Frequently Asked Questions

 

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession within the health care field with the responsibility to preserve, develop and/or restore maximum physical potential in people who are injured or at risk for injury. Treatment interventions may include procedures to prevent injury, promote wellness, restore lost function, or teach new compensatory mechanisms when there is permanent motor loss.

There is opportunity for work specialization on a variety levels.

Populations: The Lifespan: Child through Seniors.
Pathology: Physical therapy intervenes with disorders of the musculoskeletal (bones and muscles), neuromuscular (nervous system), cardiovascular/pulmonary (heart and lungs), and integumentary (skin) systems.
Health Care Delivery Settings: Acute, subacute and long term care facilities

inpatient: hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers

outpatient: private offices, hospitals, clinics

community: home care, schools, industrial setting

A three-tiered personnel system exists in most physical therapy departments.

Physical Therapist (PT)

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

Physical Therapy Aide

New York State Law: Physical therapy services may only be delivered by the PT or PTA under the direct supervision of a PT. Physical therapy aides perform non-treatment related duties only.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential. You should also have a good aptitude in science. The PTA program is rigorous with challenging course work. Good study habits and time management skills are important. You need to be committed to two years of hard work where personal life takes a back seat to the goal of a career.
 

Physical Therapist (PT)

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

Responsibilities: examine, evaluate, establish physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, goals, and treatment plan, and deliver all components of a treatment program

Working requirements:
o graduate from an accredited program
o pass national licensing exam

Education: varies from school to school; most common formats are:
o bachelor's degree + three years of PT school
o three years of pre-requisites + three years of PT school

Degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, after 4-year Bachelor's

NY State licensure

Responsibilities: work under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist delivering selected components of the treatment program

Working requirements:
o graduate from an accredited program
o pass national licensing exam

Education: pre-requisite semester+ 2 years

Degree: AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree

NY State licensure

Twenty-six (26) students are accepted each June. The technical Physical Therapy classes begin in January. There is only one admission cycle per year.

Yes. Depending on what courses you may have completed prior to applying to the program, it is possible to remain part-time (<12 credits) for this program. The Program’s 70 credits are a combination of general education and physical therapy courses. Some students enter the program with many of the general education (liberal arts and sciences) requirements completed leaving only the required PTA courses. These students can complete the program part-time. Recent high school graduates and continuing students with college coursework who enter the program without any of the program’s pre-requisites completed will most likely have to be full time. Students have an option of completing some general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) over the intersession and summer sessions but all general education courses must be completed by the end of the semester in which they are scheduled.

(Refer to class schedules on pp. 5-8 for a breakdown of the part-time student schedule)

Special Note: Semesters 4 and 5 require participation in clinical internships that are scheduled all day. Courses, other than PTA courses, must be scheduled in the evening or on weekends. There are also two PTA courses (PTA200 and 250) which have an evening component to them for seminar meetings.

Yes and No. Students who have been accepted into the program and have completed all the pre-requisite courses may not have to take semester 1 (Fall semester). These students will only have to take the four semesters of technical courses which begin semester 2 (January).

Special Note: Students who have completed all pre-requisite courses may use semester 1 (fall semester) to complete other general education courses required in the curriculum.

No. The PTA program is primarily a day program. There is one PTA course that is offered online semester 3 and two PTA courses, one in semester 4 and one in semester 5 that has a scheduled evening component. The clinical internships are scheduled in the day. All general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) can be taken in the evening.
No. PTA designated courses are only scheduled on the Ammerman campus. General education (liberal arts and sciences) courses can be taken on any of the three campuses or transferred from another College.
Yes. Many students work as they complete the PTA program, but strong consideration must be given to the amount of time available for course assignments and studying. Jobs must offer flexible hours as course schedules change each semester. There are also full-time clinical experiences scheduled in semesters 4 and 5 which preclude working during day hours.

There is good potential for employment. All employment statistics including the US Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics predict continued growth in the job market for the Physical Therapist Assistant... An article in Newsday in February 2009 stated: “health care is considered one of the recession-proof job sectors of the economy.”

Full- time and part-time positions are available. PTAs generally start at roughly at 2/3s of a PT salary. Data posted in the 2009 Newsday article reported the starting salary of a PTA on Long Island as $39, 960 with an experience salary of $54,360. Program data collected in 2009 demonstrated salaries for part-time positions ranged from $17-27.00 for the new graduate.

Time Magazine May 2012 cited Physical Therapist Assistant as a career likely to grow 46% in demand from 2012-2020. The median 2010 annual wage was given to be $49,700. 100% of graduates on returned 6 month survey returns report employment

No. The general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) are the only potential transferable courses. Although PT and PTA courses cover similar material, especially in the area of treatment interventions, there is a difference in the depth and breadth of coverage. The PT courses encompass the material of PTA courses plus the elements of total patient management including examination/evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of goals and a treatment plan.

Should your goal be a PT degree, it is recommended that you matriculate in a Liberal Arts and Sciences program in order to complete the pre-requisite requirements for PT school. Since each PT program has different admission requirements, it is important that you contact the school you are interested in attending for a listing of their prerequisite requirements.

A list of all PT and PTA educational programs can be found at www.apta.org.

Just follow the links to the education programs.

Most of the PTA program credits transfer towards the Massage Therapist degree program at the New School in Syosset. A number of graduates have pursued this licensure after graduation to have as a second license in conjunction with their PTA license. 

FILE AN APPLICATION: File an application with Admissions stating your program choice.

New Students to the College: file a paper or on-line application

Continuing Students Attending: file a change in emphasis form

Program Admission Contact Katherine Aguirre in the Admissions office on Ammerman campus. She is the admission counselor for this program. Make an appointment to discuss your educational history and file an application.

(631) 451-4022

aguirrk@sunysuffolk.edu

Program Coordinator Keith Perrucci if you have any questions regarding the program or the field of Physical Therapy.

(631) 451-4017

perruck@sunysuffolk.edu

All questions regarding admission to the program, transcripts, course substitutions, and application process should go through the Ammerman Admission department.

Please check the Program's website for informational seminars run by the Admission department.

The program admits a class of 26 students. There are five semesters of course work which includes all required prerequisites, general education, liberal arts and sciences, technical and clinical courses. Application deadline is June 1st. The PTA program is competitive and meeting minimum requirements does not assure acceptance into the program. Please refer to the admission criteria on page 4.

Special Notes:

Preference is given to applications filed by June 1st.

Suffolk County residents are given preference (please refer to the College Catalog, for further information on eligibility).

Students accepted to the program and enrolled in semester1 must achieve a minimum passing grade of C+ in BIO130, a minimum 2.5 GPA in the four program prerequisites (BIO130, ENG101, PSY101, and the restricted COM elective). Any student accepted to the Program direct from high school who does not meet these requirements upon completion of semester 1 will not be able to proceed to the technical phase of the program in semester 2.

Yes. Not all students accepted into the Program decide to attend and not all students accepted to the program may achieve the requirements to pass into semester 2.There are seats in the technical phase of the program (semester 2) for 26 students. Any empty seats will be filled with students on the wait list and students can be accepted up until the first day of classes in January. Any student who is not accepted in a given year may re-apply the following year.

Yes. There are a number of requirements specific to the PTA program and several expenses that are in addition to the College cited expenses found in the College Catalog.

Requirements to begin Program

Incoming students must meet the health requirements of the College. (Refer to College Catalog)

Requirements while Attending the Program

Students must achieve a minimum passing grade of C+ in BIO130, a minimum 2.5 GPA in the four program prerequisites (BIO130, ENG101, PSY101, and the restricted COM elective) in order to progress to the technical phase of the program semester 2.

Students will be required to meet the health requirements of the Physical Therapist Assistant program which include in addition to College requirements of proof of immunization, a physical examination and PPD. Two physical examinations and PPDs will be required during attendance of the program:

End of Semester 2 prior to beginningPTA150: Clinical Practicum I.

End of Semester 4 prior to beginning PTA250: Clinical Practicum III

Students must provide proof of certification in adult CPR, which includes training on an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), through the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or a College-credit CPR course. This certification is required for semester 3 (prior to the start of PTA150 Clinical Practicum I) and must be maintained over the rest of the program.

Special Note: Students who do not meet these last two requirements will not be permitted to participate in the clinical portion of the program.

Students must achieve a C in all PTA classroom and laboratory courses and a C+ in all clinical coursework in order to continue in the program sequence.

Any non-PTA-designated course scheduled semester 4 and semester 5 must be taken in the evening or on weekends in order to accommodate the scheduling of clinical experiences.

Two PTA courses in semester 4 and semester 5have an evening component.

Three off-campus fieldtrips are scheduled to local facilities outside of class time during the course of the Program. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Clinical courses require students to travel to a wide variety of physical therapy facilities in Suffolk County and students are responsible for their own transportation. Students work the hours of the clinical facility. Work schedules may have to be adjusted accordingly and it is not possible to schedule any day classes other than PTA courses during semester 4 and 5. A liability insurance fee is incorporated into the cost of all clinical courses

A criminal background check is required prior to starting PTA 150. The fee is currently $37.95.

Drug testing/fingerprinting may be required by some clinical facilities. Students are responsible for the cost of these services.

Students shall maintain student membership in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) during semesters 4 and 5. The fee is currently $85.00 a year

Students are required to complete 16 hours of community service and participate in 8 hours of professional activity while in the Program.

Students must pass a computerized exit examination during semester 5 and to graduate. Proof of score must be submitted. Fee is currently $95.

Class 2017: 95.6%

Class 2016: 85.7%

Class 2015: 100%

New York State requires the passage of the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to work in this state as a PTA. It is a 200 question multiple choice computerized examination. Student are required to take and pass the practice version in semester 4.

Licensure Pass Rates: (Ultimate Pass Rate)

Class 2016: 100%

Class 2015: 100%

Class 2014: 100%

All graduates wishing to work in the field of physical therapy and responding to our survey have found jobs in physical therapy.

Employment Rates: (6 months post-graduation of students seeking employment)

Class 2016: 100%

Class 2015: 100%

Class 2014: 100%

Hear what our recent graduates had to say:

“Amazing experience! Sure there were many times I wanted to quit because of the tough grading and constant feedback (even if it was all positive), but given the amazing name I am making for myself in the field now, I’m sure glad that I didn’t give up. The program more than prepared me for the challenges I face almost every day. I am also extremely confident using my skills on a daily basis with the knowledge I took away from the program.”

“I had a wonderful experience. The program really prepared me and gave me insight on what to expect in the field. I enjoyed all three clinical placements and I feel both professors for the program and other faculty were very dedicated, well prepared and extremely knowledgeable and helpful.”

“It is the best program on earth. Well prepared and organized. I feel confident and comfortable in my role as PTA with the preparation given. For the most part, I wouldn’t change a thing.”  

 

Contact Us

Admission Counselor
Meghan DeMayo-Dalen
(631) 451-4529
demayom@sunysuffolk.edu

Program Coordinator
Dr. Keith Perrucci
(631) 451-4017
perruck@sunysuffolk.edu

Ammerman Admissions
533 College Road
Selden, NY 11784
(631) 451-4111
Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Central Admissions
Phone: (631) 451-4414
Fax: (631) 451-4415
admissions@sunysuffolk.edu

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.