Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at GTCC prepares you to work in direct patient care, providing rehabilitation to patients and clients in a variety of health care settings. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) treat people of all ages under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Guilford Technical Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va. 22314; Phone: 703-706-3245; Email:; Website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 336-334-4822 Ext. 50280 or email

Credentialing Options

Career Opportunities

Physical Therapist Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

Physical Therapist Assistant is a limited enrollment program which means that space is limited, and acceptance into it may be competitive.

Before considering applying to the program, please review the Physical Therapist Assistant Essential Functions PDF.

Students interested in applying to this program must follow guidelines on our Limited Entry Programs page.

Joey Jeffers, PT, MA, DPT (PTA Program Director)

Keith Jenkins, PTA (PTA Program Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education)

Financial aid is available if you qualify. Please visit the Financial Aid web page or contact the Financial Aid office at 336-334-4822 Option 3.

PTA Program Estimated Costs
Tuition Cost
$76.00/credit hour (in-state) $1,216.00/semester maximum
$268.00/credit hour (out-of-state) $4,288.00/semester maximum
Type Cost
Campus access, parking, and security (CAPS) fee 50.00/semester
Student activity fee 26.25/semester
Computer Use & Technology fee 16.00/semester
Accident insurance 3.60/semester
Malpractice insurance 8.50/semester
Drug testing and criminal background check $ 100.00
Graduation fee $ 35.00
Textbooks (estimated) $ 1,200.00
Supplies (uniform, name tag, parking at clinicals, etc.) $ 200.00
Student Medical Form (estimated copay) $ 50.00
American Physical Therapy Association membership (optional) $ 80.00
National physical therapist assistant licensure exam (taken after graduation from the PTA program) $ 600.00

Estimated total: $7,000.000

Outcomes for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program
2017 2018 2019

Matriculation Rate




Graduation Rate




First-Time Passing Rate on the Licensure Exam




Ultimate Passing Rate on the Licensure Exam




Graduate Employment Rate





What are the PTA Program’s technical standards?

Technical Standards

  1. It is the responsibility of the applicant to carefully read the Technical Standards for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program and request clarification for any item that is not understood.
  2. Reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner.
  3. All students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, equilibrium, and smell.  Their exteroceptive (touch, pain, temperature) and proprioceptive (position, pressure, movement, sterognosis, and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact to enable them to carry out all activities required for a complete PTA education.
  4. To be successful in this curriculum, students must be able to demonstrate the following skills/abilities:
  1. Observation: A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.  Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.  The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and learn from experiences in the basic sciences and in the clinical physical therapy laboratory such as accurately reading dials on electrotherapeutic equipment and numbers on a goniometer, hear heart and breath sounds, assess normal and abnormal color changes in the skin and palpate various body parts.
  2. Communication: A candidate must be able to assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, notes, medical records, etc.).  The candidate must be able to attain, comprehend, retain, and utilize new information presented in written formats as well as produce appropriate written documentation.  A candidate must be able to speak with, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive nonverbal communications, and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture.  The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, and efficiently and effectively with the heart-care team, orally and in writing.
  3. Sensorimotor: A candidate must have sufficient gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other data collection skills.  A candidate must be able to execute movements required to provide therapeutic intervention (e.g., patient transfers, exercise, and application of electrotherapy) and emergency treatment.  Quick reactions are necessary not only for safety, but for efficient and effective therapeutic intervention.  The student must have the ability to move him or herself and the patient in order to perform motor function tests and treatment.  Additionally, the student must be able to ensure the physical safety of a patient at all times.  Such skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and sensation (hearing, vision, smell, and touch).
  4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: A candidate must be capable of these abilities which include, but are not limited to, measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and retention of complex information.  Problem-solving is a critical skill demanded of physical therapist assistants, one that involves all these abilities.  The candidate must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Emotional: A candidate must have the emotional health to use fully his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise good judgment, and the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients.
  6. Interpersonal: A candidate must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and colleagues.  Ability to tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively is a must.  A candidate must be adaptable, flexible, and able to function in the face of uncertainty.  He or she must have integrity, the motivation to serve a high level of compassion, and a consciousness of social values.  A candidate needs the interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, ethnic backgrounds, and beliefs.
A deficiency in the abilities listed above can severely diminish a candidate’s chances of success in school and in the profession. It is the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request those accommodations that he/she thinks are reasonable and are needed to execute the essential functions described.

The Rights and Privileges of Clinical Education Faculty

  1. Clinical education faculty members receive North Carolina continuing competency points when they serve as clinical instructors for GTCC PTA students.
  2. Clinical education faculty members have full and complete access to the Learning Resources Center (Library) at Guilford Technical Community College.
  3. Clinical education faculty members have full and complete access to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program’s computer lab.
  4. Clinical education faculty may participate in any of the professional development activities offered by Guilford Technical Community College.
  5. Clinical education faculty members are invited to go through the American Physical Therapy Association’s Clinical Instructor and Credentialing Program. The PTA program at GTCC will sponsor clinical education faculty to participate in the credentialing program on a limited basis.
  6. Clinical education faculty are invited to attend any of the academic classes in the PTA program at GTCC, including classes taught by guest lecturers such as:
    • Guest lecture and demonstration of neurological seating for clients with TBI, CVA, & SCI by a wheelchair representative
    • Guest lecture and demonstration of rehab of people with amputations and prosthetics
    • Guest lecture on SCI, TBI, and Stroke
    • Guest lecture for pediatrics
  1. Clinical education faculty are invited to attend any of the following field trips:
    • Field trip to the anatomy lab of the physical therapy department at Elon University (overview of upper extremity, lower extremity, and trunk musculoskeletal system on human cadavers)
    • Field trip to Pulmonary  & Cardiac Rehabilitation at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
    • Field trip to BioTech Prosthetics and Orthotics
    • Field trip to University of North Carolina Hospital’s Burn Center in Chapel Hill
    • Field trip to observe aquatic therapy at the Shannon Grey Rehabilitation and Recovery Center
  2. Clinical education faculty are invited to request the Program Director or the Academic Coordinator of Clinical   Education to do an in-service for your department on topics related to physical therapist assistant education, such as how to use the Clinical Performance Instrument or the role of the Physical Therapist Assistant.
  3. Clinical education faculty are invited to be a part of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Advisory Committee which meets two times a year for the purpose of advising the PTA faculty in regard to training and educating the PTA students.
  4. Clinical education faculty members are invited to attend and participate in the monthly PTA faculty meetings as well as the college’s Faculty Association.