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    Lackawanna College


    Important information

    Program costs

    Physical Therapist Assistant

    The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lackawanna College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Va., 22314. Email: accreditation@apta.org; Website: www.capteonline.org.

    Degree information

    The physical therapist assistant (PTA) works under the supervision of a physical therapist in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other health facilities.  Physical therapists evaluate patients, plan treatment programs, and may delegate parts of those programs to physical therapist assistants, while completing other parts of the program themselves.

    Guided by the physical therapist’s plan of care, the PTA may use specialized equipment to administer treatments to accomplish the therapist-generated rehabilitation goals, including the application of heat, cold, light, sound, and electricity.  The PTA may also administer therapeutic exercises, ambulation training, and train patients in the use of artificial limbs, braces, and various aids in an effort to maximize function and facilitate the rehabilitation process. A student considering entering the field of PTA should have a demonstrated aptitude for the sciences, interact well with others, have an interest in working with  physically challenged, ill or injured people, and enjoy a physically active job.

    Program mission

    The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Lackawanna College is to facilitate the preparation of individuals regardless of their socio-economic status, past achievements, gender, national origin, age, race, color or creed, as entry level, associate of science degree earning, physical therapist assistants. These individuals will be compassionate and caring lifelong learners who will provide evidence based ethical treatment to assist the physical therapist in the rehabilitation of all individuals in their care. The program will strive to provide students with a diverse educational setting allowing for academic excellence, and to become socially, culturally, and professionally well rounded clinicians and individuals.


    The  PTA program’s objectives are consistent with curriculum content and  expectations as set forth by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical  Therapy Education (CAPTE) related to expectations for an entry-level PTA.

    Lackawanna  College’s PTA Program is designed to prepare graduates who

    • Apply knowledge of basic and evidence based PT sciences to the application and  appropriate modification of selected PT procedures.
    • Interact with patients, the patient’s family members or care givers, colleagues, and the public in a manner that reflects appreciation of the worth of an individual, appropriate response to cultural differences, and an understanding of the psychological and social effects of illness and injury.
    • Demonstrate appropriate and effective written, oral and non-verbal communication with patients, the patient’s family or caregivers, colleagues, and the public.
    • Recognize their own strengths and limitations, interpret for others their scope and function, and understand the need for continued lifelong education and growth.
    • Always demonstrate a commitment to safe, ethical, and legal practice.
    • Understand basic concepts of healthcare and the mechanics of providing healthcare services.
    • Will sit for the National Licensing Examination.
    • Achieve status of  Licensed PTA, and skill level of an entry level PTA.


    • The program will look to accept 18 highly qualified and capable students each fall term who will represent Lackawanna College, the PTA program, and of Physical Therapist Assistant profession to the best of their capabilities.
    • Students and graduates will demonstrate professional, legal, and ethical behavior in all academic and clinical settings.
    • Students and graduates will correctly apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge related to practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
    • Students and graduates will competently perform intervention component and data collection skills in clinical settings, and appropriately modify components of intervention within the guidelines of a plan of care established by a Physical Therapist.
    • One hundred percent of the College’s PTA program graduates will be successful in obtaining full-time employment related to the physical therapy field within 6 months of graduation.
    • The program will provide adequate resources needed to support the student – including resources related to financial aid assistance, faculty advising, mentoring, counseling, tutoring, along with adequate equipment, classroom and laboratory space, clinical facility, faculty, and technology to enhance the student’s learning.
    • The program will enhance the practice of physical therapy in our community by providing opportunities for educational, professional and personal growth.
    • The program will look to have a retention rate of 75 percent or higher for each academic semester per individual cohort of accepted students.
    • The program will look to graduate 18 highly qualified and capable students who will represent Lackawanna College, the PTA program.

    Admissions criteria and process

    Admittance into the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Lackawanna College is based on a selective admissions process with a maximum enrollment of 18 students per year. The admissions selection process is based on the following criteria and requirements:

    Application to Lackawanna College and a separate application to Physical Therapist Assistant program.

    The application deadline for the Physical Therapist Assistant Programs is March 1 (deadline may be subject to extension). All documents must be submitted or post marked by deadline to be considered.

    Must meet the college’s minimum requirements

    Applicant must submit proof of high school or GED completion with official high school transcript or GED equivalent.

    Lackawanna College will determine the applicant’s current academic ability based on a combination of following:

    • SAT or ACT test scores, if applicable
      • Recommended SAT scores-450 Verbal and 450 Math.
      • Recommended ACT scores-20 or higher in each relevant section.
      • Most scores are valid up to three (3) years from test date.
      • College Transfer Credits
      • If transferring credits from another college/university, official college transcripts are required. Transfer credits must be at least 2.33 or greater to meet PTA program academic standards.
    • Placement Test
      • Applicants without valid SAT/ACT scores and who have not previously earned college credits will be required to take the ACCUPLACER exam for determination of current academic ability. Applicants must achieve ‘College Ready’ scores in Reading, Writing, and Math to be considered qualified for the PTA Program.
      • Should a student need one or move developmental or introductory courses based on placement scores, the needed classes would have to be completed prior to entry into the initial academic term for the PTA program. If not completed prior to the initial academic term, the student would not be eligible to proceed into the PTA program, but would be eligible to reapply for the following year.

    Completion of a Biological Science course

    If completed in high school, the course must be no more than 3 years old

    Three (3) credit college level course required, with lab recommended and 2.33 grade or higher is acceptable

    • May include Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or Anatomy and Physiology
    • If Anatomy and Physiology is used as the prerequisite course, it must be taken as a four (4) credit course including lab to be eligible for transfer into the PTA program.

    Completion of science course at either the high school or college level must again be evidenced in the form of an official high school or college transcript

    20 hours of clinical observation

    It is required that applicants observe or “job shadow” in more than one type of PT setting

    Must have completed and signed confirmation sheets received by program along with or prior to submitting your application.

    Evidence of current Adult, Child, and Infant CPR certification and AED certification prior to beginning of fall semester. Online courses will not be accepted due to clinical affiliation requirements.

    Two program essays as described within the separate PTA program application completed and received with submittal of the application.

    Students may only transfer in college credits for the following PTA program core courses and only if accepted by the College for direct transfer. These include the following:

    • College Writing (3 credits)
    • Computer Applications (3 credits and taken within the last five (5) years)
    • Anatomy and Physiology 1 (4 credits) *
    • Medical Terminology (1 credit)
    • Medical Ethics (3 credits) *
    • Effective Speaking (3 credits)
    • College Algebra (3 credits)
    • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

    * It is recommended that these courses be taken within the PTA program due to course content taught towards or related to the PTA profession.

    All other courses within the PTA program curriculum must be taken within the Lackawanna College PTA program and are not eligible for transfer.

    Interviews will be scheduled for qualified PTA program applicants who meet minimum requirements and submit a fully completed application with all materials received by the PTA department.

    Submission of a PTA application does not guarantee an offer of an interview.

    Attendance at PTA Program Open House / Informational Meeting will be required prior to fall term beginning.

    Several dates and times will be made available to allow students, parents or legal guardians, and working individuals to attend, and will be posted periodically on the PTA Program web page.

    Informational sessions can be set up and scheduled individually with the PTA program director or Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education on an as needed basis, IF the applicant is unable to attend any of the provided group sessions.

    Acceptance and matriculation rates

    (Maximum class size for the College’s PTA program is 18 students)

    • Class of 2013: 18 students accepted, 16 students matriculated into program
    • Class of 2014: 18 students accepted, 15 students matriculated into program
    • Class of 2015: 18 students accepted, 18 students matriculated into program

    Employment and licensure rates

    • Class of 2013: First time licensing exam pass rate 10/14 – 71% pass rate
    • Class of 2013: Overall licensing exam pass rate 12/14 – 86% pass rate
    • Class of 2013: Students who passed exam employment rate within 6 months of getting licensed – 100%

    Graduation rates

    • Class of 2013: 16 students matriculate into program, 14 graduates
    • Class of 2014: 15 students matriculate into program. Expected graduation rate is currently 13 with 1 student deferring to next year, on schedule to graduate in 2015 due to health issues
    • Class of 2015: 18 students matriculate into program. Graduation number N/A at this point

    The Lackawanna College Physical Therapist Assistant program received full accreditation status by CAPTE in spring of 2013.


    View the curriculum guide (for students beginning in Fall 2014).

    The Physical Therapist Assistant degree program is currently offered only at Lackawanna College’s Lake Region center in Hawley.