Program Mission, Goals, Objectives and Measures

PTA Program Mission Statement:  the Onondaga Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program is committed to a high standard of scholarship to provide theory, knowledge, clinical experience, problem-solving skills and strong ethical standards, thus cultivating physical therapist assistants who possess entry-level competence as defined by the American Physical Therapy Association.  This program will prepare students to meet standards for state certification, and function as technically competent, caring, responsible and safe physical therapist assistants under the supervision of a physical therapist.  

 It is our philosophy to provide the highest quality academic education in the classroom and lab, along with a variety of clinical experiences to enable our graduates to meet the psychological, social and physical needs of their patients/clients.  Graduates of this program will also develop a value of racial, social and cultural diversity, and will acquire an appreciation of lifelong learning.  

Program Goals  

  1. Promote the development and acquisition of ethical and legal principles and core values that reflect professionalism in physical therapy via continuous self-assessment and activities dispersed throughout the curriculum.
  2. Recruit, retain and graduate a sufficient number of entry-level PTA’s to adequately meet the needs of the healthcare community.
  3. Provide learning experiences that encourage graduates to seek lifelong learning in order to maintain their skills, knowledge and professionalism, and affirm their             commitment to their community.
  4. Promote safety,competency and critical thinking skills, and utilize these skills to apply evidence based principles as a means to treat/prevent injury, disease and disabilities.
  5. Foster communication competency by effective, accurate and congruent transfer of information between individuals and groups.
  6. Encourage diversity awareness by providing an understanding of the uniqueness of each individual despite differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs or disability.
  7. Afford opportunities to develop technological skills in order to pursue lifelong learning and to provide safe, effective physical therapy interventions.            

Program Objectives

The program will:  

  1. Offer a curriculum consistent with the current guidelines of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Minimum Required Skills of Physical Therapist Education at Entry-level.  
    • Measures/Targets:  A, B, C, F, G, J, K, L
  2. Perform annual assessment of the job outlook in the PTA community, and will adjust class size based on market needs.
    1. Measures/Targets: D, K, L
  3. Provide opportunities for student growth through reflection activities that identify individual strengths and areas for improvement.
    • Measures/Targets: B, E, G, I, L
  4. Offer meaningful experiences and adequate opportunities to apply learned skills in a variety of clinical settings that are representative of the practice of physical therapy.
    1. Measures/Targets: E, I, L
  5. Cultivate effective written and oral communication skills on all papers and presentations throughout the curriculum and on the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI).
    • Measures/Targets: F, G, H, I
  6. Advocate cultural sensitivity towards the uniqueness of each individual by providing examples of how people of varying backgrounds may respond to PT interventions.
    • Measures/Targets: E, K, L
  7. Embed technology in academic and clinical curricula to develop research and lifelong learning skills.
    • Measures/Targets:  A, H, I



Expected Level of Student Performance:

A.  90% of OCC PTA graduates will pass the National Board Exam

B.  80% of PTA students will receive a grade of 65% or higher on the PTA 208 Practice Board Exam

C.  Individual Course & Graduation GPA (80% if students that complete the program will graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher)

D.  90% of all graduates seeking employment as a PTA will obtain a job within six months of graduation and/or passing the National Board Exam


Varying Thresholds for expected Student Performance

E.  100: of graduates receive “Advanced Intermediate Performance through Entry Level Performance” on PTA 206 Clinical Performance Instrument for all criteria

F.  90% of students will pass Competency  final practicals

G.  80% of students that graduate from the PTA program will receive a grade of 80% or higher on all term Term Papers and classroom presentations

H.  100% of students will use a computer for Evidence-Based Practice Literature in order to write a research paper, and use a PowerPoint presentation for required courses

I.  100% of students will complete the training for the PTA Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) Web, and utilize the CPI web for all clinical experiences


Program Enrollment/retention/completion:  total number of students in enrollment cohort (3-year average).

J.  Program/student benchmarking data 75% of all students originally enrolled in the PTA program will graduate within three years of enrollment


Program satisfaction ratings:  80% of survey responses received shall indicate category rating of 3 or higher (on a 5-point scale)

K.  Employer Survey

L.  Graduate Survey