Physical Therapy Assistant

Program Description

The two-year program is designed to prepare the student as a skilled, technical health care worker with the knowledge and skill to assist the physical therapist in meeting the physical therapy needs of the public.  Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the Virginia State Licensing Examination leading to licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant.  The physical therapy assistant program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. This program is being provided through an innovative, cooperative arrangement with Wytheville Community College.   Students will register at MECC for their general education course requirements and register through WCC for their program courses.  Students will be totally responsible for transportation to and from the college(s) and the health agencies utilized for clinical experiences.    The A.A.S. degree will be awarded by Wytheville Community College.

Opportunities for Employment

Employment opportunities for the licensed Physical Therapist Assistant include positions in hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, rehabilitation centers, school systems, and for private practices.

Program Requirements

To enter the Associate Degree Physical Therapist Assistant program the student must be a high school graduate or the equivalent. High school courses must include one unit of biology and chemistry (lab courses) and one unit of algebra. Satisfactory placement test scores in English and math required. Students who lack any or all of these high school pre-requisites, or who do not score high enough on writing and reading placement tests to be eligible for ENG 111 or ENG 137, may satisfy the requirements by successfully completing the equivalent developmental courses. The student’s high school record must reflect an overall “C” average (2.0). A 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is also required on all college work completed.  Because of limited clinical sites and laboratory space, there are a limited number of slots in the program; therefore, early application is desirable.   Shadowing hours, HOBET test, and a program director interview are also required.  Because entry into this program is competitive, students must complete the application process with the Admissions Office at WCC by no later than February 15th. Questions regarding the program application process should be directed to the Admissions and Records Office at WCC or to Mrs. Kim Dorton at MECC. Detailed information related to the selective admissions process may be found at this link:

Upon admission, a complete health examination form will be required of all students admitted to the program.  A student receiving a final grade lower than “C” in any course in the physical therapist assistant sequence or anatomy and physiology will be ineligible to continue in the physical therapist assistant courses. Selected learning experiences will be provided in a number of physical therapy settings located within the geographical area served by the college.  Students are assigned to clinical agencies on a space available basis.

Additional program costs such as physical examination, vaccinations, uniforms, insurance, background checks, supplies, and travel to clinical settings are the responsibility of the student.

Clinical and Behavioral Requirements

Selected and supervised learning experiences are required by this program and will be accomplished at selected health care facilities. Because there are limited clinical sites within the area, students may be required to travel to other areas to complete clinical training. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation, uniforms, and living expenses during fieldwork experiences. In the fifth semester, there will be 40 hours per week of clinical time (Level II fieldwork) in two eight week segments, so students must plan their schedules accordingly. Program faculty will observe and evaluate the student’s suitability for the profession. If in the judgment of the Program Faculty the student does not exhibit those behaviors required of the occupational therapy assistant, the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.

NOTE: All OTA students must complete Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of academic preparation. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Criminal Background Checks/Drug are required before attending clinicals.

Physical Therapy Assistant


Course # Course Title Credit
BIO 141 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
ENG 111 College Composition I 3
PSY 230 Developmental Psychology1 3
PTH 105 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3
PTH 110 Medical Reporting 2
SDV 100 College Success Skills 1
BIO 142 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
PTH 115 Kinesiology for the Physical Therapy Assistant 4
PTH 121 Therapeutic Procedures I 5
PTH 151 Musculoskeletal Structure and Function 5
PTH 131 Clinical Education I 2
PTH 210 Psychological Aspects of Therapy 2
PTH 227 Pathological Conditions 3
PTH 122 Therapeutic Procedures II 5
PTH 225 Rehabilitation Procedures 5
PTH 226 Therapeutic Exercise 4
PTH 245 Professional Issues 3
PTH 251 Clinical Practicum I 3
PTH 252 Clinical Practicum II 4
    Humanities/Fine Arts Elective2 3
Total Minimum Credits for Degree 68

1PSY 231-232, Lifespan Human Growth and Development I & II (both necessary) may be substituted for PSY 230. 2Courses may be chosen from the Transfer Humanities Electives.


For Further Information Contact:

  • Kim Dorton, Health Sciences Coordinator
    276.523.2400 ext. 356
  • Julia Jackson-King, Program Director
    Wytheville Community College
  • Mr. Tommy Clements, Dean
    276.523.2400 ext. 431