PTA Program Mission and Philosophy

Mountwest Community & Technical College is a public institution with open access to learning for a diverse population. Since student learning is the main priority, Mountwest is committed to ensuring excellence and accountability in a learning environment that emphasizes workforce development, career preparation and lifelong learning that will empower learners to meet West Virginia and regional workforce demands.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Mission

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program will implement an Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant Degree whose graduates will successfully pass the National PTA Licensure Examination. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program prepares its students to deliver physical therapy interventions in entry-level staff positions, in structured health care settings under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Philosophy

The commitment of the PTA program is to develop a well-rounded physical therapist assistant with strong problem solving and patient treatment skills. The PTA should have the ability to educate and motivate patients and to recognize differences in patients and adjust to these differences.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program believes that students learn best in a structured environment which:

  • Encourages movement from dependent to independent learning
  • Provides knowledge and experience which serve as a foundation for further learning
  • Develops readiness to learn by incorporating attitudes and values with academic and clinical experiences
  • Provides opportunities to apply knowledge in clinical situations throughout the program.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant faculty will provide advisement and counseling to students enrolled in the program. In addition, the program’s faculty will continuously assess student progress through the administration of well-planned, instructor-generated exams, and analysis of exam results.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program offers a terminal degree that prepares the graduate for employment in the field of study.

This full-time program prepares graduates to apply for licensure as a physical therapist assistant. The Physical Therapist Assistant faculty recognize the program as a terminal occupational degree.

Furthermore, the faculty believes that the curriculum is not structured to provide a complete foundation for, or the extent of clinical sciences appropriate for a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program believes it is the obligation of the institution and educational program to not only provide students with a high level of technical expertise, but also to transmit attitudes and values necessary to competently practice in the evolving health care system of the United States.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares graduates who possess the skills, attitudes, and values necessary to maintain, restore and promote functional movement activities throughout the life cycle.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Goals

The program aligns with the mission of the College by preparing students for employment as Physical Therapist Assistants in the community, as the program seeks to:

  • The Program will graduate Physical Therapist Assistants qualified as generalists to practice under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. 
  • The Program will enhance availability of physical therapy services throughout the state of WV. 
  • The Program will provide adequate resources to support student learning-including equipment, classroom space, laboratory space, clinical facilities, faculty, and technology.
  • The faculty will remain current in the areas in which they teach.
  • The faculty will model and provide opportunities to grow in the core values. 
  • Students will correctly apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge related to practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
  • Students will communicate effectively and professionally using verbal, written, and non-verbal communication with other healthcare providers and family members.
  • Graduates will exhibit a commitment to community service and lifelong learning.
  • Graduates will be prepared to enter the workforce and practice as an entry-level Physical Therapist Assistant. 


Physical Therapist Assistant Program Objectives

The graduates of the program are prepared to function in three roles: provider of care, health care team member and member of the Physical Therapy profession. In these roles, the graduate will accomplish the educational program objectives as follows:

  • Work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner.
  • Implement a comprehensive treatment plan developed by a physical therapist.
  • Demonstrate regular and effective communication with the supervising therapist about the patient’s progress, the need for adjustments to be made by the physical therapist in treatment procedures in accordance with changes in the patient’s status.
  • Assist the physical therapist in monitoring and modifying the plan of care by performing appropriate assessment and measurement techniques.
  • Interact with patients and families in a manner that provides the desired psychosocial support including recognition of cultural and socioeconomic differences.
  • Participate in teaching of other health care professionals, patients, families, and community groups.
  • Demonstrate an ability to document, in a timely fashion, all relevant aspects of patient care.
  • Participate in coordination of care, discharge planning, and follow-up care of patients.
  • Communicate effectively in written, oral, and non-verbal modes with the supervising physical therapist, patients, families, colleagues, other health care providers and the general public.
  • Assume responsibility for carrying out the role and responsibility of the Physical Therapist Assistant in the health care delivery system.
  • To develop an understanding of levels of authority and responsibility, planning, time management and the supervisory process.
  • To develop and understanding of performance evaluations, policies and procedures; fiscal considerations for physical therapy providers and consumers; and, continuous quality improvement.
  • Participate in the practice of reading and interpreting professional literature.
  • Participate in continuing development of knowledge and skills in their field.


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