Physical Therapist Assistant

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The Physical Thereapist Assistant Program

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Mixing laboratory work with technical courses and clinical experiences, the Physical Therapist Assistant program at UE prepares students for a successful career working directly with patients in the field.

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

The University of Evansville's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is designed for those individuals who want to be involved with direct patient care in the physical therapy profession.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is a two-year program, which leads to an associate's degree. The two-year curriculum is composed of basic studies courses and professional technical courses with laboratory components and clinical educational experiences in varied health care settings. Completion of the program on a part-time basis is an option. Admission to the program is limited to 16 students.

PTA students are encouraged to combine the major with a bachelor's degree. Students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science or Athletic Training as well as the PTA degree are advised to postpone starting PTA coursework until their junior year.

Program Overview

Program Chair: Kyle Kiesel, PT, PhD, ATC (On sabbatical fall 2014)

Associate Chair: Tink Martin, PT, MACT (Acting Chair fall 2014)

Director of the PTA Program: Mary Kessler, PT, MHS

Director of Clinical Education: Janet Szczepanski, PT, MHS, GCS

Operations Administrator/Director of Admission and Advising: Sherri Chambliss

Director of Clinical Education: Janet Szczepanski, PT, MHS, GCS

Assistant Director of Clinical Education: Joni McFelea, PT, PhD

Institutional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Date of Initial Accreditation of Physical Therapy Program: May 1976

Current Accreditation Status: The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the University of Evansville is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; e-mail: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Degree Conferred: Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistance

Faculty: There are ten full-time, as well as a number of adjunct faculty within the Physical Therapy Department.

Mission Of The Physical Therapist Assistant Program

The mission of the University of Evansville Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to provide Associate degree level education to prepare students to become competent, ethical and licensed/certified practitioners of physical therapy.

Philosophy

The curriculum promotes the values of the University and the values-based behaviors recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association as important for Physical Therapist Assistants. The program emphasizes contemporary didactic and clinical practice experiences that model and reinforce professional excellence. These experiences expose students to the diverse and culturally sensitive nature of health care. In order to prepare graduates to be effective practitioners who are committed to lifelong learning, the curriculum stresses the importance of making practice decisions based on current best evidence.

The educational process is guided by physical therapy faculty members who emphasize a student-centered learning approach to enhance student success. Faculty members are committed to excellence in teaching and engage in professional writing, research, and other scholarly activities that contribute to the knowledge base of rehabilitation science.

Goals of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program

  1. Provide an accredited educational program in physical therapist assistance that enables all students to become licensed or certified practitioners
  2. Function as an essential constituent of the University
  3. Provide an educational environment for students that promotes learning, ethical behavior and cultural sensitivity
  4. Provide a stimulating occupational setting for faculty by promoting continuous professional development and scholarly activity
  5. Encourage active participation of faculty in consultation and clinical practice
  6. Encourage professional excellence through active participation of students and faculty in community service

Expected Student Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be:

  • critical thinkers, who are able to perform selected treatment interventions under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist
  • practitioners who demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning
  • individuals who are able to identify their own values, recognize ethical dilemmas and seek solutions
  • practitioners who value participation in professional organizations
  • practitioners who engage in collaborative relationships with the supervising physical
  • therapist, the patient and caregivers
  • individuals who practice physical therapy in a manner consistent with the APTA Guide for Conduct of the Affiliate Member, Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant