Apr 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, AS (PTAS-AS)

Location(s): Naugatuck Valley, Norwalk

CT State Community College Catalog 2023-2024

  • New students enrolling for the first time in Fall 2023 will begin as students of Connecticut State Community College under this catalog. 
  • Continuing students from one of the 12 community colleges will be transitioned into a CT State program in this catalog as of the start of the Fall 2023 term.
  • The policies, courses and programs described are applicable as of the Fall 2023 term and may be updated as circumstances require.


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 contemporary physical therapy care. 


The program emphasis on innovative and data-driven teaching methods, technology, and communication facilitates learning in the classroom and the clinic as the program endeavors to educate students who: 

  • Strive for excellence as physical therapist assistants by providing safe and effective interventions.
  • Commit to high ethical standards. 
  • Appreciate and value racial, social, economic, and cultural diversity.  
  • Utilize critical reflection.  
  • Invest in community involvement. 
  • Engage in lifelong learning.
  • Provide patient-centered interprofessional collaborative care.


We believe the Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum:  

  • Develops appropriate and critical professional behaviors and core values to create ethical practitioners. 
  • Is based on a liberal arts education and the concentrated study and application of new knowledge in physical therapy. 
  • Emphasizes the development of written, oral, and technological communication skills. 
  • Provides a variety of learning experiences to enhance the student’s critical thinking abilities, problem solving skills, and values identification. 
  • Promotes inter-professional education with other disciplines and programs within the college and community.

Program Outcomes:

  • 70% or more of admitted students will complete the program within 1 ½ times the length of the program (3 years) as reported using Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) standards. 
  • The two-year overall passing rate of the graduates who choose to take the Physical Therapist Assistant national licensure examination will be at least 85%.
  • 90% of the graduates who seek employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant will attain a position within one year of graduation. 

Program Goals: 

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program will prepare graduates who: 

  • Display skill competence in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains necessary to provide safe, effective, and evidence-based physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Demonstrate effective communication and education skills through professional interactions with consideration for individual differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs. 
  • Demonstrate self-assessment and interest in lifelong learning by participating in professional development activities which include volunteerism, advocacy, and leadership. 
  • Adhere to ethical, professional behavior, legal, regulatory, and licensure standards within their scope of work as a physical therapist assistant. 
  • Participate in the healthcare environment as an effective member of the healthcare team while providing patient-centered interprofessional collaborative care. 

Program Description:

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), two-year Associate of Science degree programs, are designed to develop the competencies and knowledge required for entering the field of Physical Therapy. The Physical Therapist Assistant Programs will provide fundamental and theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills to prepare the student to assume the role of the PTA.

Each program is approved by the Board of Regents for Higher Education and individually accredited by the Commision on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination administered by The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Graduates who pass this exam are eligible to apply for a license in the State of Connecticut or their respective state of practice.

Each program prepares the student to be a licensed health care professional who works under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist providing physical therapy interventions and associated data collection techniques. Interventions include therapeutic exercise, physical modalities, and other specialized clinical skills needed in a variety of settings such as acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, subacute and long-term care facilities, outpatient physical therapy clinics, school systems, and home care settings.

PTAs help people from birth to end of life who have medical, or other health-related conditions, that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercise for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers, manual therapy, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.


Admission to the program is selective and competitive; a limited number of students are admitted per cohort. Space is limited. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. 

Please contact the specific program location for their application and requirements. The program at the CT State-Naugatuck Valley campus has a spring semester (January) start to each cohort. The program at CT State- Norwalk campus has a fall semester (August) start to each cohort.

  1. Complete all College admission requirements. 
  2. Complete PTA Application. Must be submitted by the posted deadline, including supporting for current contact information.
  3. Completion of the prerequisite courses: 
    1.  BIO 1210 - General Biology I  with a C+ or better within 5 years of the application deadline
    2.  MATH 1200 - Statistics I  with a C or better within 5 years of the application deadline
    3. ENG 1010 - Composition  with a C or higher
    4. PSY 1011 - General Psychology I  with a C or higher
  4. Have a minimum admissions GPA of 2.5. The 4 admission requirements are used in the calculation of this GPA. 
  5. Complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam with a minimum score of 60%. There are no exemptions from this entrance exam based on prior education.  For the PTA program, the TEAS test expires after 3 years. Students may take the nursing or allied health version of the test, as the content of both is the same. Students may take either the in-person or online version of the TEAS test. Students may take the TEAS test at any school, in any state; have the TEAS test scores sent to the respective campus. Students may repeat the TEAS to improve their score. 
  6. Documented volunteer/observational experience totaling at least 20 hours in two different settings. Please contact the individual campus requested for specific requirements. 
  7. Students must be able to perform common physical therapy functions as defined in the program’s Technical Standards.

Detailed information regarding selective admisson events and deadlines is available on the CT State Selective Admissions Webpage.

Additional Program Information

In addition to tuition and fees, students in the PTA Program are responsible for additional costs, such as, books, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) student membership, clinical site requirements, appropriate attire for lab and clinical experiences, licensure review courses, required certifications, and transportation. Students must complete all medical requirements, including but not limited to current immunizations and medical forms. Students will pay an Allied Health Fee each semester. 

Students will be required by the program to undergo a background check which may include fingerprinting for felony convictions and undergo a drug/substance screening. Students who do not pass the background check may be excluded from clinical sites, 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 will have their case reviewed, which may result in dismissal from the program. 

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College 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.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Norwalk Community College 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

Those with program questions should contact the Program Directors directly. See their respective website  for current contact information.

With respect to code 668.43 (a)(5)(v), the program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following:  

CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) website at www.fsbpt.org.

Transfer options

Courses from an associate level PTA degree do not typically transfer to a graduate level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, however, general education courses, such as math and English will count toward the bachelor’s degree required for admission to a PT program. PTA/technical education courses may transfer to a four-year school as electives. Check with the school you plan to attend for details. PTAs who go on to PT school have the advantage of vast background knowledge in physical therapy, as well as the ability to work a flexible schedule for higher pay while attending school.  

The PTA program does not accept transfer students or credits toward PTA courses from U.S. or international programs, including PT, Occupational Therapy (OT), PTA, Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), or any other similar program. There are strict accreditation requirements, as well as extensive variability between programs across the country and around the world. All students wishing to graduate from a PTA program must complete the entire technical portion of the program at one campus. This does not exclude individuals from completing general education (non-PTA) courses at another institution.