year. Students who fulfill their Clinical Education III requirements during second Summer Session will be required to have a third physical and Mantoux prior to beginning Clinical Education III.

Surgery/Medical Conditions

In the event that a student has surgery, a hospitalization or emergency room visit, a significant change in medical status, or becomes pregnant, the student must notify the department chair immediately. The department chair requires that the student have permission from his/her medical physician to participate in class, laboratory, or clinical experiences; specifically, the medical clearance must indicate that the student is able to lift 50 lbs. off the floor, carry 25 lbs. and perform a dependent transfer to a person weighing 150 lbs. Please note that certain medical conditions may require the postponement or rescheduling of class, laboratory or clinical experiences and can result in a later completion of the program/graduation.

In the case where a student becomes ill, is unable to participate in, or is absent from class, lab and/or Clinical Education greater than one week or the equivalent thereof, they will be required to produce a physician s note stating their ability to return to same. This note must be delivered to the Department Chair or their designee prior to the students return to the program. In addition, any time missed from Clinical Education must be made up on the student s own time.

If an injury occurs in the clinical education setting, student may be required by the facility to seek medical attention for that injury; the financial responsibility will still belong to the student (whether by personal health insurance or by personal payment).


All students must maintain professional level CPR Certification (American Red Cross: CPR for the Professional Rescuer or American Heart Association BLS for Health Care Provider) in order to participate in clinical education. This can be taken in a credit or non-credit fashion. Failure to do this will result in the immediate removal from clinic with a resulting grade of "F."

Student Advisement

Each student will be assigned a department faculty member as an advisor. If for some reason you have been assigned to a non-PTA faculty advisor, please bring this to our attention and we will correct the error with the Admissions Office. Once students are enrolled in our curriculum, advising is provided by all faculty members due to the smaller class sizes and nature of the program.

The role of the advisor is many-fold. The effectiveness of this interaction is dependent on the student as well as the advisor. Among other things, your advisor:

  • Counsels you on course selection
  • Makes referrals for you to appropriate student services such as the tutorial program, counseling centers, etc.
  • Works with you to develop a program that you can handle, i.e., deciding on an appropriate number of credits, taking into consideration your other responsibilities like job, family, etc.

Office hours for every instructor are located in each syllabus, posted on the office door, and found in Banner. When your schedule conflicts with your advisor's office hours, every effort will be made to arrange a more suitable time for an appointment.

Career Opportunities

Physical Therapist Assistants enjoy the ability to work in a variety of practice settings including: hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and out-patient settings. In addition, Physical Therapist Assistants may teach in Physical Therapist Assistant programs. They may serve as director of a Physical Therapist Assistant Program, provided that they have a Master's degree.

Depending on the employment site, Physical Therapist Assistants may have the availability of full-time, part-time, and per diem work. Work hours may vary from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., as well as weekends.

Physical Therapist Assistants may choose to further their education in a variety of fields. Many of our graduates have gone on to degrees in: Physical Therapy, Biology, Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Education, Physician Assistant, etc.

Transfer Options

Orange County Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program prepares the student to enter the workforce as an entry-level Physical Therapist Assistant.  Should a student desire to transfer into a program which supports the Bachelors degree required to progress on to the Masters or Doctoral Level, individual counseling is available.

Student Conduct

Orange County Community College Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff have a primary concern with academic achievement, standards, and personal integrity of its students. We recognize our obligation to protect College property and we take a special interest in the mental and physical health and safety of our community. We are committed to preserving the peace, uplifting campus morale and creating a civil climate on our campuses. The College has adopted the following policies and procedures as an expression of its expectations of student conduct.

Refer to the complete "Code of Student Conduct" in the Orange County Community College's Student Handbook. The following information is from Article II, Section B- Conduct-Rules and Regulations:

Any student or organization found to have attempted to commit any of the following acts of misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV.

  • Acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to:
    1. Cheating, including cheating online
    2. Fabrication
    3. Facilitating academic dishonesty
    4. Plagiarism, including Internet Plagiarism
    5. forgery
    6. Bribery
    7. Multiple submission (submitting the same assignment to more than one instructor without the permission of the instructors). Please refer to the College Academic Policy for other means of resolution for academic dishonesty issues.
  • Violation of any provisions of the professional and/or ethical codes of programs in the fields of Allied Health, Nursing, Kindercollege or any other applicable programs.
  • Interference with the College approved operation of any College student organization.
  • Disorderly conduct, including but not limited to: disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other College activities, and other campus activities.
  • Conduct which alarms, threatens or in some manner disrupts the learning process of another student and/or the ability of faculty to teach.
  • Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, stalking, coercion and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, well-being or safety of any person.
  • Sexual misconduct. (See Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policies.)
  • Harassment which serves to degrade the status of another person. Most often, harassment focuses on a personal attribute, singling it out for ridicule, attack or disparagement. Attributes include, but are not limited to: race or ethnic origin, gender, physical or mental disability, age, religion, economic class, and sexual orientation. Harassment may include physical contact, written or verbal comments or suggestions, obscene or offensive pictures or "jokes," hostile or threatening gestures or other forms of degradation. This includes acts of harassment carried out by one or more students on behalf of and/or at the request of another student.
  • Theft of and/or damage to property of the College, property of a member of the College community, or other personal or public property.
  • Hazing, which is an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or involves the force consumption of liquor or drugs, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Consent of the participants is not a defense against a complaint of hazing.
  • Failure to comply with directions of a College employee or emergency or service personnel acting in performance of their official duties.
  • Failure to identify oneself to a College employee or emergency or service personnel acting in performance of their official duties when requested to do so.
  • Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys, combinations, or access cards to any College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of College Catalog.
  • Violation of published College policies, rules or regulations found in, but not limited to, the College Student Handbook, Parking and Traffic Regulations, Individual Department Handbooks, Academic Policy, and the College Catalog.
  • Use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, narcotics or other controlled substances, and drug-related paraphernalia, except as permitted by federal, stand and/or local law.
  • Public intoxication or the use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by federal, state and/or local law and College Regulations. (see the College Alcohol Policy)
  • Possession of firearms, explosives, or other weapons, or unauthorized use of dangerous chemicals or substances on College premises.
  • Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the College and infringes on the rights of other members of the College Community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.
  • International obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on College premises or at College sponsored or supervised functions.
  • Conduct, which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the College.
  • Theft or other abuse of computer resources, including but not limited to:
    1. Commercial use of computing resources
    2. Data interception
    3. Forgery
    4. Willfully engaging in practices that place undue burdens on college resources (i.e. spamming)
    5. Engaging in or dissemination illegal, obscene, threatening embarrassing or unwelcome electronic communication
    6. Copying, modifying or destroying college network or Internet-based files and
    7. Accessing or attempting to access the college network or Internet resources for which the user is not authorized or granted explicit permission
  • Abuse of the judicial system, including but not limited to:
    1. Failure to comply with the directive to appear before a hearing panel or disciplinary conference administrator after having received appropriate notification of such a directive;
    2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a hearing panel or disciplinary conference administrator. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding.
    3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding.
    4. Knowingly instituting a judicial proceeding without cause.
    5. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system.
    6. Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system.
    7. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a hearing panel or of a disciplinary conference administrator prior to and/or during the course of a judicial proceeding.
    8. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of any person involved in a judicial proceeding.
    9. Failure to comply with a sanction imposed under the Student Rights and Responsibilities.
    10. Failure to comply with an agreed upon informal resolution.
  • Engaging in gambling activities defined as illegal by federal, state or local law and/or by College regulations.
  • Behavior prohibited by federal,state and/or local laws.

Student groups and organizations may be charged with violations of this code.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

In compliance with "THE DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES AMENDMENTS OF 1989" as mandated by section 22 of Public Law 101-226, and the DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE ACT of 1988, Orange County Community College will make the following information available to all its students and employees annually:

Standards of Conducts

Employees: As an employee of Orange County Community College, a Unit of the State University of New York, one should be aware of the following policy which must be adhered to as a condition of employment:

  • The unlawful use, possession, manufacture, dispensation, or distribution of controlled substances at all Orange County Community College work locations is prohibited.
  • Advance written approval and authorization is required from the President of the College for the consumption of alcohol at faculty functions.
  • Employees who unlawfully manufacture, distribute, possess, or use a controlled substance will be subject to disciplinary procedures consistent with applicable and collective sanctions outlined in section II, Disciplinary Sanctions.
  • Employees must notify the Personnel Office of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace, or at a work site, no later than five (5) working days after such a conviction.

Students: In accordance with the Orange County Community College Student Code of Conduct:

  • The unlawful purchase, manufacture, possession, use, distribution, or consumption of alcohol and other drugs on all Orange County Community College campus sites or college-sponsored events is prohibited.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be bought, manufactured, possessed, used, distributed, or consumed on campus or elsewhere as part of college activities unless written approval is received in advance by the President of the College.
  • As of December 1, 1985, the legal minimum age to purchase alcoholic beverages in New York State was changed to 21. Under the law, no person can sell, deliver, or give away any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21.
  • The forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization is prohibited.

Visitors: of all Orange County Community College campus sites are expected to adhere to the Standards of conduct regarding alcohol and other drugs required of Orange County Community College employees and students.

Drug Testing Policy

All accepted students are required to comply with a 10 panel urine drug screen in order to enter into the PTA Program.  The student is responsible for the costs associated with this test and will receive the required information with his/her first year physical forms.  Any student who refuses to participate in this test or who does not complete the test by the announced deadline will not be allowed to begin classes in the PTA Program.  Additionally, students who receive a positive drug test will not be allowed to begin the PTA Program.  Attempted re-admission to the PTA program will be possible only when the course is offered again and only if the student then successfully passes the urine drug test.  Students will be able to continue attending general education courses while waiting for their next attempt at admission.  Failure to successfully pass a drug test for a second time will result in permanent removal from the PTA Program.

In all instances, the PTA program is to be completed within three years of beginning the core PTA courses.

Criminal Background Check

All students admitted into the health profession programs are required to have a background check prior to starting their chosen program. These background checks are ordered and performed via www.certifiedbackground.com. Also, several of our clinical sites require independent criminal background checks of the student assigned to that clinical site.  The student may incur the cost of the criminal background check which could include finger printing and follow through of paperwork by the student. The clinical site reserves the right to dismiss a student based on the result of the student's criminal background check. Attempts will be made but not guaranteed to place the student at another clinical site. As a result, the student runs the risk of waiting a full academic year when that specific Clinical Education course is offered again. Auditing core courses and lab practical testing will be assigned per the Department Chairperson's discretion during the waiting period.

Criminal Record

Any individual who has charges pending or has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and/or has been found guilty of professional misconduct or negligence may not be eligible to be licensed/certified as a Physical Therapist Assistant. These matters may be discussed before applying for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the Office of Professional Discipline, New York State Education Department. (For information pertaining to states other than New York, the student is responsible for contacting the individual state education department.)

Further information regarding criminal records and determination of good moral character in the professions can be found on the Office of the Professions web site:

Student Employment

While it is acknowledged that many students work part-time while completing their PTA degree, students must realize that this takes away from valuable study time, and may have a negative effect on the grades that a student attains.

If a student is employed in a physical therapy setting, the student must function as a PT Aide. Under no circumstances is a student to render patient care while employed, as this will violate New York State Education Law. Students may only render direct patient care while on clinical affiliation.


An overall C average (2.0 CQPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of 75 (C) is also required in all PTA core courses. A grade of "C" is also required in Anatomy & Physiology I & II and Basic Exercise Physiology. Students who have not received a "C" will be required to repeat these courses as part of the curriculum sequence. A numerical average between 60%-74% is NOT passing for any PTA core course. Failure to receive a 75% in any core PTA course will prevent you from progressing to the next course in the PTA curriculum sequence. For Non-Core courses, receiving a failing grade in sequential courses will prevent you from progressing to the next course in that particular sequence. For example, a failure in Anatomy & Physiology I will prevent you from going on to the second semester courses within the program as the material in these courses is based on an understanding of the material covered in Anatomy & Physiology I. Students may petition the department chair to repeat A&P I in the second semester if needed, however, the decision of the department chair is final.

Grade Equivalents for the PTA Department

First Semester Grade Equivalents:

Pass/Fail Numeric Grade Letter Grade
Pass 93-100 A
90-92.9 A-
87-89.9 B+
83-86.9 B
80-82.9 B-
77-79.9 C+
74.5-76.9 C
Fail 70-74.49 C-
67-69.9 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
Below 60 F

Second, Third, and Fourth Semester Grade Equivalents:

Pass/Fail Numeric Grade Letter Grade
Pass 93-100 A
90-92.9 A-
87-89.9 B+
83-86.9 B
80-82.9 B-
77-79.9 C+
75-76.9 C
Fail 70-74.9 C-
67-69.9 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
Below 60 F

Lab Practicals:

Students must pass all videos and lab practicals with an 85% or better.  If a practical has separate sections, the student must pass each section with an 85% or better to pass the practical.  In the event of a failure, they may retake a practical or a section(s) once.  Repeat practicals will be video-taped at the discretion of the faculty member. Failure to obtain an 85% on the second attempt will result in removal from the course with a grade of F and removal from the clinic with a grade of W.  When the student passes the video/practical/section on the second attempt, a score of 75% (no higher) will be awarded for the whole practical.

Written Examinations:

  • Students are expected to be on time for all classes and exams. If you arrive late for an exam, you will not be allowed extra time. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, the instructor is authorized to give you a grade of zero for that examination.
  • Students are not allowed to leave the examination room once the examination begins. Please take care of personal needs prior to the start time of the examination.
  • If you feel that you must miss an examination due to illness or personal difficulty, you must speak directly with the instructor prior to the beginning of the examination. The instructor will determine if the excuse is acceptable. If the excuse is acceptable, you must take a make-up examination prior to the next scheduled class meeting. If the excuse is deemed unacceptable by the course instructor, you are expected to take the examination at the scheduled time, or a grade of "0" will result.


Quizzes may be announced or unannounced. It is your responsibility to arrive at class on time, as some quizzes are given at the start of class and may be in the form of oral questioning. Make-up of missed quizzes due to lateness or absence is at the discretion of the course instructor. If a make-up is allowed, the quiz must be made up before the next class.

Written Assignments:

Students are expected to hand in assignments on time. Written assignments should be type written, double-spaced unless other instructions are given by the instructor. They will be graded for content and correct usage of written language with correct footnoting and referencing following AMA formatting. Late assignments will be penalized ten points initially and ten additional points each week they are late. All assignments must be handed in or a grade of incomplete will be given (unless student has already earned an "F" as a final grade). Assignments turned in during finals will receive a "0".

Policy to Sign Out Equipment, Text, Videos, Journals, etc.

  • Students are encouraged to utilize texts, journals, and videos from the PTA Department library. The following procedures must be followed:
    • Obtain item to be borrowed between the hours of 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The department secretary will provide access if faculty members are not available.
    • Sign item out in BT326 (department secretary's office)
    • All items must be returned within specified time periods or further borrowing privileges will be revoked: Textbooks - 1 week; Journals - 1 week; Videos - 1 night
    • The student is responsible for returning all items borrowed in the original condition in which they found them
    • The student will incur any costs associated with replacing or repairing a lost or damaged item. In addition, students who have not returned borrowed items will not be cleared for graduation until this is done or proper reimbursement has been received.
  • Lab equipment is also available for students to borrow overnight. This includes: BP Cuffs, Stethoscopes, Ace Wraps, Crutches, Walkers, Canes, Wheelchairs. Under no circumstances is a student to borrow a piece of equipment from the lab without instructor approval and without being trained in the use of the equipment. The following procedures must be followed:
    • Obtain item to be borrowed between the hours of 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The department secretary will provide access if faculty members are not available.
    • Sign item out in BT326 (department secretary's office)
    • All items must be returned within 24 hours.
    • The student is responsible for returning all items borrowed in the original condition in which they found them.
    • The student will incur any costs associated with replacing or repairing a lost or damaged item. In addition, students who have not returned borrowed items will not be cleared for graduation until this is done or proper reimbursement has been received.

Repeat Policy

Departments in the Health Professions curricula may, with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, designate courses with an (R-1) at the end of the course description in the College Catalog, meaning that they may be repeated only once. All courses in the core Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum are designated as such. If a student withdraws from a course for any reason or fails to attain at least a C (75%), the student may petition to retake a course. The student must seek permission to retake the course from the Department Chairperson in writing within one week of the date of withdrawal or grade distribution.

The petition must include the following:

1. An in depth self-reflection regarding why the student was unsuccessful and a description of each/all courses the student was unsuccessful.

2. What the student believes needs to be improved upon to be successful with a passing score of 75% in each/all courses the student was unsuccessful (an educational plan).

3. How will the student achieve success in each/all repeated courses?

4. What will the student do differently and/or in preparation to return to the program?

5. Must answer the question: What makes you, the student, stand out from other candidates petitioning to repeat?

6. The petition must be written in a business letter format, 11-12 font, double spaced, without spelling or grammatical errors.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program faculty will meet to discuss the student’s petition/educational plan/request to repeat. If allowed to repeat, a learning contract will be written to address the student’s individual needs. Permission to retake a course (or two in the same semester) may be granted only once, and only if space allows. The core Physical Therapist Assistant courses must be completed within three years of beginning the core curriculum.

Students will be required to audit and pay for auditting, as appropriate, sequential Physical Therapist Assistant courses (PTA I-IV) and the Tests & Measurement Skills course. Student must pass the lab practicals on the first attempt while auditing a core course. Students who are required to or choose to officially audit a course will also be required to pass the written final exam for each course that they officially audit. The faculty also reserves the right to require a student to repeat an entire course which has undergone significant curriculum revision as well as repeat a clinical education course.

* Repeating and auditing courses may have financial aid implications.


Students will be responsible for tuition, lab fees, activity fees, accident/health insurance and any and all additional costs including:  APTA Student Membership fees, all transportation to clinics, shoes, uniforms, pins, name tags, patches, etc.

  • Textbooks-Approximately $450 for 1st semester, $300 for 2nd semester, $275 for 3rd semester and $100 for 4th semester for PTA core courses, non core courses may run an additional $100-300 per semester.
  • APTA Membership - $85 annually
  • PTA Pin - $50
  • Transportation Costs - students must pay for all costs associated with attending clinic.  This includes gas, tolls, parking, meals, etc.  At some clinical sites, parking could range up to $200.
  • 2 Uniform shirts - $27 each. Each student must purchase at least 2.
  • Lab Coats - some clinics require that students wear these ($30-40 each).
  • Name Tags - $8
  • Analog Wrist Watch - $25
  • BP cuff and stethoscope - $50
  • Additional Study Aids - CD-ROMs, review books ($64), goniometer ($10), etc.
  • Physicals, Testing, and Immunizations - $425.00 – 590.00 for 2 year program (this includes each annual physical and a total of 3 PPDs); there is an optional Hepatitis B vaccination series at an additional cost of approximately $210.00. These prices are approximated from a local emergent care facility.  Students may choose to have their physicals performed by their family physicians accessing their family insurance.
  • Drug Testing - $65
  • Criminal Background Check - $65
  • Subject to Change (Cost of Certification & National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs):
  • $103 application fee for Certification
  • $485 National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs, plus additional $82.60 fee
  • $50 to obtain a limited permit to work while awaiting the National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs

*Please note that costs are approximate and subject to change without prior notification.*

PTA Student Support Services

Department Resources - The PTA Department maintains an extensive in-house library of texts, journals, videos, and CD-ROMs.  A student computer with Internet access is available in the PTA Lab.  Students may also access the BAT CAVERN which is a computer aided learning facility maintained by the Biology  Department, located in Rowley Center for Science.

Office Hours - Department faculty members hold office hours each week.  Students are encouraged to use these hours for advising, assistance with course work, or anything else related to the field of Physical Therapy.

Tutoring - Tutoring is available through the College’s Tutoring Center, located in the LRC.  Online tutoring is offered to all students throught NetTutor. The PTA Department maintains a current list of adjunct instructors, recent graduates, and current students who are available for tutoring.

The Counseling and Guidance Center - Numerous programs and services are available through this center, which is located in the Commons.  These include academic advising, counseling, testing services, career services, disability services, Student Support Services Program, Office of Special Services, Veteran’s Affairs, Center for Adult Lifelong Learning, and the Educational Opportunity Program.

Financial Aid Office - A variety of programs, loans, and scholarships are available to students.  Eligibility is based on academic progress, family income, and/or assets.

Required Attendance at APTA-Sponsored Meetings

All PTA students must plan to attend a minimum of two APTA sponsored meetings by the time they complete the course titled Contemporary Practice (one continuing education program and one business meeting).  A continuing education course may be substituted at the discretion of the Department Chairperson.  Course and meeting information will be posted in the department.  A typewritten synopsis of each meeting must be given to the department chairperson.  Failure to do this will result in an “incomplete” grade for Contemporary Practice.

Attendance Policy

The College-wide Academic Policy for Attendance states:

"Attendance: Attendance is required in all courses. Work missed during any period of absence, regardless of the reason for the absence, must be made up by the student (see course syllabi for details). Instructors are authorized to lower grades for class absences and may withdraw non-developmental students from a course for excessive absences. Instructors shall not lower grades for absences for religious observance nor, provided the instructor's permission is given in advance, for participation in athletics or other college-sponsored events. You should inform instructor when you anticipate an absence for religious observance so that arrangements can be made for you to make up examination, study or work requirements. If illness, accident or similar circumstances make it possible for a student to attend classes for three or more consecutive days, it is his or her responsibility to notify the Office of Records and Registration at once. The Records & Registration office will, in turn, notify each instructor. However, it is the student's responsibility to contact each instructor to make up missed work. Current or future awards of financial aid may be affected if a student does not attend classes for which he or she is registered."

It is the philosophy of the PTA Department faculty and our clinical instructors, that good attendance is crucial in order to: obtain all didactic material, observe and practice laboratory skills, demonstrate knowledge of course components, and implement skills/knowledge in the clinical environment.

Attendance in all lecture classes and laboratory sessions is expected. Faculty is authorized by the College to lower grades for poor attendance. The following guidelines have been established by the PTA Department Faculty. Failure to attend classes may lower final grades as follows:

  • 3 hrs. lecture grade lowered up to one full letter grade
  • 6 hrs. Lecture grade lowered up to two full letter grades
  • 9 hrs. Lecture grade lowered up to three full letter grades
  • 1 lab session equivalent to missing two hours of lecture
  • 2 lab sessions grade lowered up to one full letter grade
  • 3 lab sessions grade lowered up to two full letter grades
  • 4 lab sessions grade lowered up to three full letter grades
  • 2 episodes of arriving late or leaving early counts as 1 hour absence

Attendance for all clinic sessions is also mandatory. Any days or hours missed must be made up in order to successfully complete the clinical education course.

A student may find that due to particular circumstances such as illness or inclement weather causing hazardous road conditions he will not be able to attend clinic on his assigned day. If the student is going to be absent from his clinical affiliation, he is to notify the clinical instructor at his affiliation, the Orange County Community College faculty member scheduled to visit him/her, and the department secretary. Notification to the visiting faculty member must be made by 7:00 a.m. if possible. The College office must also be contacted to report early/extra and make-up days.

The student is to arrange make-up time with the clinical instructor and notify the academic clinical coordinator of the scheduled make-up date (note sent to office). Be aware that if Orange County Community College officially closes, you will be responsible for making up the time. Vacation time may have to be used for this purpose (Thanksgiving, Spring/Fall/Winter recess). Students who affiliate in pediatric setting should begin a minimum of two days early or discuss the feasibility of using Fridays as makeup days with their clinical instructor if academic schedule allows. Consult with the clinical instructor regarding the facility's calendar, since more than 2 days early may be required and clinic days will need to be made up even if the pediatric setting is officially closed due to weather.

Lateness will not be tolerated in the clinical setting as this is a reflection of the student's professional demeanor. Clinical instructors should document and notify ACCE if tardiness is excessive (exceeds twice across the semester).

Cellphone Use Policy

Use of cellular phones or any other electronic communication device for any purpose during class or exam sessions is prohibited, unless expressly permitted by the instructor.

PTA Club

All students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum are automatically entitled to membership in the Physical Therapist Assistant Club (PTA Club). The purpose of the club is to promote physical therapy education, provide assistance to various health facilities and disabled individuals, and participate in activities that help the public to understand the field of physical therapy and its role in health care.

Pinning Ceremony

The Pinning Ceremony is held each Spring to recognize the second year students' achievements and welcome them to the field of Physical Therapy. Faculty, administrators, students, family and friends gather to celebrate. Each student is presented with a school pin which is placed by a faculty member during the ceremony.

APTA Membership

The American Physical Therapy Association, founded in 1921, serves as the national organization for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and students in the field of Physical Therapy. Students enrolled in our curriculum are encouraged to join the APTA in September of each year as the material provided by the APTA will be utilized throughout the curriculum for assigned readings, course projects, and independent learning. Membership benefits include: 1) subscriptions to "Physical Therapy," our professional journal; "PT in Motion;" 2) access to "members only" information on the APTA web site; 3) discounts for APTA materials and conferences.

Professional Liability Insurance Requirements

The College maintains liability insurance for students enrolled in the PTA program. This policy covers them while on campus taking classes or practicing in the PTA lab. Students must follow all laboratory rules. The College also maintains professional liability insurance to cover PTA students when they are enrolled in Clinical Education courses. Students may also choose to purchase their own malpractice insurance through the APTA or another company.

Accident/Health Insurances

Students are encouraged to maintain their own personal health care coverage, at their own costs if they are part-time students. While Clinical Education sites will make emergency medical care available to students, the student is responsible for the costs. Some clinical affiliations will not accept a student unless they have health insurance coverage.

Withdrawal Procedures

Students are strongly encouraged to speak with their faculty advisor and the department chairperson in the event that they are considering withdrawing from a PTA course, Basic Exercise Physiology, and/or Anatomy and Physiology 1 and/or 2, as this will have serious implications regarding completion of the PTA program.  PTA courses are only offered once each year and must be taken in sequence.  In addition, they must be taken with corresponding co-requisite courses.

If the student chooses to withdraw from one or more PTA courses, they must also withdraw from any clinical education courses they are enrolled in.  When a student finds it necessary to withdraw from one or more courses, he or she must submit an Add/Drop Form with appropriate signatures by the end of the 12th week or its equivalent (see Academic Calendar). A student who officially withdraws from a course between the 4th and 12th week or its equivalent will have the course appear on his/her transcript with a grade of W.

Students who wish to resume their studies in the PTA curriculum must meet with the department chair and gain approval.  Students will be required to pay for, and audit, lab courses that they already completed so that they maintain their skills. Additionally, students who wish to resume their studies in the PTA curriculum must retake and PASS all technical course laboratory practicals prior to resumption of the program. All of the PTA core courses must be completed within a three year period.

Dismissal Procedures

In the event that the department faculty believe that a student's actions on campus or in the clinical education setting warrant dismissal from the program, the PTA Department will seek to have the student removed from the program. The Department will abide by all due processes afforded to the student.

Due Process

Orange County Community College has established procedures for students to follow in the event that they feel their rights or freedoms have been violated. The PTA Department abides by these procedures, which are found in the College Catalog.

Complaints that fall outside due process should be made to the program director. These will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Records of each complaint, and the resolution, will be maintained in the program director's office.