The mission of the Morton College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to provide individuals from our diverse community with exemplary learning opportunities that enable graduates to obtain entry level positions as a physical therapist assistant within and beyond surrounding communities, while promoting lifelong learning, critical thinking and problem solving skills and recognizing the value of community service.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program provides students with a stimulating, challenging and comprehensive educational experience that prepares the student for an entry level position as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The faculty and staff are committed to providing students with an education that reflects values of professionalism, emphasizes current practice and promotes critical thinking and lifelong learning. Consistent with the philosophy of Morton College, the Physical Therapist Assistant program believes that core values of truth, compassion, fairness, responsibility and respect are central to the development of competent and caring practitioners within the profession of physical therapy. As such the program encourages a learning environment where students feel safe to express opinions where students are encouraged to take responsibility for learning and self development and where there exists a mutual respect between faculty and students.
- Provide students with learning experiences that reflect prevailing practices in physical therapy.
- Maximize the resources of Morton College to provide students with a didactic and clinical educational foundation that enable graduates to be successful on the NPTE licensure examination.
- Promote the importance of professional growth and life long learning to the continued professional development of the physical therapist assistant.
- Provide learning experiences that prepare graduates to secure an entry level position as a licensed physical therapist assistant who practices within the legal and ethical framework of physical therapy while under the direction and supervision a licensed physical therapist.
- Ensure program quality and ensure that the curriculum is responsive to the needs of our students and the communities served by the Morton College Physical Therapist Assistant Program, with ongoing assessment to determine achievement of program goals, learning outcomes, NPTE success rate, job placement and graduate and employer satisfaction.
- Ensure compliance with CAPTE, state and federal guidelines for physical therapist assistant education.
- Educate the citizens of the surrounding communities about the role of the physical therapist assistant in health care and other information relevant to the profession of physical therapy.
Upon completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, the graduate should be able to:
- Participate as an effective member of the health care team.
- Carry out technical aspects of clinical work within a plan of care established by a physical therapist, in a safe, ethical and competent manner that reflects entry level performance skills.
- Communicate and interact with patient / client, family members, caregivers, other members of the community and members of a multidisciplinary health care team in an effective, appropriate and capable manner.
- Demonstrate the ability to respond appropriately during patient / client emergencies and untoward events.
- Competently perform data collection to measure a patient/ client’s response to treatment interventions and complete timely, accurate and legal documentation of patient care.
- Utilize critical thinking skills and problem solving to progress, modify and /or withhold interventions based on patient status as determined through observation, data collection and problem solving skills.
- Demonstrate actions, approaches and values consistent with the expected roles, responsibilities and duties of a licensed physical therapist assistant practicing under the supervision and direction of a licensed physical therapist.
- Assume responsibility for professional judgment and ethics.
- Recognize the need for continued personal and professional growth to ensure competence in current practices of physical therapy.
- Demonstrate achievement of the requirements for the Associate in Applied Science Degree as determined by Morton College.
- Pass the NPTE for licensure within their chosen state.
The core courses of the Morton College PTA program start in August of each academic year and run for two years (four semesters) as a full time day curriculum. Each core course is offered once a year and must be completed in sequential order. Once enrolled in the professional/technical component of the program students can expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week in the classroom or lab each semester.
The program prepares PTA students to provide skilled, direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in a variety of health care settings.
To graduate, the PTA student must achieve a grade of “C” or better in all general education and core courses, maintaining a college GPA of 2.0 or better, on a 4.0 scale.
In 2011 116 applicants applied to the program. 86 applicants met all requirements for admission. Thirty two applicants were offered seats and 28 accepted the offer and entered the program on August 22 , 2011.
Clinical Experience ⇑ Top
Clinical experiences occur during the second year of the program with one 4-week block (40 hours per week) in the fall semester and two 6-week blocks (40 hours per week) in the spring semester. The experiences are designed to integrate classroom learning progressively into hands-on clinical intervention. With each clinical experience, students are expected to gain increased competency in their clinical skills and responsibilities within the scope of practice for the PTA. Prior to starting clinical education students are required to obtain a criminal background check. Students with a felony or disqualifying offense may be ineligible to proceed with clinical education.
Faculty ⇑ Top
The PTA program at Morton College employs three full time faculty members: The Program Director, The Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education and a Full time Instructor. Full time faculty continues to engage in professional development activities and limited clinical practice. Adjunct faculty and guest lecturers are employed as appropriate and are recruited from active clinical practice in Physical Therapy. The desired faculty to student ratio is 1:14 per laboratory course, with a maximum of 1:16 ratio.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Morton College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org: . Website: www.capteonline.org
Licensure Graduates must take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) to practice as physical therapist assistants in many states, Illinois included. In Illinois licensure is controlled by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation, 320 West Washington St., Springfield, IL 62786; (217) 785-0800 or (217) 782-8556; www.idfpr.com.
It is each student’s responsibility to determine whether he/she is in compliance with criteria for state licensure. There are instances when the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) may refuse to issue a license. Applicants convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may have difficulty obtaining a license. To obtain more information on the licensure process and to review the list of potential situations where the IDFPR may refuse to issue a license you are advised to contact the IDFPR in Springfield, Illinois (www.idfpr.com). Graduation from this program does not guarantee a passing score on the NPTE for PTA.
The three year pass rate average on the National Physical Therapy Exam for 2009-2011 is 73.68% based on data from December 31, 2012. The first time pass rate for 2012 graduates is 85.71% based on data from November 2012. Graduation rate (2009-2011): 82% of students complete the technical program within 150% of the normally expected time. 100 % of graduates who seek employment are working as PTAs within six months of passing the licensure exam.
PTA Program Complaint Policy
Any complaint/grievance related to the PTA program that is not related to a PTA student’s academics or behavior while enrolled in the PTA program will be handled as follows:
- Complaints should be directed to the PTA Program Director.
- The PTA Program Director will investigate the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally a formal grievance may be filed in writing with the Dean of Instruction, who will review the complaint. If necessary the Dean of Instruction and/or other appropriate administration will meet with the person filing the complaint/grievance to resolve the issue.
- The general public is invited to raise concerns or complaints at the monthly meetings held by the Morton College Board. Board meetings and agenda are announced on the Morton College website www.morton.edu