Program Overview


Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

PTA Program, Mission, Philosophy, Learning Objectives, and Outcomes

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a technically-educated, licensed health care provider who works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT). The PTA performs duties and carries out treatment plans as directed by the PT. Duties of the PTA are varied and include, but are not limited to the application of physical modalities, exercise programs, gait training, functional activities, and patient education. Physical requirements for PTAs utilize various rehabilitative techniques to help patients whose abilities have been impaired by an accident, injury, illness, disease or other health-related conditions that limit movement and functional abilities. Clients include adult and pediatric patients with orthopedic and neurologic injuries and various medical conditions. Employment settings include acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, nursing homes, home health, sports medicine clinics, and even academic institutions.


Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.  Southern Union State Community College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June 1, 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.  

Program Information:


Jeff Leatherman, MS, PT, DPT
Director, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Southern Union State CC-Valley Campus
321 Fob James Drive
Valley, AL 36854
Email:  jleatherman@suscc.edu
Phone:  334.756.4151 Ext 5254


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