In order to assure safe and successful advancement through the PTA program, the following mental and physical requirements are considered a minimum for all students and graduates. Each student is assessed throughout the curriculum based upon the student's ability to make use of theory to perform effectively and safely in a clinical setting.  Performance expectations are outlined in each required PTA course and must be passed to remain in the program. Terms are 16 weeks in length, and classes involving clinical skills begin the first term in the program.


1.     Repetitively and frequently lift and carry up to 50 pounds independently and safely.

2.     Lift persons / objects in excess of 100 pounds safely with assistance.

3.     Safely push and pull up to 200 pounds without assistance.

4.     Maintain and assume a variety of positions, including sitting for up to 2 hours continuously, standing and walking over a variety of surfaces for 8-10 hours / day, and frequent bending, squatting, kneeling, stair climbing, reaching forward, reaching overhead, turning and moving the trunk in all directions.

5.     Demonstrate a strong bilateral grasp in order to perform manual therapies, manually control patient movement, and manipulate equipment.

6.     Tolerate a variety of exertional activities for 8 – 10 hours / day.

7.     Utilize proper body mechanics when performing all motor functions.

8.     Ability to complete clinical instruction in a variety of practice settings, including, but not limited to: hospital inpatient, CCU, and ICU units; skilled nursing facilities; adult and pediatric rehab units; outpatient centers for adult, pediatric, and sports; home health agencies; school-based therapy locations, as required to complete the PTA curriculum.

9.     Ability to read, write, and interpret both written and verbal communication at a level equal to a high school graduate on entry and college graduate at the end of the program.

10.  Ability to perform complex motor skills necessary to provide therapeutic intervention (exercise, gait, transfers, application of passive modalities etc.) and emergency treatment to patients.

11.  Ability to communicate in a clear, understandable manner with minimal misinterpretation from the listener.

12.  Ability to understand, interpret, and react to verbal and written communication received from personal interactions reflective of ethnic, gender, age and socio-economic diversity.

13.  Ability to cope with stress and a changing educational and working environment, with appropriate behaviors.

14.  Ability to problem-solve and adjust to a changing patient care environment through practice in the academic and clinical courses required to complete the AAS degree.


Any physical impairment causing a change in student’s ability to perform the essential functions must be brought to the attention of the chairperson or the ACCE.  In the event that accommodations are needed the student will be referred to the Disability Services department.


A student can be referred to the Disability Services counselors to determine the level of accommodation that might be required to successfully complete both the didactic and clinical portion of the curriculum. A final determination of accommodation is a result of the request from the student, the essential functions required of the student during the program and required passage of the competencies and skills for each laboratory class and clinical experience.


Please refer to the office of Disability Services for further information and clarification (room 10-421).