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02/22/11 – Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Last updated 6/9/2014

Associate in Applied Science Code: 5179

Program Contacts:
Quad-Cities Campus
Larry Gillund, Program Director, 309-796-5393, gillundl@bhc.edu
First Stop Center, 309-796-5100

East Campus
Wendy Smith, 309-854-1713, smithw@bhc.edu

Visit the department page.


The Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant prepares students to perform physical therapy procedures under the supervision of a physical therapist. Physical therapist assistants are primarily employed in hospitals, extended care and nursing home facilities, and in private practices.

Employment of Physical Therapist assistants is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2014.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Black Hawk College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone 703-706-3245; e-mail: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org

Admission Requirements:

  1. High school graduation or equivalent.
  2. A physical examination prior to any clinical coursework.
  3. PTA Application Process. Students are strongly encouraged to get their application in early, as this selection process begins in January and is very competitive. Applications will be accepted starting September 1st. Applicants are interviewed and reviewed for selection in the order in which the program received their application. The program admits 24 students each fall. Applications are available online at the department page. or you may request to have one mailed to you through New Student Services at the Quad-Cities Campus.
  4. Students wishing to apply after March 1st should check whether applications are still being accepted at the department page.
  5. Interview with PTA selection committee. The interview is part of a written and oral selection process.
  6. Minimum of “C” average in courses previously completed at Black Hawk College and any courses transferred from other colleges
  7. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or above in all PTA courses to continue in the program.

Students must also successfully document and need all health and background checks required by academic departments and/or clinical sites prior to admission to program and/or courses. [Download not found]

The PTA program is no longer accepting applications for Fall 2013.

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS
Associate in Applied Science Code: 5179
Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)
First Semester
BIOL 145 — Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
BIOL 150 — Medical Terminology (3)
ENG 101 — Composition I (3)
PTA 100 — Introduction to PTA (3)
PTA 113 — Physical Agents I (2)
PTA 201 — Kinesiology (4)

Second Semester
BIOL 146 — Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
PSYC 101 — Introduction to Psychology (3)
PTA 202 — Physical Rehabilitative Techniques (3)
PTA 203 — Pathology (2)
PTA 204 — Practicum I (3)
PTA 207 — Massage (1)

Third Semester
PSYC 200 — Human Growth and Development (3)
PTA 205 — Physical Therapy Science (2)
PTA 208 — Therapeutic Exercise I (3)
PTA 214 — Practicum II (3)
SPEC 114 — Interpersonal Communication (3)

Fourth Semester
MATH 108 — Statistics for General Education  or  (3)
CS 100 — Introduction to Computers
PTA 209 — Therapeutic Exercise II (4)
PTA 213 — Physical Agents II (3)
PTA 290 — Clinical Seminar (2)
SPEC 175 — Intercultural Communication (3)

Fifth Semester
PTA 280 — Clinical Internship I (4)
PTA 281 — Clinical Internship II (4)

Minimum total hours required for degree (72)

Upon completion of this course of study, students will be eligible to take the board examination to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. (The student is bound by the Illinois Physical Therapy Act: Paragraph 4257/Section 7 and Paragraph 4258.1/Section 8.1).

Courses for this program include: »

BIOL 145 Anatomy Physiology I
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: Students must complete both #1 & #2 below or have instructor approval.
1. Biology 100, 101, or 105 and Chemistry 101 or 110 with a “C” or better; or a score of 70% or higher on the Anatomy and Physiology placement exam.
2. REA 098 & MATH 080 (or COMPASS equivalent) and students must be eligible for (as determined by COMPASS score or other assessment) or currently enrolled in college-level English courses (100-level or greater).

A systematic study of the anatomical-physiological aspects of the human body. Topics include homeostasis, biomolecules, cytology, histology, as well as integumentary, skeleto-muscular, nervous and endocrine systems.

BIOL 146 Anatomy Physiology II
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: BIOL 145 “C” or better.
Continuation of BIOL 145. Systematic study of cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Fluids, electrolytes, acid-base balance, metabolism, and human development are also studied.

BIOL 150 Medical Terminology
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: 83 or above on COMPASS reading test or REA 098 “C” or better.
This course presents the principles of medical word construction through identification of root words, prefixes, suffices, combining forms, and methods of building medical terms. Emphasis is placed on correct medical word spelling, pronunciation, and definition, while introducing terminology specific to various body systems. The course is intended to prepare students to classify medical information for use in medical coding, billing, and reporting.

CS 100 Introduction to Computers
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 1 lab hour per week.
Prerequisite: Appropriate placement score or REA 093 “B” or better.
Introduction to computer concepts, computer applications, and the impact of computers on society. Applications include problem solving methods, word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation graphics software. Basic Algebra or equivalent is recommended.

ENG 101 Composition I
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: ACT English score of 22 or above; or appropriate COMPASS score; or English 091 “C” or better.
English 101 is designed for students who are competent in the fundamentals of composition. Students will write essays using a variety of expository strategies and will apply standard techniques of documentation when appropriate. IAI: C1 900

MATH 108 Statistics for General Education
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Appropriate initial placement score (within the last 6 months) or MATH 086 or 090 or 091 “C” or better and Math 085.
Focuses on mathematical reasoning and the solving of real-life problems, rather than on routine skills and appreciation. Descriptive methods (frequency distributions, graphing and measures of location and variation), basic probability theory (sample spaces, counting, factorials, combinations, permutations, and probability laws), probability distributions (normal distributions and normal curve, binomial distributions, and random samples and sampling techniques), statistical inference (estimation, hypothesis testing, t-test, and chi-square test, and errors), correlation and regression, and f-test and analysis of variance. IAI: M1 902

PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: College level reading scores on COMPASS or REA 098 and SBS 100 “C” or better.
A survey of the field of general psychology without specific emphasis on any particular theory or model of human or animal behavior. Fundamental principles, methods, theories and issues in the field are discussed. Content areas may include learning, thinking, neuroscience, methodology, memory, perception, personality, intelligence, emotion, adjustment, and abnormality among others. IAI: S6 900

PSYC 200 Human Growth and Development
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PSYC 101 “C” or better.
Explores the neurobiological, physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of humans from conception through adulthood. Examines theories and principles of human development in light of contemporary research, emphasizing normal developmental stages and patterns of adjustment to differing life-time demands. IAI: S6 902

PTA 100 Introduction to PTA
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hour; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: Admission to PTA program.
Study of historical background, professional ethics, and legal aspects of physical therapy practice. Overview of quality assurance and reimbursement issues, role of the PT and PTA in various settings and introduction to patient care.

PTA 113 Physical Agents I
2 cr. hrs.;
1 lecture hour; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: Admission to PTA program.
Study of indications, contraindications and application of cold and heat such as infrared, ultraviolet, paraffin, hot/cold packs, ice, whirlpool and contrast baths along with ultrasound.

PTA 201 Kinesiology
4 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the PTA program.
Study of analysis of force systems and mechanics of muscle action, and production of movement.

PTA 202 Physical Rehabilitative Techniques
3 cr. hrs.;
1.5 lecture hours; 3 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 201.
Study of basic rehabilitative techniques, such as goniometric measuring, patient positioning, range of motion exercise, transfer techniques, gait training, and chest physical therapy.

PTA 203 Pathology
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PTA 100, PTA 113, PTA 201, BIOL 145.
Study of the fundamental basis of disease. Emphasis on conditions treated through physical therapy procedures.

PTA 204 Practicum I
3 cr. hrs.;
1 lecture hour; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PTA 100, PTA 113, PTA 201, BIOL 145.
Practice of routine physical therapy assisting procedures with selected patients in a closely supervised clinical setting.

PTA 205 Physical Therapy Science
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 201.
Discussion and study of medical conditions commonly referred for physical therapy such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral vascular accident, peripheral nerve injury, arthritis, and others.

PTA 207 Massage
1 cr. hr.;
1 lecture hour; 0.5 lab hour per week.
Prerequisites: PTA 100, PTA 113, PTA 201, BIOL 145.
Study of scientific principles, indications, contra-indications, and application of a variety of massage techniques.

PTA 208 Therapeutic Exercise I
3 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 3 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 201.
Study of fundamentals of exercise, theory and practice of basic exercises for individual muscles or muscle groups, breathing and postural exercises, manual muscle testing, and gait analysis.

PTA 209 Therapeutic Exercise II
4 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 4 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PTA 205, PTA 208, PTA 214.
Study of scientific principles of therapeutic exercise, including use of equipment, orthopedic and neurological exercise techniques.

PTA 213 Physical Agents II
3 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 3 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 208.
Study of physiological effects, indications, contraindications, and application of combination modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation, T.E.N.S., traction and mechanical compression.

PTA 214 Practicum II
3 cr. hrs.;
1 lecture hour; 6 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 201.
Practice of previously learned skills in a clinical setting, supervised by a Physical Therapist..

PTA 280 Clinical Internship I
4 cr. hrs.;
0 lecture hours; 48 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: PTA 209, PTA 213.
A clinical learning experience in selected health care facilities.

PTA 281 Clinical Internship II
4 cr. hrs.;
0 lecture hours; 48 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 280.
A final learning experience in selected health care facilities with hands-on application of treatment techniques and theories and progression of patient care skills learned in Clinical Internship I.

PTA 290 Clinical Seminar
2 cr. hrs.;
2 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: PTA 208.
Discussion of education and clinical experiences.

SPEC 114 Interpersonal Communication
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Examines skills needed in informal face-to-face communication; emphasizes self-concept and interaction with others.

SPEC 175 Intercultural Communication
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Promotes awareness, knowledge, and skills for communicating among persons of differing cultural backgrounds. Focuses on cultures with whom U.S. Americans interact.