Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

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Tommy Winston, Program Coordinator/Instructor

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program consists of courses in general education, basic science courses and courses in physical therapy. Students gain practical experience through various clinical rotations at area and regional health care facilities.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Meridian Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; e-mail: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to write the licensure examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

As a licensed physical therapist assistant, the graduate is eligible to work under the direction of a physical therapist in a variety of health care settings providing physical therapy service to patients.

Mississippi Law requires health care professionals or Career Technical Education students enrolled in programs whose primary purpose is to prepare professionals to render patient care services to submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting prior to beginning any clinical rotation in a licensed health care entity. If such fingerprinting or criminal background checks of the student disclose a felony conviction, guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere to a felony of possession or sale of drugs, murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, sexual battery, sex offense listed in Section 45-33-23 (g), child abuse, arson, grand larceny, burglary, gratification of lust, aggravated assault or felonious abuse and/or battery of a vulnerable adult which has not been reversed on appeal or for which a pardon has not been granted, the student shall not be eligible to be admitted to such health program of study, nor will he/she be eligible to participate in clinical training in a licensed entity.

If a student currently enrolled in Physical Therapist Assistant is prohibited from participating in clinical experiences by any clinical affiliate of Meridian Community College (e.g., positive drug screen, gregarious behavior, violation of patient safety, non-compliance with the College’s “Student Behavior Code,” etc.), then the student will be dismissed from the program of study. The student is not eligible for program readmission unless the clinical restriction is removed.

In addition to the disqualifying events listed in Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 annotated, clinical affiliates may, at their discretion, refuse to provide clinical experiences to any student whom the clinical affiliates feel are not suitable for employment or for the clinical experience setting.

Any drug conviction; bodily harm, neglect or abuse, or felony DUI conviction within a year of the starting date of class is cause for denial of the clinical experience setting. Any convictions more than a year beyond the starting date of class will be examined by the “Review Standards Committee” with a decision rendered if the student is allowed to participate in the clinical experience setting. Any charges pending a resolution will require documentation of disposition from the student.

Progression: To meet graduation requirements for this program, students must successfully complete the specified courses listed below with a “C” average (GPA of 2.00) or better. A grade of “C” or higher is required in each PTA course to progress in the program. Courses must be taken sequentially, and competencies stated in each course syllabus must be met.

Minimum admission requirements (in addition to general admission requirements):

Attain an 18 composite score on the national ACT;


Attain a 16 or 17 composite on the national ACT and complete 18 semester hours of program general education coursework with an average of “C” or above at an accredited college or university. These 18 hours of coursework should be selected from the following: Physical Science Survey I, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, College Algebra, English Composition I, General Psychology, Public Speaking, and Humanities/Fine Arts elective. Anatomy and Physiology must have been completed within three years prior to admission into the PTA program;


Observe in a Physical Therapy Department;


Submit two references;


Submit an autobiographical essay.

Admission is competitive, and specific admission requirements must be met. All requirements and required application materials are due by May 1, preceding the fall admission desired. The deadline will be extended, if needed, until maximum enrollment is met.

The PTA Admissions Committee will select each year’s class from the pool of applicants who meet minimum admission requirements. Any application with incomplete records will not be considered for admission. The admission process is competitive, and completion of minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission. Check with the Health Education advisor for selection details and deadlines.

After program admission and prior to classes beginning, students must present a physical examination, a CPR Healthcare Provider certification and proof of immunization for MMR. A background check, a Mantoux Two-Step TB Skin Test, and a random drug screening will be scheduled after enrollment. All students admitted into the program will be required to pay for fingerprinting and a background check, which will be performed after admission and prior to clinical laboratories. These fees will be attached as registration fees. There are certain convictions that will prevent an individual from being eligible to participate in clinical experiences. If a student is unable to participate in clinical experiences, he/she will be dismissed from the program. For additional information, contact the Health Education Advisor.

Students in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program must attend MCC full-time (12 or more semester credit hours).

Course of Study:

Total Program Hours 78

Important Notice: Advanced placement credit and/or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) will not substitute for ENG 1113 - English Composition I .

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