PTA Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What courses should I take first to be eligible for the PTA program?

A: You need to complete all basic and developmental courses (for those students whose ACT and/or Compass scores require B&D courses)

Q: Do I need to take the other general education/core requirements prior to the PTA program?

A: No, the only required courses are listed in the previous question, although the more general education courses you have completed, and the better your grade in them, the better chance you have of being accepted into the PTA program.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA required to apply to the program?

A: Yes, the minimum GPA for all students (both high school and those students with college credit) is a 2.5.

Q: When can I apply for the PTA program?

A: Applications, which can be obtained either from the web or from the Allied Health office, CLBG 1E8, should be available in February and must be turned in no later than May 15 of the year you wish to be admitted to the PTA program.

Q: How do I get at least 24 hours of observation in a physical therapy clinic?

A: You must contact physical therapy clinics in your area, let them know of your desire to enter the PTA program and ask if they allow observation. Each individual clinic will have a protocol to follow prior to your volunteer experience. It is your responsibility to set up your hours and have those hours documented.

Q: How do I have observation hours documented?

A: In the application packet or on the web site under admission information you will find a form titled "Verification of Observation". This form is to be completed by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who supervised you during the observation hours.

Q: Can I go to more than one facility to do my observations?

A: Yes; in fact, a well rounded rotation is encouraged.

Q: Do I have to complete the observation form if I have been employed in a PT clinic as a technician?

A: Yes. There is a place on that same form for the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who supervised you to check if you are (or have recently been) employed as a technician. It is not necessary, however, for you to observe.

Q: I live out of the area. Can I complete my general education courses at another school?

A: Yes. Make sure you are advised by a faculty member of the PTA program about what courses will substitute and have official transcripts from all other colleges attended sent to the Jackson State Community College Admissions Office and the PTA Program.

Q: What is the process of admission after I have turned in my application?

A: Applicants are given points for overall GPA, Math and Science GPA, additional math and science courses (other than required), and volunteer hours/work experience. These points will be subtotaled. The top ranked students (no more than three times as many as will be accepted) will be scheduled for an interview. The points acquired from the interview will be added to the students' subtotal, giving them a final total. The 20 students with the highest final totals will be accepted into the PTA program.

Q: If I don't get accepted the first time, can I apply again?

A: Yes. There is no limit on the number of times you can apply.

Q: Does a previous application give me any advantage the second time?

A: No. There are no additional points given for repeat applications.

Q: Can I go into a PT Program after I have completed the PTA Program?

A: Technically yes; however, there is no real advantage to having gone through the PTA program prior to admittance to a PT program. This will not increase your chances of acceptance to a PT program nor will it meet the prerequisites for a PT program. Our program is a terminal degree program designed for the student who does not wish to seek a bachelor's degree. Upon completion of the PTA program the student will receive his or her Associates of Applied Science Degree and be qualified to sit for a State Board Exam for licensure.