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KCC > Future Students > Choosing a Program > Health Career Programs > Physical Therapist Assistant > PTA Program Mission and Philosophy

PTA Program Mission and Philosophy


Enhancing quality of life through learning by committing to academic excellence in physical therapy education; developing entry-level physical therapist assistants who function effectively in an ever-changing healthcare environment; and providing exceptional services to our academic, professional, and community partners.

Program philosophy

Faculty of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program are committed to providing the educational experiences necessary to equip students to graduate with entry-level skills competitive for the physical therapy profession and the demands of the changing health care environment. Students are prepared to function as physical therapist assistants who function under the direction and supervision of physical therapists as responsible members of the health care team.

The curriculum for the Associate of Applied Science degree in physical therapy is designed to meet and exceed the standards of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), the professional standards of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and the expectations of the student.

Intended to support and integrate the College philosophy of learning, the PTA program believes in general education as well as specialized studies resulting in a comprehensive academic program. We believe such a program develops students who are flexible and holistic in their approach to patient care and assists them in becoming contributing members of society by providing them with an opportunity to explore personal and professional values, ideas, and bodies of knowledge and apply and integrate this with new information. 

The two major components of the PTA professional education curriculum are academic and clinical experiences. We believe the two components should be planned and implemented to be interdependent and to reinforce one another. Educational objectives are developed to provide an atmosphere that integrates didactic instruction and laboratory practice in the technical aspects of physical therapy with clinical experiences. 

The PTA program is a five consecutive semester program. Once admitted, students must progress through the courses corresponding to the curriculum model. To facilitate student success, the curriculum is designed to progress students along a learning continuum from basic clinical skills and knowledge to terminal clinical experiences. The curriculum encompasses the three learning domains; cognitive, psychomotor and affective, and emphasizes professional behaviors and communication.

Achievement of program goals and learning outcomes are assessed using a wide range of methodologies to meet the objectives of a personalized educational experience, prepare for students to successfully pass the licensure exam, and ultimately experience rewarding careers as physical therapist assistants.

Learning is an individual and life-long process. Learning also is an active process requiring participation of both the teacher and the student in a collaborative and supportive learning environment. A commitment to open communication and mutual respect between faculty and students fosters an environment where students are responsible for their own learning through seeking and providing information, feedback and guidance, and maintaining an openness to learning; and faculty ensures program quality, evaluates student performance and behavioral expectations consistently and fairly, and provides feedback to the students regarding their performance. The faculty also provides a positive example to students through service and leadership to the physical therapy profession and community.

Life is a journey - and every individual has the potential to make a positive difference and be an effective change agent in society. For some, the PTA program is a starting point, for others it is a change in career or life journey. Graduates of the PTA program at KCC will have the opportunity to change lives and impact others, the physical therapy profession, and health care as a whole. The PTA program embraces each student’s story and hopes to contribute in a meaningful way in their journey to become effective and successful physical therapist assistants. Likewise, it is the purpose of the PTA program to instill this philosophy in the students so they may in turn continue and make memorable differences in the lives of their patients and others along the way.