Advanced Manufacturing

(2014-2015 Catalog) Course Selection Guide for this program

Physical Therapist Assistant (code: EA79)   

Associate in Science Degree

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates for employment in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practices, schools, and home care agencies. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide a variety of skilled physical therapy treatment to patients following a care plan designed by the Physical Therapist (PT) and under the supervision and direction of a PT. Upon program completion, students are eligible for licensure.

The program is offered through a collaborative agreement between HCC and Naugatuck Valley Community College. The two-year course of study begins in January and includes 67-68 credits. The PTA core courses are taken at Naugatuck Valley Community College during the day. All other courses are taken at HCC.

The curriculum combines general college courses in the humanities and sciences with clinical skill courses and clinical internship. Hospitals, out-patient departments, geriatric, and general facilities provide the environment where students practice techniques under the supervision of experienced clinicians.


  • Recognize the role and scope of the field of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapist Assistants including ethical and legal boundaries;
  • Communicate appropriately and respectfully with, and educate, patients, personnel, and others;
  • Demonstrate required knowledge and skills for observation, data collection, and clinical problem-solving;
  • Provide, adjust, and document treatments/interventions according to an established plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist in a safe and competent manner;
  • Participate in planning, supervising, and other departmental, administrative activities as appropriate to the role of the PTA;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the public welfare through self-evaluation, lifelong learning, and advocacy for self and others.

Admission to the Program

Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program must present credentials matching the following guidelines:

Students applying from high school must submit a high school transcript (or G.E.D.) including one year each of biology and chemistry and two years of algebra with grades of "C" or better within the last five years (equivalent courses taken in college would be acceptable substitutes). Students applying can meet admission requirements with college courses. Application deadline is October 15th of each year.

Admission to the program is selective and completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Criteria such as completion of related non-PTA courses, date of application, and date of completion of minimum requirements may be used in the decision process.

Program Requirements and Accreditation

  1. HCC school application and an official final high school transcript indicating graduation or a General Education Development (GED) Diploma.
  2. Complete with a minimum grade of "C" and submit a high school and/or college transcript documenting that these were completed no earlier than five years prior to the application date, the following courses:

    1. Intermediate Algebra

    2. Chemistry or Physics, with a laboratory component

      Applicants enrolled in high school can complete these requirements through courses at the college preparatory or advanced level. High school modified grade level courses will not meet these admissions criteria nor will high school courses designated as "allied health."

      Applicants not enrolled in high school may complete these requirements through courses completed at a college. Adult education courses do not meet these criteria. Satisfactory scores on the CLEP in intermediate algebra and chemistry or physics are acceptable in meeting these requirements.

      Courses which must be completed to meet these requirements are:

      ALGEBRA: The minimum high school level course to meet this requirement is Algebra II. The minimum college algebra course to meet this requirement is MAT*137

      CHEMISTRY or PHYSICS: This high school course must be "general with laboratory." College courses with laboratory must be "introductory" or "general" level courses. The minimum course to meet this requirement is CHE*111 (Introduction to Chemistry) or PHY*121 (General Physics).

  3. Complete no earlier than five (5) years prior to entering the PTA program the course Anatomy and Physiology I (4 cr.) and Anatomy and Physiology II (4 cr.), which must be completed within the 5 years prior to entering the PTA program and with a minimum grade of "C+." Students enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology I during the Fall Semester, and who have met all other admissions criteria, may be offered conditional acceptance to the program based on achieving a minimum grade of "C+" at the end of the semester. Official transcripts or final grade(s) must be submitted as soon as they are available. The minimum course to meet this requirement is BIO*211 or equivalent.
  4. Complete the required College Placement Tests. Remedial courses required as indicated by testing must be completed before October 15 of the year prior to the year in which the student wishes to enter the PTA Program.
  5. 2.5 PTA GPA – Based only on the college courses with grades that meet the PTA admission and PTA program curriculum requirements. The PTA GPA is a calculation specific to PTA applicants and may differ from your college GPA.
  6. Submit all PTA application materials, including official high school and college transcripts, and program application, by October 15 of the year prior to which the student seeks entrance to the PTA Program. The PTA program application is NOT the same as the HCC application. You must send transcripts to the PTA program coordinator in addition to the admission to the school
  7. Students must be able to perform common physical therapy functions as defined in the program's Essential Requirements. Contact the program to receive a copy of this document.
  8. In addition to tuition and fees, students in the PTA program must pay for books, appropriate attire for internships, and transportation. Students must complete and verify all required immunizations and provide certification by the American Heart Association (or American Red Cross) in CPR for the Health Care Provider before the start of clinical activities.
  9. Flu shots may be required by some health care facilities.
  10. Background checks: The PTA Program requires admitted students to have a criminal background check after they have been accepted to the program in cooperation with the Connecticut League of Nursing. This will be done under the direction of the Program before the PTA classes begin. Some medical facilities require drug and substance screening or additional criminal background checks prior to employment and these facilities will require that the same standard be met by any students participating in clinical education experiences.
  11. Documented volunteer/observational experience totaling a minimum of 10 hours in each of an out-patient and an in-patient physical therapy setting (minimum 20 hours total). Contact Kathleen Cercone PT, PhD, PTA Coordinator, for additional information; or (203) 332-5177

Note: Applicants will be considered stronger candidates for admission if they have:

  • earned a Bachelor’s degree by the 10/15 deadline and/or
  • completed all general education courses in the PTA curriculum with minimum grade (C) requirement by the 10/15 deadline.

Anatomy and Physiology II requires C+ minimum grade and the course must be completed within five (5) years prior to entering the program.

Learning is planned as a progression of increasing complexity. The general education are supportive of the PTA courses. Therefore, all courses must be taken in sequence and/or no later than scheduled in the PTA curriculum. General education core classes and electives may be taken prior to entering the PTA program. A minimum grade of C+ is required in all areas of physical therapy and biology, and an evaluation of "Pass"; indicating satisfactory completion must be attained in clinical internship courses in order to progress. The faculty reserves the right to withdraw a student whole clinical performance is unsatisfactory. Attendance for class, lab and clinical experience is required. Sixty-sever(67) semester hours are required for graduation from the PTA Program.

The program is accredited by: The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314.

Note: Clinical internship experiences are scheduled at affiliated clinics throughout the state. Students are not routinely placed out-of-state.

HCC Liaison, Physical Therapist Assistant Program:
Kathleen Cercone, PT, PhD
(203) 332-5177
Room LH-B234

Director, Physical Therapist Assistant Program:
Kathleen Plunkett, PT, MS
203-596-2168, fax 203-575-8146 .

Suggested Sequence of Courses:
Prerequisite or parallel courses may be required. Please check individual course descriptions for details.


  BIO* E211
Anatomy & Physiology I    

Spring I

  PTA* E120
Introduction to Physical Therapy (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E125
Physical Therapy for Function (taught at NVCC)    
  BIO* E212
Anatomy & Physiology II    
  ENG* E101
  PSY* E111
General Psychology I    

Summer I

  PTA* E220
Introduction to Physical Therapy Clinic (taught at NVCC)    

Fall I

  PTA* E230
Physical Agents in Physical Therapy (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E235
Kinesiology for Rehabilitation (taught at NVCC)    
  Communications 2
  Mathematics 1
3 - 4
  ENG* E102
Literature & Composition    

Spring II

  PTA* E250
Therapeutic Exercise (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E253
Pathophysiology for Rehabilitation (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E258
PTA in the Healthcare Area (taught at NVCC)    
  Fine Art/Humanities
  Social Science

Fall II

  PTA* E260
Physical Therapy Seminar (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E262
PTA Internship II (taught at NVCC)    
  PTA* E265
PTA Internship III (taught at NVCC)    

Total Credits 

67 - 68

1 MAT*137 or higher acceptable

2 Course choices: COM* E101, COM* E173

Note: For degree completion the student must complete the Computer Literacy Requirement.

› Please read Expectations for Student Use of Computers in Courses