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Information about classes, course descriptions, and the program can be found at the Morton College PTA Program’s website at https://morton.edu/PTA/ or by requesting a PTA admissions packet at pta@morton.edu.  PTA admissions packets are available each year after the first Monday in October. 

Observing, volunteering, or working in a PT clinic are all ways of learning more about the field of physical therapy.  Contact the American Physical Therapy Association, 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085. 1-800-999-2782. More information can also be found at apta.org and ipta.org.

The average number of people applying to the program and the number of people admitted varies from year to year based on different factors, including but not limited to the number of qualified applicants and the availability of clinical sites. In 2020, 30 individuals applied to the program, 28 applicants met all requirements for admission, 26 applicants were offered seats, and 24 applicants accepted the offer and entered the program in August of 2020.

It is best to contact a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or physical therapy office in your own community first.  Explain that you are applying for the Morton College PTA program and you are required to observe a PT or PTA in a physical therapy setting as part of the PTA program’s admission requirements.  The PTA program requires you to observe in two different physical therapy settings (inpatient and outpatient, with a minimum of 20 hours in any one setting is required).  Some clinics or departments may not be able to honor your request and others may have certain procedures to follow.  If the clinic does allow for student observation, make an appointment and be prepared by taking your observation form (provided in the application packet) and dressing appropriately.  It is important that you understand the differences between a PT and PTA.  Make the most of the observation time – ask questions if you do not understand.

All applicants interview with at least one member of the PTA admissions committee.  All applicants are asked the same questions.  The interview consists of questions related to the following areas:

  • Motivation
  • Understanding the professional role of a PTA
  • Adaptability
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Empathy
  • Communication Skills
  • Academic Maturity
  • Professionalism

The interviews will last approximately 20 minutes each.  Please dress in business casual attire. 

The Office of Admissions and Records evaluates official transcripts to determine whether courses from other colleges will transfer.  All prerequisite courses must have been completed within five (5) years of the application deadline.  Otherwise, general education courses will usually transfer.  All PTA applicants are required to meet with an academic healthcare advisor before February 4th.

All professional/technical content courses of the PTA Program, meaning those with a prefix “PHT” are only offered at fixed times, in a four-semester sequence and must be taken in the stated sequence.  Upon selection for admission into the program, classes begin in the fall semester (August) of each year.  Each successive semester of course work is dependent on satisfactory completion of the previous work, earning a grade of 75% or better in all courses, before progressing to the next semester.  Consult the current schedule or speak with the program director about when courses are offered.  Currently, all of the professional/technical courses are offered during the daytime.

All prerequisite course work MUST be completed by the end of the Spring semester prior to that Fall admission. No exceptions will be made.

Total Cost of In-District student tuition for the program, as of 2021-2022 academic year is $7,736.00. Total cost of Out-of-District tuition for the program, as of 2021-2022 academic year is $14,392.00. Total cost of Out-of-State/International tuition for the program, as of 2021-2022 academic year is $17,720.00. These totals include a Comprehensive Fee, Technology Fee, Registration Fee. Other fees include a $200.00 Morton College application fee, a $15.00 Malpractice Insurance Premium per clinical course (there are 2 clinical courses) fee, a $2,009.00 PTA program total course fee (includes simulation, lab, technology, software, supplies, equipment, etc.), and a $400.00-$700.00 textbook fee per semester.

Note: Fees are subject to change as determined by fee increases affixed by the college.

Other costs may include uniform, healthcare cost, travel (transportation and possible housing needs for clinical, depending on the placement location).

Morton College offers financial aid, including grants, loans, scholarships, and emergency funds, to all that apply. We also offer/rent-out technology equipment needed by students (i.e. iPads and Laptops).

PTA students must be able to sit, stand, and walk for prolonged periods of time, frequently bend and squat, and lift heavy loads. For the specific “Essential Skills” required of a PTA student please refer to the PTA program’s website at https://www.morton.edu/academics/departments/health-occupations/admission-information/essential-skills-required-of-pta-students/

Although we recognize that work provides income for your education, home, and sometimes family, this does not diminish your obligation to learn.  Because the PTA Program is selective for admission, there is an equal expectation that you will make the commitment to prepare yourself and strive to learn at your best potential.  It is recommended for best success that full-time students do not work, especially during the final semester of the program, which is the most intense for study and clinical education.

The current curriculum schedules the initial clinical affiliation in the third semester of the program (fall of the second professional year) conducted in one 4-week block of 40 hours per week.  In the final semester (spring of the second professional year) you will successfully complete two full-time clinical affiliations in two 6-week blocks of 40 hours per week. You are responsible for your own transportation to each clinical assignment, for which there may be additional costs such as parking and/or meals.  Every effort is made to provide a variety of clinical sites and locations for each experience.  However, it is not always possible to offer a site convenient to your home or to exactly fit your interests.  Clinical affiliations are not assigned based on location.  Students must comply with the requirements of the clinical education site.  PTA students must be BLS CPR certified and have a complete physical prior to beginning their clinical experience.  A criminal background check and drug screen will also be required prior to commencing clinical education.  A valid social security number will be required for the criminal background check.  If a background check is not completed, the student will NOT be eligible for clinical education and will be ineligible to continue in the program. If a background check is not completed or there is an unacceptable result on a drug screen, the student will NOT be eligible for clinical education and will be ineligible to continue in the program.

Yes, most states require testing for licensure before you will be allowed to work.  The State of Illinois requires licensure by examination for all new graduates of a PTA Program.  During the final semester, you will be given more information about application for licensure and an examination preparatory course is usually offered to assist in your success.  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).

The State of Illinois requires that your PTA license be renewed every two years starting with the nearest year ending in an odd number (i.e. 2019/2021).  Part of the requirement for renewal is mandatory continuing education of 20 contact hours for the two-year cycle.

Your PTA degree constitutes all or part of your CEUs during the first licensure cycle after graduation.  Information and exceptions about these requirements can be found through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation, 320 West Washington, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62786, by phone at (217) 785-0800 or on their website at www.idfpr.com.                         

PTA students must have daily access to a computer that is internet accessible and is compatible with Microsoft Word.  Web based technology and computer mediated communication form an integral part of the PTA program.

The PTA program is a day program.  Class schedules will vary each semester.  PTA students will be enrolled in 4-6 technical courses each semester.  Each course will require additional study time outside of class meetings.  You are required to purchase and read textbooks as indicated on the course syllabus.

Applications DO NOT carry over from year to year.  Applicants who are not admitted and who are still interested in the program must reapply to the PTA program each year.  Admitted students who fail out of the program are readmitted to the program only once.

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