EVALUATIVE CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR
THE PREPARATION OF PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS
Adopted April 26, 2006
Effective July 1, 2007
SECTION 1: ORGANIZATION
1.1.1. The sponsoring institution is authorized under applicable law or other acceptable
authority to provide a program of postsecondary education. In addition, the
institution has been approved by appropriate authorities to provide the physical
therapist assistant education program.
LaGuardia Community College is one of seventeen undergraduate colleges in the City
University of New York (CUNY) and one of six associate degree community colleges. The
City University of New York is considered to be the nation’s largest public urban university.
CUNY, was established in 1847 and is currently managed by the Chancellor, Matthew
Goldstein, under the direction of the Board of Trustees and is funded by the state and city of
The New York State Education Department is responsible for the supervision of all public
schools in New York State including standardized testing, administration of state tests and
Regents Examinations. The Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department
oversee the preparation, licensure, and practice of the professions. Currently, the New York
State Office of the Professions regulates forty-eight professions. The Office of Professions is
led by the Associate Commissioner, Frank Munoz. The executive secretary for the field of
physical therapy is Claudia Alexander. The New York State Office of Professions website can
be found at www.op.nysed.gov.
1.1.2. The education program for the physical therapist assistant is provided by an
Institution accredited by an agency or association recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education or by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
LaGuardia Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher
Education which is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States
Secretary of Education and the council for Higher Education Accreditation. The most recent
LaGuardia Community College accreditation was November 15, 2007.
1.1.3. The institution awards the associate degree upon satisfactory completion of the
physical therapist assistant education program or assures the associate degree is
awarded by an affiliating college at the satisfactory completion of the physical
therapist assistant education program.
The degree awarded by LaGuardia Community College is the AAS degree (Associates in
Applied Science) to students who complete all curricula requirements for the Physical
Therapist Assistant Program as well as the institutional guidelines for graduation. The current
PTA curriculum consists of a total of 68 credits. Thirty-one credits are completed in the pre
clinical or general education phase including six credits in English, six credits in Social
Science, sixteen credits in the Natural and Applied Sciences and three credits of Liberal Arts.
Prior to starting the clinical phase, students are required to complete 50 hours of volunteer
work in a physical therapy setting under the supervision of a physical therapist. Students are
required to submit a letter from the clinical facility upon completion of their 50 volunteer
hours. A letter is provided by the clinical site and kept by the PTA Program Director.
In the technical or clinical phase, students complete 37 credits including Introduction to
Physical Therapy, Ethics for PTAs, Clinical Kinesiology, Therapeutic Procedures I and II,
Mobility Skills, Functional Gait Training Skills, Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise and the
capstone course, Neuromuscular Rehabilitation.
Students complete a 100 hour part time clinical experience after successful completion of
the first two semesters and two full time 275 hour clinical experiences after the successful
completion of all didactic work.
The PTA program is designed to be completed in five semesters or two years and three
months. All LaGuardia Community College students are required to pass the CUNY
Proficiency Exam(CPE), a written exam, before graduation. Students are eligible to take the
CPE exam after completing forty-five credits of course work. LaGuardia Community College
notifies the students when they are eligible to take the CPE exam. Students are given three
opportunities to take and pass the CPE exam.
1.1.4. Institutional policies, procedures and practices are based on appropriate and
equitable criteria and applicable law. The policies, procedures and practices
assure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity to persons involved with the
LaGuardia Community College has institutional policies, procedures and practices that are
based on appropriate and equitable criteria and applicable law.
Ms. April Tucker is the college Affirmative Action/EEO Officer, and the Coordinator for
Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination in federally assisted education programs. She
is also the Coordinator for the Age Discrimination Act, which prohibits age discrimination in
federally assisted education programs. April Tucker’s office is located in E-512, Room C and
her telephone number is (718) 482-5057. April Tucker, the Director of Affirmative Action,
Compliance & Diversity, (AA/CD Director), handles any complaint, written or spoken, of
alleged discrimination. Under the informal investigation procedure, the AA Director will meet
with the complainant and hear the complaint. The AA Director will also meet with the
individual accused of the discriminatory act (“respondent”) and give him/her the chance to
respond to the accusation. The AA Director, when appropriate, will try to resolve the
complaint informally by bringing together the complainant and the respondent for discussion in
order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement for resolution of the complaint. The AA
Director will take all reasonable steps necessary to resolve the complaint informally. If both
the complainant and the respondent are satisfied with the results of the investigation and
resolution of the complaint is agreed upon, the AA Director will notify both in writing as to the
outcome of the investigation. When informal resolution is not possible, as determined jointly
by the complainant and the respondent, the complaint of discrimination will undergo a
complete and thorough formal investigation and a determination will be made as to whether an
anti-discrimination law, regulation, or college or university policy has been violated. If a
violation has occurred, appropriate sanctions will be applied.
Mr. Matthew S. Joffe is the College Coordinator for the Americans with Disabilities Act
and Section 504, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. His office is located
in M-102, and his telephone number is (718) 482-5278.
LaGuardia Community College’s nondiscrimination policy is located on page 230 of the
2008/2009 college catalog and reads as follows:
“LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Institution. The college does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic
origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, marital status, disability, genetic
predisposition or carrier status, alienage or citizenship, military or veteran status, or status as
victim of domestic violence in its student admission, employment, access to programs, and
administration of educational policies.”
1.1.5. The institution recognizes and supports the academic and technical education
aspects of the physical therapist assistant program.
The institution recognizes and is supportive of the academic education and technical
education aspects of the physical therapist assistant program. Since the last re-accreditation
activity in the fall of 2000, Debra Engel PT, DPT, MS has been appointed PTA Program
Director to replace Ann Feibel PT, DPT, MS who assumed the position of the Chairperson of
the Natural and Applied Science Department in the fall of 2003. Clarence Chan PT, DPT was
hired to replace Debra Engel as a core faculty member. Jackie Ross PT, DPT remained as core
faculty and assumed the sole responsibility of ACCE. (Debra Engel previously shared the
responsibility of ACCE with Jackie Ross.) Ralph Mitchell PTA was hired as the college
laboratory technician in 2006 to replace the former CLT, Tamiko Lee.
Since the last accreditation, a new curriculum was introduced increasing the number of
program credits from 60 to 68. An Ethics for PTAs course was added to the curriculum. The
Mobility course was redesigned to include two new courses: Mobility Skills in Physical
Therapy and Functional Gait Training Skills. The Therapeutic Exercise course was redesigned
to include two new courses: Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise and Neuromuscular
Rehabilitation. The Neuromuscular Rehabilitation course serves as the program’s capstone
course. The new curriculum was implemented Spring II 2006.
PTA faculty are academically and professionally qualified for LaGuardia Community
College appointments. All three core faculty members completed their transitional Doctor of
Physical Therapy degree since the last re-accreditation. Debra Engel graduated in 2003 from
Creighton University. Clarence Chan graduated in 2005 from Creighton University. Jackie
Ross graduated in 2005 from Massachusetts General Hospital Institution of Health Professions.
All faculty are licensed by the State of New York and are members of the American Physical
Therapy Association and active chapter members in the New York Physical Therapy
The core faculty have held elected office in the New York Physical Therapy Association at
both the District and Chapter levels. Currently, Debra Engel and Clarence Chan hold district
leadership positions. Debra Engel is the District Treasurer for the Greater New York District.
Clarence Chan is the District Treasurer for the Brooklyn-Staten Island District. In addition,
Debra Engel and Clarence Chan hold Chapter positions as Committee Chairs. Debra Engel is
the Chairperson of the New York State Chapter Ethics Committee. Clarence Chan is the
Chairperson of the New York State Chapter Minority Affairs Committee. All core faculty
members including the College Laboratory Technician are Delegates at the NYPTA Delegate
Assembly. Debra Engel and Clarence Chan have been delegates at the House of Delegates,
most recently in 2008. Please refer to the Faculty Curriculum Vitae in Appendix, Tabs 23-26.
The college supports the PTA faculty in their academic roles and provides for professional
development. Each instructional full time faculty member is required to teach twenty seven
contact hours per academic year. To allow the faculty members time to focus on professional
development activities, 24 hours of release time is provided through the PSC-CUNY contract.
In addition, Debra Engel is provided 12 hours of release time per academic year as Program
Director and Jackie Ross is provided 9 hours of release time as Academic Coordinator of
The college is committed to support faculty and instruction through orientation programs.
Sessions include tenure and promotion, syllabi development, facilitating communication in the
classroom and integrating technology in the classroom. The Center for Teaching and Learning
offer year long seminars with release time on such topics as ePorfolio in the Professions,
Experiential Education, Writing in the Discipline, Rethinking the Capstone Experience and
Design for Learning. All three core instructional faculty members are currently engaged in
year long seminars. Please refer to the Faculty Curriculum Vitae in the Appendix, Tabs 23-26._
The core faculty and adjunct faculty meet on an annual basis to review syllabi and
curriculum. The Normative Model of PTA Education and the CAPTE Evaluative Criteria are
used as models. Based on the review of curriculum, courses are modified. Recent
modifications included an addition of HIPPA to the Ethics course, advocacy letter writing to
the Introduction to Physical Therapy course and progress note writing into each laboratory
course. Modifications are presented to the PTA Advisory Board on an annual basis.
An organizational chart that includes the location of the program in the institution can be
found in the Appendix, Tab 1.
1.1.6. Policies and procedures exist to protect the rights and privileges of persons
associated with the education program. Policies and procedures are in place and
practices are described for:
126.96.36.199. privacy and confidentiality
Policies and Procedures exist to protect the rights and privileges of persons associated with
the education program and are outlined in the program policy and procedure manual under
privacy and confidentiality.
Students in the clinical phase are provided with a student handbook during orientation,
which takes place when enrolled in the first day of the Introduction to PTA course. The
student handbook is also available on the PTA program website. Prior to their first clinical
affiliation, students are provided with the PTA Program Student Clinical Manual. Copies of
the manual can be obtained from the program ACCE. A copy is included with this report.
The policy on student records is listed on page 21of the PTA Student Handbook. Individual
student files are kept on each student in the locked office of the PTA Program Director.
Copies of student exams, emergency contact information, copies of projects and official
student correspondence are kept in the file. After the student graduates, files are sent for
storage in the Records Management Department for up to 5 years.
Prior to the first fieldwork experience, students must submit a health examination packet.
Forms for the medical exam including proof of immunizations are available from the
Academic Coordinator for Clinical Education. Students are responsible for keeping all original
forms and providing the ACCE with a copy of the completed medical packet. A file with the
student’s medical record is kept in the locked office of the ACCE. The health information
packets are returned to each student on the last day of the clinical seminar class. All unclaimed
medical records are shredded by the ACCE.
Academic notification policies are located on page 18 of the PTA Student Handbook.
Students are provided with feedback from all exams completed in the PTA program. Midterm
written notification is provided to those individuals scoring below the required 70% pass rate
with recommendation to arrange remediation with the PTA College Laboratory Technician.
Clinical responsibility policies of the Clinical Faculty are located on page 36 of the
Clinical Education Manual. Student clinical responsibility polices are on page 29 of the
Clinical Education Manual and on page 5 of the PTA Student Clinical Manual. Clinical sites
are required to provide the student with both midterm and final evaluations. Students are
expected to obtain verbal and/or written communication regarding their clinical performance as
a means of improving their clinical skills. A site visit and/or telephone call is made to each
clinical site around the midterm of the student’s experience. Remediation policies are in place,
including a student remediation contract that is negotiated between the student and clinical
supervisor, to support successful completion of the students’ fieldwork experience.
Students may request an appointment with the program director or program faculty
member to discuss concerns such as misunderstandings in communication with a faculty
member or student as stated in the PTA Program Handbook on page thirteen. All student
discussions are held in a PTA faculty member office with the door closed if requested.
Adjunct faculty can arrange to use the program director’s office. All conversations are kept in
strict confidence unless the student authorizes release of information.
Faculty records are kept in the Human Resources Department in a locked cabinet and are
accessible by faculty by appointment only. Faculty files are also kept in a locked physical
therapy office. The PTA Program Director maintains a current file on each full-time and
adjunct faculty member. The file includes current New York State registration, annual
evaluations, student evaluations, curriculum vitae and peer observations.
The PTA program has a policy on protecting the confidentiality of patients, clinical
instructors and clinical sites. Students are instructed to avoid referring to patients, clinical sites
and clinical instructors by name during all written and oral communication and during class
discussion. These policies can be found in the Student Clinical Manual on page 5. Students are
given copies of the Student Clinical Manual prior to their first clinical experience.
During laboratory courses the students participate as patients to allow for hands on practice
of clinical skills. Students are informed at orientation that they are expected to participate as
subjects or as patient simulators during laboratory and clinical experiences. Students may be
videotaped, audiotaped and/or photographed with their permission. Students sign an Informed
Consent Form giving permission to participate as subjects and to be taped and photographed.
A copy of the consent form is kept in students’ file located in the office of the PTA program
director. The consent form can be found in the appendix, Form E of the PTA Student
Students are informed of drug testing and background investigation the clinical sites may
request. This information is located in the fieldwork section of the Student Handbook on page
15 and in the Student Clinical Manual on page 5. Students are required to wear an
identification badge while at the clinic to identify them as a physical therapist assistant student.
Students understand that patients may refuse to be treated by a student as stated in the PTA
Student Clinical Manual on page 5. This policy can also be found in the Clinical Education
Manual on page 30. All clinical facilities are provided with a copy of the PTA program
Clinical Education Manual by the ACCE. All students are provided with a copy of the Student
Clinical Manual prior to the first clinical experience.
Information regarding policies and procedures for due process is made available to the
students from the LaGuardia college catalog on pages 229-232, the PTA Student Handbook on
page 23 and in the PTA Student Handbook in each blackboard website for each PTA clinical
course. Students are provided with a copy of the program grading policy in the PTA Student
Handbook on page seventeen and on the blackboard site of each course.
LaGuardia Community College has an academic appeal process that is described in the
2008/2009 college catalog on page 173. Appeals are heard by the Academic Appeals
Committee as stated in the college catalog on page 173 and in the PTA Student Handbook on
page 21. In extenuating circumstances, students may request a medical leave from health
services. A medical leave of absence requires approval by the Health Center and should
include a physician’s statement of diagnosis, prognosis and the disability period. An
application for a medical leave must be filed immediately following the onset of the disability
and no later than six months after the start of the semester in which the leave is requested. The
policy on Medial Leave can be found in the college catalog on page 169.
LaGuardia publishes an annual resource guide titled the “Source” which is distributed to
faculty and students. The 2008/2009 issue outlines policies on student rights and
responsibilities, procedures for handling student complaints, medical withdrawal, and
academic integrity. The latest issue can be found with the supplemental booklets sent with this
Complaints that fall outside of due process are handled by the program faculty. The
PTA Program Policy and Procedure Manual addresses student concerns and student
complaints. A policy regarding Student Concerns is addressed on page 13 of the PTA
Student Handbook. The expectation for a clinical supervisor to contact the ACCE regarding
student safety or performance concerns is outlined on page 36 of the Clinical Education
Manual. Complaints from clinical sites are handled directly by the ACCE. A site visit may
be required. A student contract may ensue to address clinical inadequacies of the student
with follow up by the clinical instructor and ACCE. General concerns from students
regarding clinical sites are discussed in the clinical education seminar class. Discussions in
the clinical seminar class are kept confidential unless the safety of the student or patient is at
risk. Unresolved clinical issues are discussed with the Program Director and ACCE with
All student concerns regarding problems in the PTA program/classroom are first
addressed with the course instructor as outlined on page 13 of the PTA Student Handbook.
Students are encouraged to discuss unresolved problems with the program director. The
program director may ask the chairperson of Natural and Applied Sciences Department to
intervene if deemed necessary. All conversations and complaints with the program director
and NAS chairperson are documented and a record is kept in the individual student’s file.
A survey is distributed to employers of graduates to identify weaknesses of graduates.
Surveys are discussed at PTA program meetings and adjustments are made to the curriculum
based on employee concerns. A recent concern of the employers was note writing. At a
faculty staff meeting, it was decided to incorporate note writing case studies across the
curriculum in all laboratory courses.
1.1.7. Policies and procedures exist to ensure the safety of persons associated with the
program. Policies and procedures are in place and practices are described for:
188.8.131.52.on-campus educational experiences
Policies and Procedures exist to ensure the safety of persons associated with the PTA
program. LaGuardia Community College has a Public Safety Office at the entrance of each
building. Campus security officers are available at every entrance and monitor individuals
entering and exiting each building. In case of emergency all students are informed to dial
5555 to reach campus security. Emergency telephones are located in both PTA laboratories
and in the hallway of all buildings.
Policies on laboratory safety are reviewed at the beginning of each class and a PowerPoint
on laboratory safety can be found on the Blackboard site for each PTA laboratory course.
Hazardous waste is not currently used in the PTA program, however a policy on hazardous
waste is kept in the PTA Program Policy and Procedure Manual under tab 4. In order to
prevent injury during laboratory courses, all electrical modalities are unplugged after use and
stored. The laboratory area is kept clutter free. Supervision in the laboratory is ten students
to one faculty member to insure safety. First aid kits and fire blankets are visible in each
laboratory. In compliance with OSHA and EPA standards, no food or beverages are allowed
to be consumed in the laboratory.
Safety guidelines are enforced in the laboratory at all times by the PTA program faculty
and college laboratory technician. Students are instructed to report faulty equipment to
faculty immediately. Faulty equipment is removed immediately and placed in the locked
storage room until repaired.
All equipment is inspected and calibrated every year and records are kept by the college
laboratory technician. All electrical equipment is kept in the laboratory and is not allowed to
be used outside of the classroom or used unless supervised by program faculty or the college
lab technician. Policies and Procedures related to emergency and laboratory incidents can be
found on page 19 of the PTA Student Handbook.
184.108.40.206.off-campus educational experiences
Although off-campus educational experiences are minimal, students are required to
provide the faculty member in charge with an emergency contact name and a phone number.
The faculty member provides the student with their cellular telephone number prior to the
off-campus experience. Students are instructed to alert the in-charge faculty member of any
difficulties with transportation or inability to attend the off-campus experience. Off-campus
policies are found in the PTA Student Handbook on page 18.
In regard to clinical experiences, according to the contractual agreement between
LaGuardia Community College and the clinical site, found on page 41 of the Clinical
Education Manual, it is expected that “the clinical facility has the responsibility to provide
sufficient facilities, services, space and equipment and to make emergency medical treatment
available to students for injuries and illnesses which may occur at the agency during their
time of participation in the program. The student receiving such emergency services shall be
financially responsible for the charges.” Students submit a copy of their health packet to the
facility at the beginning of the affiliation. Student injury or illness is reported to the
emergency contact in the health packet.
220.127.116.11. student competence prior to clinical assignment
Each course in the PTA program lists the mechanisms to determine student competence
prior to clinical assignment on each course syllabi. Each course syllabi lists instructional and
behavioral objectives that must be met by the students prior to passing the course. Each
laboratory course has lab competencies prior to the midterm and final laboratory practical
exams to determine the student’s readiness to take their oral practical examinations. A copy
of the midterm and final competencies are available on each course blackboard site. Students
scoring less than 70% on the competencies are instructed to schedule remediation with the
college laboratory technician. Students must receive a grade of 70% on the practical and 70%
on the written portion of their examination to successfully complete the course.
Prior to registering for the part-time clinical experience, students are required to
successfully complete Introduction to Physical Therapy, Ethics for PTAs, Kinesiology,
Therapeutic Procedures I, and Mobility Skills for the PTA. Students cannot proceed to the
part time clinical without passing all of the pre requisites core curricula courses. Prior to
registering for the full-time affiliations, students must successfully complete the Part Time
Affiliation, Functional Gait Training skills, Therapeutic Procedures II, Orthopedic Exercise
and Neurological Rehabilitation. To successfully pass the Neurological Rehabilitation
course, which is the program’s capstone course, students take a comprehensive oral practical
exam which is a culmination of all work in the technical phase of the program. A score of
70% on this exam is required to pass the course and progress to the full time clinical
1.1.8. Written agreements exist for the provision of off-campus clinical experiences
18.104.22.168 Written agreements between the institution and clinical centers are
current and delineate the responsibilities of both agencies.
Written contractual agreements exist that allow for the off-campus clinical experiences of
the Physical Therapist Assistant student. The PTA Program at LaGuardia Community
College maintains legal contracts with each of the clinical centers where students are
assigned to complete their clinical affiliations. Clearly defined terms of agreement are
discussed in the contract and each contract is in full force until terminated by either party
giving sixty days written notice to the other party. Copies of the contract may be found in
the Clinical Education Manual that is given to each of the affiliation sites. Within this legal
document one may find clearly defined rights and responsibilities of both the educational
institution and the clinical facility. A copy of the written agreement can be found in the
Appendix under Tab 2 and in the copy of the Clinical Education Manual enclosed with this
report. An individual file for each clinical site with a signed current clinical contract and
updated clinical information is kept on file in the office of the ACCE.
Delineation of patient care and supervision of the PTA student is clearly outlined in the
Clinical Educational Manual that each clinical facility is provided. The Clinical Education
Manual includes the student evaluation forms, Article 136 (New York State Practice Act),
the curriculum and course descriptions of the LaGuardia Community College PTA Program,
the definition of and competencies expected of the Entry Level Student, the Site Visit Form,
the Medical Examination Form, Documentation Guidelines and the APTA Facility
Information Form. This manual lists the PTA program’s expectations of the clinical setting
and explains the process by which the students are assigned to their three affiliations.
22.214.171.124 A process exists to ensure that students are assigned to only those
facilities in which a properly executed and unexpired written agreement is in
The PTA Program Policy and Procedure Manual has a policy and procedure to ensure that
students are assigned only to facilities with properly executed and unexpired clinical written
agreements under Tab 11. Twice each semester the clinical file is reviewed to determine if
the facility contract is current. If it is determined that a new contract is needed, the clinical
contract is mailed to the facility and there is a follow-up phone call. It is the responsibility of
the ACCE to ensure that all students are sent to clinical facilities that have a properly
executed contract in place. To facilitate this process the “facility file” is checked
immediately prior to each student’s clinical affiliation assignment. The contract is reviewed
to see that the expected date of contractual expiration is well within the timeframe of the
student completing their affiliation.
126.96.36.199 A process exists for the ongoing review of the written agreements
The CUNY Office of the General Council approves all clinical contracts for the PTA
Program. The process to negotiate a clinical contract is two fold. The Office of the General
Council has developed a pre-negotiated clinical agreement with a number of facilities in the
New York City area. The list is provided to the ACCE for the PTA program.
The ACCE reviews the pre-negotiated list and contacts a facility to determine their
interest in accepting PTA students for one of the students’ three fieldwork experiences. If the
facility is in agreement, the PTA program completes an OGS Form and forwards the form to
the Administrative Department Manager for review and forwarding to the CUNY Office of
General Counsel. The Office of the General Counsel will execute the pre-negotiated clinical
agreement with the facility. A properly executed agreement signed by both the clinical
facility and the Office of General Counsel will be forwarded to the PTA program’s ACCE.
The signed contract is placed in a file in a locked cabinet in the ACCE’s office.
On occasion, the clinical facility may use a contract that their legal department has
developed. In this case, two copies of the contract are sent to the CUNY Office of General
Counsel for review. Once approved, and the contracts are signed by both parties, the clinic
retains a copy of the signed contract and a copy of the signed contract remains in the office of
1.1.9.The institution provides a process for the participation of core faculty in the
governance and in short and long term planning of the program and the
The College Senate is the governing body of the college and membership includes
faculty, staff and students. Meetings are open to the entire college community and are held
once a month. One faculty member and one alternate faculty member represent the Natural
and Applied Science Department and are elected by the members of the Natural and Applied
Science Department. The senate has eight standing committees; the Executive Committee,
the Committee on Committees, the Curriculum Committee, the Academic Standing
Committee, the Committee on Professional Development, the Committee on Campus Affairs,
the Committee on Elections and the Committee of Program Effectiveness. Two core PTA
faculty members represent the Natural and Applied Science Department and participate on
three subcommittees of the Senate’s standing committees. Debra Engel is on the Academic
Appeals Committee and Opening Sessions Committee. Jacqueline Ross is on the
Departmental Curriculum Committee. Debra Engel is the NAS alternate to the Academic
Standing Committee. The department Chairperson recommends individuals to the
Faculty Council represents the voice of LaGuardia Community College faculty and is a
strong supporter of students’ rights and issues, and offers annual scholarship awards to
students. One of the PTA program faculty, Jacqueline Ross, has held the office of recording
secretary for the past five years and is responsible for taking minutes at all meetings and
submitting them for editing. In addition, Jacqueline Ross is on a committee that is
responsible for reviewing applications for the annual Alan Berman Scholarship Award and
recommends candidates to the faculty council for approval.
Debra Engel is the Natural and Applied Science alternate representative to the Academic
Standing Committee. The Academic Standing Committee determines regulations and
policies concerning academic standing, processes of matriculation, degree requirements,
academic integrity and grading systems.
Debra Engel was a member of the President’s cabinet for the 2006/2007 academic year.
At quarterly meetings, members of the cabinet participated in the development of the
college’s strategic plan.
Monthly departmental meetings, on the third Wednesday of each month, are held by the
Chairperson of the Natural and Applied Science Department (NAS). College wide issues are
discussed including reports from the monthly chairperson’s meeting. College wide
committee reports are given including those from the college senate and its standing
committees. Elections are conducted to elect members of the Departmental Personnel and
Budget Committee. All Personnel and Budget Committee members are elected for three year
terms. All full-time faculty, college laboratory technicians, and HEOs participate in
departmental elections. Elections to elect a departmental chairperson are held every three
Debra Engel also participates in a monthly departmental Allied Health Program Directors
meeting to discuss program concerns, provide input into the department’s strategic work
plan, program assessment plans, student recruitment and student retention. The Allied
Health Program Directors Committee is composed of program directors from the Practical
Nursing, Registered Nursing, Dietetics, Veterinary Technician, Occupational Therapy
Assistant, Human Services, Paramedics, and Physical Therapist Assistant programs.
Monthly PTA program meetings are held with core faculty to discuss departmental
policies, student success, academic difficulties, program updates and to perform curriculum
review. All program documents including the Student Admission Handbook, the Student
Program Handbook and the Clinical Education Manuals are reviewed and updated by core
1.1.10. Policies and procedures exist which support practices by the institution to
facilitate compliance with accreditation policies and procedures. The written
policies and procedures delineate the responsibilities for accreditation activities
and are described for:
188.8.131.52. Submission of required fees and documentation, including reports of
graduation rates, performance on state licensing or certification examinations and
The PTA Program Director submits the invoice from CAPTE, regarding annual
accreditation fees, to the Division of Academic Affairs who pays the fee directly to CAPTE.
The Program Director follows up with a telephone call to the Division of Academic Affairs
two weeks prior to the due date of required fee submission to insure timely mailing of the
The Program Director reviews the APTA educational program website a minimum of
twice per year to update graduation rates, performance on state licensing and certification
exams and employment rates. The Program Director is responsible for timely submission of
the Annual Accreditation Report (AAR). The Annual Accreditation Report is reviewed by
the chairperson of the Natural and Applied Sciences Department prior to submission to
CAPTE. The policy may be found in the Policy and Procedure Manual under CAPTE
Compliance under Tab 8 and in the job description of the Program Director under Tab 23.
184.108.40.206. Notification of expected or unexpected substantive changes within the
program, and of any change in institutional accreditation status or legal authority
to provide postsecondary education.
It is the responsibility of the PTA Program Director to notify CAPTE in writing of all
substantive changes in institutional accreditation or legal authority to provide postsecondary
education. The policy may be found in the Policy and Procedure Manual under CAPTE
Compliance under Tab 8 and in the job description of the Program Director under Tab 23.
For example, the PTA Program curriculum change to increase program credits from 60 to
68 was reported to CAPTE after Departmental and College Wide Curriculum Committee,
College Senate and the CUNY Board of Trustees approval in a written letter to Dr. Elisa
Zuber, the former Associate Director of PTA programs prior to implementation.
220.127.116.11. Coming into compliance with accreditation criteria within two years or
the length of the program, whichever is shorter.
It is the responsibility of the PTA Program Director to insure compliance with
accreditation criteria. The Program Director reviews all evaluative criteria and insures that
the PTA program is in compliance. Upon notification of the program being out of
compliance, the program faculty and the NAS Chairperson work closely to develop, revise
and implement plans to comply with accreditation criteria within a given timeframe. This
policy may be found in the Policy and Procedure Manual under CAPTE Compliance under
Tab 8 and in the job description of the Program Director under Tab 23.
1.2.1. The mission and philosophy of the program are consistent with the mission and
philosophy of the institution.
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program is aligned with the mission and
philosophy of the institution. The program mission statement is found on page 4 of the PTA
Student Handbook which is distributed to each student on the first day of classes. The mission
statement of the institution is found on page 4 of the 2008/2009 college catalog. In addition,
the handbook is found on the program website at www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram.
The PTA program reflects the mission and goals of the college and the field of Physical
Therapy. In addition to providing technical training to students to perform therapeutic
interventions under the direction of a licensed physical therapist, students are exposed to the
college mission of: becoming a lifelong learner, becoming socially responsible, developing an
intercultural understanding, developing career readiness, developing leadership and developing
compassion and caring.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is committed to the cultural, racial and ethnic
diversity of its student body. New York City is diverse in culture, race and ethnicity and this
diversity is reflected in the PTA program faculty and student body. The present demographics
of the student body can be found in Section 2.1 regarding the diversity of the students at
LaGuardia Community College and the PTA students at LaGuardia Community College. A pie
chart outlining the demographics of the LaGuardia Community College student body from the
Institutional Profile and the Physical Therapist Assistant students are detailed.
Leadership and ethical professional practice are concepts promoted throughout the
curriculum in many ways. Students are encouraged to join the American Physical Therapy
Association and attend local district meetings, attend state conferences and participate in
district events including social dinners, street fairs and annual festivals. Cultural discussions
along with the importance of compassion, caring and ethical practice are discussed throughout
the curriculum with the foundation initiated in SCT 101, Introduction to Physical Therapy and
SCT 102, Ethics for the PTA.
Students are given multiple opportunities to participate in leadership roles including
becoming an officer in the PTA club, becoming a PTA student representative in SAC (Student
Advisory Council) or participating as a student delegate at New York State Physical Therapy
Association Delegate Assembly. The Program Director is the PTA Club Mentor and insures
that students participate in all club activities and leadership roles. Students are nominated and
elected by their peers on a semi annual basis. This is to ensure involvement of both level one
and level two students in leadership roles. Additional leadership and professional growth
opportunities are available. In the academic year of 2008, students attended the Downstate
Student Conclave at Columbia University, the Brooklyn- Staten Island District mini conference
on kinesiotaping and osteoporosis, SUNY Downstate DPT Transfer fair and Greater New York
District educational meetings on Legislative Issues, Hip Resurfacing and Sensory Integration.
Two PTA students recently received awards from the New York State Physical Therapy
Association in the fall of 2008. One second level student received the “Student Participation
Award” and another student received the “PTA Minority Student Award”. Both students
received certificates and discounted APTA membership vouchers. In spring of 2009, three
students attended a Leadership Conference prior to the New York State Physical Therapy
Delegate Assembly and stayed to assist the Elections Committee Chairperson in the elections
of NYPTA officers during the Delegate Assembly.
Each spring, students travel to Albany to participate in Physical Therapy Lobby Day where
they lobby their local congressional representatives and discuss relevant Physical Therapy
issues. For many students this experience is an introduction to the legislative process in New
1.2.2. The goals and objectives of the physical therapist assistant program support the
program’s mission and philosophy and are consistent with the mission and
philosophy of the institution.
The PTA program goals are aligned with the program mission statement and the goals of the
college to include development of technical skills, to promote lifelong learning, to develop
leadership roles, to develop intercultural understanding, and to develop technological research
and information literacy. The PTA program goals and objectives are found on page 9 of the
PTA Student Handbook.
The PTA program goals outline learning objectives of the program to ensure that the student
has entry level skills to practice as a PTA. Equally important is that the student maintain
ethical practice and abide by the APTA Standards of Ethical Practice. Students also are
exposed to technology in teaching and learning and are required to access a Blackboard site for
each course to obtain the course syllabus, course documents and to participate in discussion
topics posted by the course instructor. All students are required to upload written work to
ePortfolio which is used by the college and the program for outcomes assessment. A research
paper is required in the capstone course, Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, to fulfill college
competency requirements and to expose the student to evidence based practice in the field of
1.2.3. Program Policies and Procedures are consistent with those of the institution.
LaGuardia Community College is a community college located in Queens, New York
which has an open admissions policy. The college is open to degree and non-degree students.
Admission is open to all individuals with a high school diploma or General Equivalency
Diploma (GED). As per the admissions process, students are required to demonstrate
competence in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics and pass the ACT test. Students are tested
and placed in remedial classes if necessary.
The PTA program does not accept transfer credits for any core courses in the clinical
phase. The PTA program follows the general transfer credit policies of the institution in all
other ways. Please refer to the College Catalog, page 10 for transfer credit policy.
The Allied Health Programs of Nursing (PN and RN), Occupational Therapy Assistant,
Veterinary Technician and Physical Therapist Assistant have a candidacy process and the
curriculum is separated into a pre-clinical and clinical phase. The pre-clinical phase consists of
all required general education and elective courses and the clinical phase consists of all
physical therapy courses and clinical fieldwork experiences.
Students who are PTA majors are permitted to apply for candidacy when they are in the
process of completing or have completed all the four key courses (ENG101, SSY101, SCB203
and SCN195) with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students are ranked by the Registrars office on a
scoring system based on grades in the key courses and other required courses. There are 20
seats available for each candidacy cycle. Students are admitted twice a year into the clinical
The Allied Health Science programs have varying policies of passing grades depending on
the prospective program accreditation guidelines. In the PTA program, the minimum passing
grade is 70% and students must have an average of 70% in all laboratory and written
components of each core curriculum course. Grading policies are available in the PTA Student
Handbook located on page 16.
Program progression is based on successful completion of the prerequisite courses in the
curriculum. An example of course progression is found on page 7 of the PTA Student
Handbook and on the program website (www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram).
Students complete a total of 650 clinical hours in various clinical settings. Students in all of
the allied health programs complete clinical internships. All the students in allied health
programs complete clinical experiences at sites that have an active clinical contract with the
City University of New York (CUNY) and LaGuardia Community College. During the most
recently approved PTA curriculum change, the program instituted a 50 hour volunteer
experience prior to entering the clinical phase. This experience has enhanced the students
understanding of the field of physical therapy.
In accordance to the rules and regulations of the NYS Education Department and the City
University of New York Board of Trustees, the College Wide Curriculum Committee and
College Senate sets policies for LaGuardia with regard to curriculum development and
implementation. All curricula changes must be reviewed and approved by the Departmental
Curriculum Committee, the College Wide Curriculum Committee, College Senate and the
CUNY Board of Trustees before implementation. Minor changes and improvements in course
content are modified in consultation with students, faculty, program director and departmental
chairperson. New courses, credit hour changes, course progression and changes in course and
program offerings must be approved by the Departmental Curriculum Committee, College
Wide Curriculum Committee, College Senate and the CUNY Board of Trustees before
1.2.4. Mechanisms are in place for the coordination of efforts of all people and
departments directly involved with the program. Ongoing and effective
communication occurs among all program faculty and others directly involved
with the program.
The program director along with the entire core program faculty maintain communication
with pre-clinical program faculty, clinical faculty and other departments within the college.
Debra Engel coordinates SCN195 – Community Health, which is one of the General Education
key courses. In that role, she develops the syllabi, reviews textbooks and mentors faculty.
Jacqueline Ross participates in an Academic Virtual Interest Group and coordinates student
mentors with prospective PTA majors in the clinical phase of the program. Clarence Chan
works closely with the Department of Adult and Continuing Education to develop seminars
and continuing education course offerings pertinent to the PTA students and clinical education
faculty. Among the recent course offerings were a weekend “NPTE Preparation Course” by
Scorebuilders and “An Update on Wound Care.”
All core PTA faculty attend a monthly Natural and Applied Science Department meeting
and Debra Engel attends a monthly Allied Health Program Directors meeting. The PTA
program has a library liaison who informs the program when money is available to purchase
materials. The PTA Program Director provides the liaison with book titles and reference
material. The Chair of the English Language and Acquisition Department, Professor Jack
Gantzer, works closely with the PTA program and offers a seminar on test taking strategies.
This seminar was designed to address prior difficulties of the graduates in passing the NPTE.
General education concerns are addressed with Sandra Dickinson the Chairperson of
Humanities (SSY 101 and SSY 240), Sandra Hanson the Chairperson of English (ENG 101
and ENG 102) and Carol Haspel the Coordinator in Biological Science (SCB 203 and 204). A
recent implementation of clay manikins in Anatomy and Physiology was discussed with Carol
Haspel and Debra Engel in the context of the kinesiology curriculum for the PTA program.
Jacqueline Ross, the Academic Clinical Coordinator of Education, is in telephone contact
with the clinical sites where the students are placed. A telephone call is placed to the facility
CCCE prior to the affiliation to confirm the facility availability. A face to face meeting is held
with the student and CI a minimum of once during the two full time clinical affiliations. If
problems are identified, the ACCE holds an immediate face to face meeting at the facility and a
clinical learning contract is developed. The learning contract clearly identifies the outcomes
and timelines for completion. Weekly follow-up calls are made by the ACCE to the CCCE
until the clinical issues are resolved. In some cases, clinical affiliations have been extended to
allow students to rectify problems. A copy of the signed contract is kept in the students file.
An open line of communication facilitates clinical instructors to contact Jacqueline Ross.
The PTA program director collaborates with the Director of the Health Services Center to
offer students a free Hepatitis B series on an annual basis. The PTA program faculty
coordinates with Matthew Joffee, the Senior Director of the Office for Student Services and
Disabled Students Programs to offer the PTA students seminars on American with Disabilities
Act. The PTA program faculty coordinates with Vanessa Bing of the Social Science
Department who is a mentor in the Women’s Center to offer PTA students seminars on sexual
harassment. The PTA Program Director coordinates with Sarah Durand and Suzanne
Rosenberg, the co-directors of CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) to
offer various educational seminars to the PTA students during club hour. Recent topics
included: textbook reading, test taking strategies, stress management, domestic abuse and
violence and maintaining financial stability. The PTA faculty have lectured at CSTEP events
throughout the college to include topics on: a career path in physical therapy, medical
terminology and health and wellness.
As faculty mentor of the PTA Club, the Program Director coordinates with members of the
Department of Student Life and Development to obtain funding for a yearly graduation
celebration that is held for PTA program graduates and their family members.
1.3. Faculty Policies and Procedures
1.3.1. The rights and privileges of the academic faculty are commensurate with those of
other faculty in the institution.
LaGuardia Community College provides all instructional staff both full time and adjunct
with a Faculty Handbook. Academic faculty in the PTA program receive the same benefits as
other faculty in the institution and are responsible for the same teaching load. According to the
CUNY contract, all college faculty are responsible for teaching 27 contact hours annually. All
full time teaching positions in the PTA program are tenure track positions.
The PTA Program Director is given twelve hours of administrative release time to direct the
PTA program. The ACCE is given nine hours of release time to administer the clinical
component of the PTA program. Professional development opportunities, committee
obligation, and promotion policies are commensurate with those with similar appointments in
the institution. New faculty are given twenty four hours of professional development over the
first five years of appointment. All professional development plans require approval by the
Faculty Handbooks can be accessed on the college website under Human Resources and
employees can contact Human Resources for a meeting for clarification of benefits. The
college contract is distributed to faculty and is available at www.psc-cuny.org.
1.3.2. The rights and privileges of the clinical education faculty are commensurate with
those with similar appointments within the institution. These rights and privileges
are communicated to the clinical education faculty.
The rights and privileges of the clinical education faculty are commensurate with those
with similar appointments within the institution. Rights and Privileges of the clinical faculty
are based on the agreement between the agency and the City University of New York, which
can be found in the Clinical Education Manual on page 36. If the facility has their own model
agreement, the Rights and Privileges of the clinical facility may differ if approved by CUNY
and the CUNY Office of General Counsel.
1.3.3. Policies and procedures exist which support the practice of ongoing planned
program faculty development activities directed toward improving program
faculty effectiveness. Program faculty development activities are based on
program faculty and program needs identified in evaluative processes and are
18.104.22.168. Academic faculty
Policies and Procedures exist which support the practice of ongoing planned program
faculty development activities directed toward improving program faculty effectiveness can be
found in the Policy and Procedure Manual under Tab 24 and in the Appendix under Tab 30.
The activities are based on program faculty and program needs. Each new instructional faculty
member is allowed 24 hours of professional development release time for scholarly activities
in the first five years of appointment. Clarence Chan, the most recent new faculty member
submitted a proposal to develop a NPTE preparation program to increase the pass rates of the
PTA student at LaGuardia Community College. The need was based on the inability of the
PTA program to achieve a three-year pass rate of 80% on the NPTE. The report can be found
“The Center for Teaching and Learning collaborates with faculty to explore issues of
pedagogy and practice in order to advance student learning at LaGuardia Community College.”
The Center offers forums, year- long seminars, workshops and lectures where faculty can
exchange ideas, study new approaches, and test innovative strategies to improve student
learning. An example of the seminars taken by each faculty can be found in the faculty’s
curriculum vitae in the Appendix under Tabs 23-26.
The PTA core faculty have all been engaged in professional development activities at the
Center for Teaching and Learning for several years. The Center has provided the faculty with
innovative advancements in pedagogy to promote innovative teaching strategies in the
classroom. Examples of recent faculty engagement include: Design for Learning which
incorporates instructional technology to enrich student learning; ePortfolio in the Professions
enables the PTA faculty to design a PTA assessment template to incorporate student work to
address not only the college competencies but APTA core competencies as well. These newly
designed ePortfolios are also being used for the college PTA program assessment. The faculty
have also participated in Writing Across the Curriculum and have designated the Introduction
To Physical Therapy course as a writing intensive course.
Rethinking the Capstone Experience Seminar is studying the design of a capstone course in
the community college and working on designing a culminating experience while incorporating
the core competencies of intensive writing, critical thinking and research and information
literacy. Neuromuscular Rehabilitation has been designated as the program’s capstone
In Transit is the LaGuardia Journal on Teaching and Learning. This journal is a collective
product of teaching and learning with submissions from faculty and staff of LaGuardia
Community College. Clarence Chan published an article in Volume 3(fall 2008) of In Transit
titled “Clinical Affiliation: A Working and Learning Experience”. Writing of an article is a
year long project where the article is submitted to two peer readers and then edited by the chief
editors. Debra Engel was a peer editor of In Transit in Volumes 2 and 3(fall 2007 and fall
2008.) Copies will be available on site.
Release hours are provided for faculty who participate in year- long seminars to provide the
faculty with the time needed for deep engagement.
22.214.171.124. Clinical Education faculty
In an effort to continually improve the relationship with the clinical educational faculty, the
LaGuardia Community College PTA program faculty and the student interns offer on site
meetings with the clinical educators who are actively working with our students every
semester. During these meetings, the ACCE surveys the needs of the clinics, student deficits,
any repeated problems they may see, or any curricula weaknesses that effects clinical
preparation and readiness of the students. Based on the clinician’s concerns and evaluation of
the program, modifications have been instituted. For example, note writing has been
incorporated into each of the laboratory courses as this was identified as an area of weakness
by the clinical facilities.
The clinical faculty is made aware of the PTA Program web-site where news of educational
meetings are posted. The clinicians and their faculty and staff are also notified by e-mail of
continuing education lectures and Alumni events at LaGuardia. In the past lectures such as the
Alexander Technique, Stress Management, Test Taking Strategies and the Principles of
Stretching have been offered. More recently, clinical sites were notified of continuing
education courses through the Adult and Continuing Education Division that included an
Update on Wound Care and an Introduction to Acupressure.
The clinical faculty and staff were also invited to participate in a weekend course review for
the National PTA Exam offered by Scorebuilders in Spring of 2007, 2008 and 2009. This
seminar took place at LaGuardia Community College. The weekend seminar was offered to
the clinicians at a reduced price. Clinical faculty who are preparing for the PTA NPTE are also
invited to attend weekly evening review sessions offered during the Fall I and Spring I
Throughout the year, the faculty of LaGuardia Community College have made themselves
available to offer on-site lectures in areas of special interest as determined by the clinicians.
Topics such as Repetitive Stress Injury and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the Geriatric Patient have
been requested. Seminars were given to Isabella Geriatric Center’s rehab nursing and medical
staff in the Fall of 2006 in celebration of Physical Therapy Month and to the Jewish Home and
Hospital rehab staff in the Fall of 2007.
Before completing their three clinical affiliations, each student is required to submit an
evaluation and critique of the facility and their supervisor. The evaluations are viewed by the
LaGuardia PTA faculty members and are kept confidential. All clinical evaluations are read by
both the seminar instructor and the ACCE. Areas of concern regarding the student’s
experience at the clinic or with their instructor are brought to the attention of the facility and
discussed as how best to remediate the concerns identified by the students.
Information on clinical faculty development can be found in the Policy and Procedure
Manual under Tab 25 and in the Appendix under Tab 30.
1.4. Student Policies and Procedures
1.4.1. Student recruitment and admission procedures and practices are based upon
appropriate and equitable criteria and applicable law. Recruitment and
admission policies, procedures and practices assure nondiscrimination and equal
opportunity to all students.
LaGuardia Community College has an open admission policy as part of the City University
of New York. Please refer to the College Catalog on page 230 or the college website under
Human Resources: Instructional Staff Handbook on page 32 for nondiscriminatory guidelines.
Students may select Physical Therapist Assistant as their major upon entering the college or
may opt to change their major to PTA once enrolled in the college by meeting the “Change of
Major” guidelines found in the PTA Student Admission Handbook on page 9 available in the
Natural and Applied Science office in E 300 or on the program website.
Students can apply for candidacy upon completion of the four key courses (SSY101,
ENG101, SCN195, and SCB203) with a minimum GPA of 2.5 for progression into the clinical
phase of the PTA program. Students are given two attempts to apply for candidacy. The
college’s Registrar’s Office follows a grading formula of pre-requisite key courses required for
candidacy. The Registrar ranks the students using their key course GPA and overall GPA.
The PTA Program Director determines the number of seats available and letters are sent to
students who applied for candidacy to pick up the letter advising them of their admission status
into the PTA program.
An information session describing admission policies is offered twice a year in the Spring
and Fall semesters. The Program Director attends Freshman Seminar classes to discuss and
answer questions regarding the PTA program. Admission criteria is available on the college
website, in the college catalog, on the PTA program website and in the PTA Student
Admission Handbook on page 5. The PTA Admission Handbook is also available in hard copy
in the PTA program office, Room E 300.
1.4.2. Students are provided with the current policies, procedures and relevant
information about the institution and program.
Students are provided with the college catalog when they enter as a new student and
continuing students are instructed to view the college catalog online at
www.lagcc.cuny.edu/catalog. During the first week in the clinical phase of the PTA program,
students are given the PTA Student Handbook with an orientation to the booklet by the
Program Director. The PTA Student Admission Handbook can also be accessed at
All course syllabi contain grading policies in addition to the grading policies being available in
the PTA Student Handbook on page 16. Accreditation status, acceptance rates, graduation
rates, employment rates and pass rates on the NPTE can be found under CAPTE accredited
PTA programs at www.apta.org and on the PTA program website at
Accreditation status of the institution and the program: www.apta.org and on the
program website under Accreditation Status
Acceptance and matriculation rates: www.apta.org and the program website
under Accreditation Status
Graduation rates: www.apta.org and the program website under Accreditation
Career opportunities: job board across from E-300R and
www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram under job listing (updated monthly)
Employment rates: www.apta.org and program website under Accreditation
Pass rate of program graduates on NPTE: www.apta.org and program website
under Accreditation Status
Costs of the program: College Catalog; PTA Student Handbook p. 14
Travel expectations to clinical sites: PTA Student Handbook page 15
Financial aid: College Catalog; p. 17
Health services: College Catalog; page 182
Health and professional liability insurance requirement: PTA Student Handbook
Grading policies: College Catalog; 171; PTA Student Handbook page16 and
Progression through the program: PTA Student Handbook page 7 and program
Withdrawal and dismissal procedures: PTA Admission Handbook page 12, PTA
Student Handbook page 16.
Other academic policies and procedures: PTA Admission Handbook, PTA Student
Handbook and College Catalog; pages 167-170
Due process: College Catalog; page 173 and PTA Student Handbook pages 21
Clinical sites: www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram under clinical
Clinical education policies and procedures: PTA Student Handbook page 15.
Access to and responsibility for the cost of emergency services in off-campus
educational experiences: PTA Student Handbook page 18.
1.4.3. The program has in place policies, procedures and practices related to student
retention. These policies, procedures and practices are consistent with
institutional policy and are made available to students.
The PTA program is actively engaged in student retention. The program has a full time
CLT (college laboratory technician) who is a New York State licensed PTA and assists the
faculty to reinforce classroom theory during laboratory sessions. The CLT conducts weekly
mandated one hour open laboratory sessions for each laboratory class. Faculty identify
students at midterm who are not meeting academic standards and the CLT works with those
students in small groups to improve their skills. Friday is used as a remediation day, since
PTA classes are not regularly scheduled on this day of the week.
Laboratory competencies and rubrics are posted by program faculty on the course
Blackboard site each semester. These competencies mimic laboratory practical exams and are
performed with the CLT during open laboratory sessions. Program faculty collect and review
laboratory skill competencies with grading rubrics that are provided on the competency forms.
Those individuals who score below 70% on the competencies are required to arrange additional
remedial sessions with the program CLT.
The PTA program has a locker room available to the students for group study, Monday
through Friday from 9am – 5pm. The locker rooms are equipped with a white board,
anatomical models, mat tables, and information charts including spinal levels, dermatomes,
myotomes, and therapeutic exercise examples. The program also has a resource center which
is available for students to do online research and access course Blackboard materials. The
computers also have numerous versions of practice examinations to assist the students in
preparation of the NPTE. The resource center is located in Room E 356, the Therapeutic
The program faculty participates in the Black Male Initiative, a college wide retention
program, and submits reports related to participants in the PTA program as requested by
Enrollment Management and Student Development.
The PTA program works closely with the Office for Student Services and Disabled
Students (OSSDS), which offers academic counseling, accommodations counseling and testing
for learning disabilities. The Senior Director, Mr. Joffee, presents a lecture on the Americans
with Disabilities Act during the part-time clinical affiliation seminar. Faculty accommodate
students with learning disabilities and work closely with the Office for Student Services and
Disabled Students (OSSDS) to coordinate written examinations taken by the students identified
and supported by the Office for Student Services and Disabled Students.
Jack Gantzer, the Chairperson of the English Language Acquisition Department works
closely with the PTA program faculty and conducts seminars on test taking strategies to
improve the students understanding of the language of a multiple choice question. Hannalyn
Wilkens, Chairperson of the Communication Department has worked closely with the PTA
program faculty to design a diagnostic tool to administer to entering clinical students. The
PTA faculty is working collaboratively with college resources to design remediation programs
for those students who score poorly on the diagnostic exam.
The Writing Center is available to students Monday through Friday from 9am – 9pm and
all faculty encourage students to present drafts of written work to the writing center tutors. A
notification of student access is sent by interdepartmental mail to the course instructor in the
The Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP), which is funded by New York
State, attracts and assists underprivileged individuals interested in careers in health, science
and technology. CSTEP provides onsite free tutoring, test preparation and academic career
counseling. The PTA program faculty has developed a collegial relationship with CSTEP and
has presented numerous presentations to potential allied health career students on Ethics,
Health and Wellness, Medical Terminology and Physical Therapy Careers. CSTEP has
provided the PTA students with lectures on textbook reading, stress management, test taking
strategies, multiple choice exam strategies and financial planning.
The Policy and Procedure on student retention can be found in the Policy and Procedure
manual under Tab 19 on site.
SECTION 2: RESOURCES
The program admits and graduates students consistent with the missions of the
institution, the program, and with societal needs for physical therapy.
LaGuardia Community College is located in Queens, New York. The borough of Queens is
the most culturally diverse borough of the five boroughs that make up New York City
(Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx) According to the 2008
Institutional Profile, the race and ethnic origin of LaGuardia’s student profile consists of the
LaG 2007 Race / Ethnic Origin
16% 19% Asian
13% Black Hispanic
The PTA program is reflective of the cultural, ethnic and economic student population
across the campus. The student profile of the PTA program consists of the following:
PTA 2007 Race and Ethnic Origin
The PTA program faculty provide advisement to students interested in a career as a
Physical Therapist Assistant. The PTA Program Director schedules two student orientation
workshops (Fall I and Spring I semesters) which are open to all enrolled students at LaGuardia
Community College. The PTA program faculty along with the program college laboratory
technician host tours for students who are enrolled in the College Now program and Bridge to
Allied Health programs. College Now students are high school students attending their senior
year in local Queens high schools and are taking courses at LaGuardia Community College to
earn credit. Bridge to Allied Health students are taking classes in the Adult Continuing
Education Department. In addition, Debra Engel and Clarence Chan present workshops to the
CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) students semi annually to
introduce the field of Physical Therapy and discuss application requirements for the PTA
program at LaGuardia Community College.
Throughout the curriculum, students are trained in the interventions of exercise, manual
techniques, therapeutic modalities and mobility training under the supervision of a licensed
physical therapist. Throughout the curriculum, students are taught to be life long learners and
leaders through professional activities and are instructed in legal and ethical practice.
Since the college has an open admissions policy and candidacy is based on GPA, all
students have equal access to the PTA program. The three year graduation rate averaged over
the most recent years of 2005-2007 is approximately 85%.
2.2. Program Faculty
2.2.1. The institution provides for sufficient program faculty resources to
accomplish the mission and goals of the program. The program employs two full-
time core faculty members. One of the full-time core faculty members is a
LaGuardia Community College provides for sufficient program faculty resources to
accomplish the mission and goals of the program. The PTA program employs four full-time
core faculty members, three of whom are New York State licensed physical therapists
(instructional staff) and one who is a New York State licensed physical therapist assistant (non-
instructional staff). All three full time core faculty physical therapists earned their transitional
Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree. Debra Engel graduated in 2003 from Creighton
University, Clarence Chan graduated in 2005 from Creighton University and Jackie Ross
graduated in 2005 from Massachusetts General Hospital Institution of Health Professions.
Please see Faculty Curriculum Vitae in the Appendix under Tabs 23-26.
The program also employs three adjunct faculty members, all of whom are New York State
licensed physical therapists. Two of the three adjunct faculty have also earned their
transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees and the third is currently enrolled in a
transitional DPT program. Deirdre Foudy graduated in 2005 from Stony Brook University and
May Tom graduated in 2006 from Stony Brook University.
Based on laboratory size and configuration, a safe laboratory environment for student to
faculty ratio has been established to be 20:1 during lecture. During laboratory, the student to
faculty ratio is 10:1. The institution’s policy for determining the number of faculty needed for
the program can be found in the Policy and Procedure manual under Tab 26 on site.
Faculty workloads are adequate for the program faculty to meet the program’s
administrative, teaching and governance needs. Full-time instructional faculty members in the
PTA program and in the institution are expected to 27 contact hours per academic year
(September - June) to fulfill the PSC-CUNY(Professional Staff Congress- City University of
New York) contractual agreement. Re-appointment of instructional staff is based on the
Instructional Staff Annual Evaluation. According to the current PSC-CUNY contract, faculty
who hold a tenure track line have seven years to attain tenure. Examples of completed
Instructional Staff Annual Evaluation forms with annual goals and timelines are available in
the Appendix under Tab 30. A copy of the current CUNY contract can be found on site. The
Core Faculty Workload Distribution form can be found in the Appendix under Tab 31.
In addition to teaching full time, faculty hold three hours of office hours per week for
student advisement and consultation. All full-time instructional staff are involved in divisional
and college-wide committees and in professional growth and development. Please refer to
individual faculty curriculum vitae under Tabs 23-26. Depending on the level of participation
required, release time is provided through the Division of Academic Affairs.
The program director is given 12 hours of release time per academic year to perform the
administrative duties of the program. The ACCE is given 9 hours of release time to maintain
clinical contracts, assign fieldwork sites to all students, and conduct clinical visits. Please refer
to the Policy and Procedure Manual on site under Tab 23 for the job descriptions of the
program director and academic clinical coordinator. This amount of release time is adequate
for the program’s needs.
2.2.2. Each academic faculty member is qualified by education and experience to fulfill
the assigned responsibilities. She/he holds appropriate credentials where
applicable; including licensure, certification or registration. Each academic
faculty member maintains activities within the profession consistent with the
philosophy of the program and institution.
Each faculty member meets the education and experience requirements and maintains
activities within the profession that are consistent with the philosophy of the program and the
institution. Each academic faculty member is licensed in New York State, and is a member of
the American Physical Therapy Association. Instructional staff members are involved in
various clinical practice settings. Faculty credentials, license information, teaching experience
and clinical experience are evident in the curriculum vitae for each member in the Appendix
under Tabs 23-26.
The core academic instructional faculty, practice in a variety of settings including adult day
care, private practice, and home care. All core academic faculty complete continuing
education in their respective areas of teaching as indicated under continuing education in their
curriculum vitae found in the Appendix under Tabs 23-26. The core academic faculty are
active at the district level of the New York Physical Therapy Association and have consistently
been district delegates at the annual NYPTA Delegate Assembly held annually. Debra Engel
attended the House of Delegates in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Clarence Chan attended the House of
Delegates in 2006 and 2008. All three instructional core academic faculty have held district
office in NYPTA. Debra Engel has held chapter office in NYPTA as Nominating Committee
and more recently is the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee. Clarence Chan is currently the
New York State Chapter Minority Affairs Chairperson.
The faculty consistently reinforce ethical and legal practice in all aspects of the curriculum.
Academic integrity, safety in the laboratory and mutual respect are principles that are
reinforced by each faculty member. In each laboratory course, the student must pass a written
and laboratory component of the course each with 70%. Oral competencies are performed
prior to each laboratory practical exam with an opportunity for students to access additional
remediation with the college laboratory technician. Each oral exam contains critical safety
components with an automatic failure for violation of any of the components. In the capstone
course, which is a culmination of all of the clinical courses, each student must pass a
comprehensive final laboratory practical exam with a minimum of 70%. In addition, to
promote student readiness for the NPTE, students attend several NPTE test preparation
seminars. Prior to graduation, each student must pass the PEAT exam with a minimum of 60%.
126.96.36.199. The program director of the physical therapist assistant education
program is a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant. The
program director demonstrates the academic and professional
qualifications and relevant experience in education requisite for
providing effective leadership for the program, the program faculty and
the students. These qualifications include all of the following: a minimum
of a Master’s degree; licensure, certification or registration in states
where applicable; experience in clinical practice; didactic and/or clinical
teaching experience; experience in administration; experience in
educational theory and methodology; and experience in student
evaluation and outcomes assessment.
The program director demonstrates the academic and professional qualifications and
relevant experience in education requisite for providing effective leadership for the program,
the faculty and the students. The program director of the Physical Therapist Assistant
program, Debra Engel is a New York State licensed physical therapist who obtained her
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Creighton University in Omaha,
Nebraska in 2003. Debra Engel has been a physical therapist since 1986 and has held various
clinical titles including senior physical therapist, assistant chief and CCCE of physical therapy,
chief of physical therapy and clinical director of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation all at
Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York over a span of twelve years. In addition,
Debra Engel has been an adjunct lecturer in three local physical therapy programs. Debra
Engel has lectured at SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, Long Island University and College of
Staten Island, in the areas of cardiac and pulmonary physical therapy. Debra Engel is currently
working in home care treating a variety of patients with the majority of the patients having
musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diagnoses. Debra Engel is active in the Greater New York
District of the New York Physical Therapy Association and currently holds the position of
district treasurer. She previously held the positions of recording secretary, corresponding
secretary and programming chairperson. Debra Engel was elected to the office of Nominating
Committee at the Chapter level and has recently been appointed the Chairperson of the Ethics
Committee of the New York State Chapter.
Debra Engel has had extensive experience in curriculum design, student evaluation and
pedagogy as both an adjunct lecturer and full-time professor for the last fifteen years. She has
participated in year long seminars at LaGuardia Community College at the Center for Teaching
and Learning developing a capstone course, incorporating ePortfolio as a teaching and
assessment tool, incorporating writing in the curriculum and incorporating experiential
education in the classroom.
Debra Engel assumed the role of Program Director during the process of redesigning the
curriculum in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. She was responsible for presenting the
new curriculum to the College Wide Curriculum Committee and the Senate. Upon approval of
the newly designed PTA curriculum, she was responsible for implementing the new
curriculum, reviewing syllabi, mentoring faculty, notifying CAPTE of substantive changes,
revising handbooks and hiring adjunct faculty that were qualified to teach in the newly
Debra Engel has been a role model to students by holding several leadership positions in
NYPTA over the years as outlined in her curriculum vitae found in the Appendix under Tab
23. She was a full-time faculty member at LaGuardia while pursuing her Transitional
Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and was able to communicate to her students the
importance of continual professional growth and development.
At Maimonides Medical Center, Debra Engel recruited, interviewed and hired personnel,
evaluated PT and PTA employees, designed Policy and Procedures and participated in budget
planning. Currently, Debra Engel is responsible for the PTA program budget and coordinates
purchasing of needed equipment and supplies with the program faculty and College Laboratory
188.8.131.52. The core faculty includes a member designated as the Academic
Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE).
Jacqueline Ross is a New York State licensed physical therapist who has been in clinical
practice for thirty years. She holds a Certificate of Continuous Employment at LaGuardia
Community College and has been the program’s ACCE for ten years. Jacqueline Ross has
participated in extensive pedagogical professional development activities such as
incorporating writing in the disciplines, incorporating technology into the curriculum and
incorporating ePortfolio into the curriculum as a teaching and assessment tool. Evidence of
Jacqueline Ross’ participation and qualifications can be referenced in her curriculum vitae in
the Appendix under Tab 24.
Jacqueline Ross has owned a private practice and supervised several employees and
students in her clinical career. Her clinical experience includes treating patients with a wide
variety of pathologies and she specializes in repetitive stress injury and musculoskeletal
injury. Jacqueline Ross has given numerous professional lectures. She has presented
workshops on “Healthy Computing” at LaGuardia Community College to emphasize proper
posture at the computer. In addition she has conducted several workshops in the community
on Repetitive Stress injury including a presentation at the New York Chapter Annual
Conference in 2004 and at a New York Physical Therapy District meeting in 2004.
Jacqueline Ross is responsible for teaching Introduction to Physical Therapy courses and
addresses a variety of topics including the Core Professional Values of Physical Therapy, the
Core Competencies of LaGuardia Community College, and the importance of joining the
American Physical Therapy Association. In addition, Jacqueline Ross applies her expertise in
musculoskeletal rehabilitation by teaching the Kinesiology course which addresses strength
assessment, goniometric measurements and the reinforcement of musculoskeletal pathology.
2.2.3. The academic faculty as a unit have the qualifications and experience necessary to
achieve the program goals. Collectively, the academic faculty have evidence of
and demonstrate expertise in base educational theory and methodology,
instructional design and methodology, student evaluation and outcomes
As a unit the academic faculty have the qualifications and expertise in theory,
curriculum design, student evaluation and outcomes assessment. Collectively, the academic
faculty have extensive clinical and educational experience. Debra Engel has extensive acute
care (12 years) experience in cardiopulmonary medicine, neurology and critical care and is
responsible for the gait and neurological rehabilitation courses. In addition, Debra Engel
currently treats patients in a home care setting with a variety of pathologies. Debra Engel has
participated in year long seminars in the Center for Teaching and Learning on experiential
education, ePortfolio in the first year experience and redesigning the capstone experience.
Debra Engel has been an adjunct lecturer in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation since 1991 in
many academic programs including the State University of New York at Downstate, Long
Island University and the College of Staten Island. In conjunction with Program
Chairpersons, Debra Engel has designed course syllabi, curricular content, student
assessment and outcomes measurement. At the College of Staten Island, Debra Engel was
responsible for the re design of the cardiac rehabilitation course when the program
transitioned from the masters to doctorate level. In addition, Debra Engel was invited and
participated in an Advisory Committee for State Accreditation of a Proposed PTA Program
at Norwalk Community College. Debra Engel was responsible for an onsite visit and
consultation on curriculum design, space requirements and equipment needs. She has since
been in contact with Norwalk’s PTA faculty to offer advice on syllabi design, textbook use
and incorporating ePortfolio into their curriculum.
Jacqueline Ross has been engaged in all aspects of clinical practice, has owned her own
practice and specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal injury. Jacqueline Ross is
responsible for teaching Introduction to Physical Therapy, Mobility Skills for PTAs and
Kinesiology. She has been engaged in the Center for Teaching and Learning in year long
seminars including Design for Learning to include technology in teaching and ePortfolio in
the Professions to encourage students to collect, connect and reflect on their work. In
addition, Jacqueline Ross and Clarence Chan have initiated an outcomes assessment
component to the required PTA program ePortfolio to allow students to deposit their
coursework into specific assessment areas to measure the APTA and LaGuardia Community
College core competencies. The work deposited in the students assessment areas have been
used by the college for the PTA Periodic Program Assessment.
Clarence Chan has extensive clinical experience in acute care, as a home care clinician
and supervisor and as an outpatient clinician. Clarence Chan teaches Therapeutic Procedures
I and II (modalities), Ethical Concepts for PTAs and a seminar class. Clarence Chan has
been engaged in seminars in the Center for Teaching and Learning titled Design for Learning
to include Techology and ePortfolio in the Professions. Together he and Jacqueline Ross
wrote and received a mini grant to instruct and mentor the adjunct faculty in the further
development of Blackboard sites and using ePortfolio in all of the clinical courses. Clarence
Chan recently presented a half day course at CSM in February of 2009 on Electrothermal
Modalities Heavyweights: Ultrasound and Diathermy. Clarence Chan has been an adjunct
professor at SUNY Downstate in physical agents and functional mobility from 2005-present.
May Tom, an adjunct professor has eighteen years of clinical experience as a physical
therapist in acute care, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and geriatric short term and long term
rehabilitation in Brooklyn, New York. May Tom completed her DPT at Stony Brook
University in 2006 and has been adjunct faculty at LaGuardia Community College since
1997. Since the spring of 2007 May Tom has taught the Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise
course and more recently has co taught the course with Deirdre Foudy. May Tom’s
continuing education has been in the areas of musculoskeletal rehabilitation, geriatric
rehabilitation and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. May Tom was an adjunct professor at
Hunter College and Touro College in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation from 2001-2003.
Deirdre Foudy, an adjunct professor, has fifteen years of clinical experience as a physical
therapist in orthopedic and neuromuscular rehabilitation, geriatric short term and long term
rehabilitation and more recently in treating both adults and children in a home care setting.
Deirdre Foudy completed her DPT at Stony Brook University in 2005 and has been adjunct
faculty at LaGuardia Community College since 1997. Deirdre Foudy has completed
continuing education in the treatment of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal patients.
Deirdre Foudy teaches the Full Time Affiliation and Seminar I in which she discusses
clinical issues and delivers special topics lectures. In addition, Deirdre Foudy co-teaches the
Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise course with May Tom. Deirdre Foudy taught the
therapeutic exercise course at Hunter College in 2006.
Monica Raftopoulos, an adjunct lecturer is a former graduate of the PTA program at
LaGuardia Community College in 1988. She is currently pursuing her DPT at the University
of Montana. Monica Raftopoulos has eleven years of clinical experience as a physical
therapist in the areas of acute care, short term and long term rehabilitation and in pediatric
intervention. Monica Raftopoulos has completed continuing education in lymphedema
management, myofascial release and in the rehabilitation of the pediatric population. Monica
Raftopoulos has taught the seminar for the part-time clinical affiliation since June of 2007.
Ralph Mitchell is a physical therapist assistant and has twenty five years of clinical
experience in the fields of acute care, adult day care, and sub acute rehabilitation. Ralph
Mitchell is responsible for assisting the faculty during all laboratory sessions and reinforcing
classroom learning during open laboratory sessions. Ralph Mitchell also conducts
remediation sessions with PTA students who are identified by faculty as requiring additional
assistance. Ralph Mitchell has participated in a year long seminar on Design for Learning
and has developed instructional materials for students in regard to laboratory safety.
2.2.4 The clinical education faculty demonstrate clinical expertise in their area of
practice and the capacity to perform as effective clinical teachers.
The expectation that La Guardia Community College has of the student’s clinical
instructors are outlined in the Clinical Manual on page 36. This Clinical Manual is
distributed to all clinical facilities and remains at the clinical site.
Prior to the initiation of the first time a LaGuardia Community College PTA student is
placed in a new clinical site, there is a dialogue between Jacqueline Ross, the program ACCE
and either the clinical instructor or the clinical supervisor. During this conversation the PTA
program’s expectations for the Level I and Level II clinical experiences are outlined.
Students complete a part time affiliation and two full time affiliations. A student is
considered Level I in the first eight months of the clinical phase and a student is considered
Level II in the last ten months of the clinical phase.
The first clinical experience is a part time affiliation of 100 hours (in Level I), which are
completed in approximately seven weeks. Student’s are expected to perform basic
interventions such as but not exclusive to, usage of heat and cold modalities, basic massage
techniques and testing for ROM, sensation and muscle strength and assessing vital signs. The
two full time experiences are completed at the end of the clinical phase (terminal clinical
experiences) and consist of one out patient and one in patient experience.
The ACCE is responsible for insuring that all clinical instructors are licensed physical
therapists or physical therapist assistants with a minimum of one year of clinical experience.
A completed Clinical Site Information Form (CSIF) is kept in the office of the ACCE with
licensing, clinical experience and expertise and qualifications of clinical instructors.
The PTA student is a vital resource in the evaluation of the clinical site and clinical
instructor. Students are required to complete an evaluation form at the completion of their
clinical experience, which is reviewed by the ACCE. In addition, the ACCE makes an onsite
visit to the clinic to meet with the student and clinical instructor individually. Students also
attend a weekly seminar and may discuss clinical issues confidentially. The ACCE is
available by telephone and e mail to both the students and clinical instructors.
2.3. Student Services
2.3.1. Information concerning financial aid through the institution and program is
available to all students.
Financial Aid information is available to all students. As of Fall 2007, 54% of full-time
and 46% of part-time students at LaGuardia received financial aid. Information regarding
financial aid can be found through the LaGuardia Community College website at
www.web.laguardia.edu/sfs. A link to tuition and financial aid is found on the home page of
the LaGuardia Community College website for information regarding federal, state and city
programs. In addition, a “Financial Aid Award Guide”, published by the City University of
New York can be found online and in hard copy in the Financial Aid office in C 107 which
outlines students’ rights and responsibilities as a financial aid recipient at the City University
of New York. Reference is made to the location and telephone number of the financial aid
office in both the PTA Admissions Handbook and the PTA Student Handbook.
2.3.2. Students have access to counseling and testing services.
Students admitted to LaGuardia Community College are required to take the ACT
Admissions Test. This test is designed to assess a student’s need to take basic skill courses in
Writing, Mathematics, and Reading. Students are advised, through academic advisors, of the
results of their exam and courses the student needs to take towards their major.
After a student has completed 45 credits towards their degree, the college sends the
students a letter advising them of their need to register to take the College Proficiency
Exam(CPE). Students are required to pass this exam in order to graduate. Students are also
provided with a list of the dates and times of preparatory workshops for the CPE Exam.
At the time of admission to the college, academic counseling is made available to students.
Students are enrolled in learning communities according to their major. Orientation for new
students is held the week before the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. Counselors are
available to meet with students and discuss their course selection and career goals. Once the
student completes all basic skill requirements and is enrolled in a “learning community” course
cluster, they are advised to schedule an appointment with a faculty member in the PTA
program. This enables students to make a connection with faculty and ensure correct course
selection and time frames to apply for candidacy. Each core faculty member in the PTA
program schedule three hours a week of office hours. Adjuncts schedule one hour a week of
office hours to meet with students. The PTA program director also schedules appointments to
meet with students who cannot come to her office during regular, weekly office hours.
The Office for Student Services and Disabled Students (OSSDS) provides services for
students with disabilities to ensure access to college programs. “OSSDS offers personal,
academic, career, and accommodations counseling, evaluation referrals, testing for learning
disabilities and adaptive/assistive technology.” Reference to the Office for Students with
Disabilities is found in the PTA Student Handbook on page 19 and on the college website. The
OSSDS office is located in M 102.
Finally, the Health Services Center on campus offers immunizations, flu vaccines, hepatitis
B vaccines, HPV vaccines and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Information regarding
the Health Services Center is found in the PTA Student Handbook on page 17.
2.3.3. Students are provided with formative and summative reports of their academic
and clinical performance and progress.
Students enrolled in the clinical phase of the PTA program receive both written and verbal
reports on their academic progress. Midway through the semester, students meet with their
respective course instructor to discuss their academic progress. Students who are identified as
questionable to pass the course are given written documentation of the grades they need to pass
The laboratory component of courses require students to take two practical exams, one at
midterm and one at final. Grading rubrics have been developed by the program faculty. The
grading rubrics are reviewed with the students prior to the practical. After the midterm
practical the course instructor meets with each student to review their performance and
grading. Students are advised of the grade required to pass the laboratory component of the
course. Students who are in jeopardy of passing the course are advised to schedule remediation
with the college laboratory technician.
Any student scoring less than 70% (C) at midterm on an oral or written component of the
exam is notified in writing by the course faculty member with the score needed to pass the oral
or written component of the course. Two copies are signed by both the student and faculty
member. One copy is given to the student and one copy is kept in the student’s file.
Students who are scheduled for a clinical fieldwork internship receive a midterm evaluation
and a final evaluation from their clinical supervisor. Students are encouraged to dialog with the
clinical instructor for the duration of the clinical affiliation regarding their progress. The
clinical supervisor is encouraged to use a CPI form to assess student performance and provide
students with documentation of their strengths and weaknesses. If there are weaknesses, a plan
for improvement is documented on the CPI form. The PTA program’s ACCE is informed of
serious concerns raised by the facility’s CI and a site visit is scheduled by the ACCE. The
ACCE will meet onsite with both the student and CI. A written contract will be developed and
signed by both the student and program ACCE. The contract will clearly identify the
requirements and time frame for students to successfully complete their fieldwork experience.
A copy of the Student Contract is found in the Student Clinical Handbook on page 11.
The program has adequate financial support to achieve its stated mission. Core faculty
determine program needs, and with appropriate institutional officials, are involved in
budget planning and management.
The program has adequate financial support to achieve its stated mission. The institution
provides funding for the PTA program through the Division of Academic Affairs which
provides budget allocation for the Natural and Applied Sciences (NAS) Department. The
Chairperson of NAS divides the budget into specific areas in consultation with the PTA
Program Director who submits a written request based on the needs of the program. The
budget includes office supplies, laboratory supplies, equipment, equipment replacement and
calibration of equipment. CAPTE fees are paid separately by the Division of Academic Affairs.
Salaries are paid by City University Of New York.
Program faculty are consulted to determine equipment needs. Core faculty and adjunct
faculty are asked to submit a list of equipment and supply requests to the Program Director to
review. Faculty has the option to request CTEA grant money to fund equipment not covered in
the annual budget. Faculty have also purchased equipment from mini grant funds awarded to
the program by the Center for Teaching and Learning. Equipment needs are prioritized by the
PTA Program Director in the annual budget with calibration of equipment being a priority. The
Program Income and Expenses Form can be found in the Appendix under Tab 3.
2.5. Administrative and Technical Support Services
Adequate administrative and technical support staff and services exist to support the
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program has adequate administrative and technical
support. The PTA program shares a full-time secretary with the Occupational Therapy
Assistant Program. There is adequate time to handle the work requirements for both
departments. In addition, the secretary to the Departmental Chairperson assists the ACCE in
maintaining and mailing clinical agreements on a timely basis.
LaGuardia Community College has an extensive technical support staff and services to
support the PTA program. The PTA program itself has a laptop computer and multimedia
projector, four computers with internet access in the PTA laboratory and a television with
DVD/VCR. The college has multiple computer laboratories which students may use to access
Blackboard, perform research, complete cumulative multiple-choice exams given by program
faculty and complete the PEAT exam. Two student computer labs are located on the third floor
of the C Building. “Smart Classrooms” are available throughout the campus and can be
requested each semester which consist of internet access, a laptop computer and multimedia
projector. All classrooms in the E Building are smart classrooms. In addition, the library has
several computers available for students to perform their research and access their student
Jacqueline Ross works with a student mentor (STM) once a month to update the PTA
program website, including updating the job board. Each core faculty member has their own
computer in their office. Student mentors and technical support is available to faculty to assist
in ePortfolio and blackboard design.
2.6. Learning and Instructional Resources
2.6.1. The resources of the institutional library system and related learning resource
centers are adequate to support the needs and meet the goals of the program.
The library resources are adequate to support the needs and meet the goals of the PTA
program. The library at LaGuardia includes up-to-date physical therapy texts and resource
materials. The PTA program has a library liaison who communicates with the Program
Director regarding money available to purchase books and journals. An up to date listing of the
current PTA references, books and journals found in the library can be found on site in the
PTA Program Directors office. The library is open seven days a week and the hours can be
accessed via the college’s website. The library has copies of NPTE exam preparation
materials. The materials in the college library are current journals and textbooks as well as
reference materials to enhance research including Evidence Based Practice literature reviews
and searches. PTA students also have access to a program library in the PTA lab in room
E-335 which consists of textbooks and recent issues of PT magazine, the Journal of Physical
Therapy and Advance magazine. In the PTA lab in room E-356 there are four computers
available for research and Blackboard access.
2.6.2. Technology for instructional purposes is easily accessible and is of sufficient
quantity and quality to meet the needs of the program.
Technology for instructional purposes is easily accessible and is of sufficient quality and
quantity. All courses in the PTA program are on Blackboard and include course materials,
syllabi, announcements, links to outside resources and a discussion board where course faculty
post case studies and assignments to enhance learning. Course Blackboard sites are accessed
through student accounts. Most lectures are on PowerPoint and uploaded to the course
Blackboard site prior to class. The PTA program uses the program laptop and multimedia
projector to deliver lectures. The television and DVD/VHS system is used to view educational
materials during lecture and laboratory as determined by the program faculty. Additional
audiovisual equipment is available through the library’s media services and is reserved on the
library’s website. Media services provide laptop computers and multimedia projectors for
Classes in the PTA program are held in either of the two laboratories in rooms E 335 and
E 356 or in a smart classroom. Teaching class in a laboratory allows access to exercise
equipment and treatment modalities for classroom demonstration.
2.7.1. The program has classrooms and laboratories of sufficient quality and quantity to
provide an environment conducive to effective teaching and learning.
The PTA program has sufficient good quality classrooms and laboratories to provide an
environment conducive to effective teaching and learning. The PTA program has two
laboratories approximately 1100 square feet each that are equipped with windows, proper
ventilation, sinks for proper hygiene, mat tables and therapeutic equipment. The laboratories
double as classrooms and contain white boards for instructional teaching. Storage cabinets
provide storage of linens and exercise equipment. A sink with soap and towels are in each
classroom. Smart classrooms may be reserved through the college on a semester basis if a
faculty member wishes to access a standard classroom with internet and multimedia
The PTA program shares a large storeroom space approximately 450 square feet with the
occupational therapy assistant program. The locked storeroom is located adjacent to the PTA
laboratory, which allows easy access and storage of equipment. Supplies and equipment stored
when not being currently used for instructional purposes, helps maintain a clutter free
environment in the classroom.
The PTA program maintains a locker room on the third floor which is adjacent to the
physical therapy classrooms that program students use for storage of laboratory clothing, and
group study. The locker room is approximately 350 square feet. A key to the locker room is
kept by the program’s college laboratory technician. In the locker room, mat tables, a white
board and instructional posters are provided and students have access to the locker rooms on
weekdays from 9am to 5 pm while faculty is on campus.
Student records of recent graduates are stored in the locked PTA storage room for a brief
time before they are catalogued, labeled and sent to the records management department. The
locker room has a security double lock and is only accessible to program faculty have access to
the program storage room. Off campus facilities are not currently used by the PTA program for
2.7.2. The program has sufficient offices and space for academic faculty and staff.
The program office space is sufficient for faculty and staff. Each member of the core
faculty has a locked office approximately 120 square feet with space for filing, record keeping
and textbook storage. The college laboratory technician has assigned space in the PTA
program laboratory. Each faculty member has his or her own telephone, computer, access to
printing, access to a fax machine, internet and group email. A college print center is available
for large printing requests. The core faculty office provides a quiet space for student
advisement and confidential discussions with students, faculty and staff.
2.7.3. Clinical education experiences are of sufficient quality, quantity and variety to
prepare students for their responsibilities as physical therapist assistants.
Currently, the PTA program has a total of 55 clinical contracts. These contracts represent a
total of 83 different clinical sites in a variety of settings. These settings include private
outpatient facilities, sports medicine specialty clinics, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities
(with both short and long term rehabilitative populations). Clinics offer specialties such as
vestibular therapy, woman’s health, pediatric preschools, inpatient cardiac rehabilitation units,
wound care units, Traumatic Brain Injury units and aquatic therapy.
The program strives to obtain contracts with new facilities that can offer ethical,
professional and diversified clinical experiences. There are a variety of methods by which
clinical sites are acquired. One method is through “cold canvassing”. The ACCE does some
“cold canvassing” both when out in the field, by telephone contact or by
e-mail. If the clinic shows interest and meets criteria set by the PTA program, then the contract
process begins. A second method whereby new affiliation contracts are established is through
contact with clinicians who have previously worked with our students. At times, these
clinicians may have moved to another facility and contact the ACCE in hopes of initiating a
new affiliation agreement at their new place of employment. Similarly, alumni, who work in
the field, often encourage their supervisors to contact the PTA program to facilitate a
contractual process. Still another method is through the recommendation of incoming students.
Before entering the clinical phase of the PTA program, students complete 50 hours of
volunteer work. Often this was a very rewarding experience for the students and they contact
the ACCE to recommend pursuit of a new contract.
Once the initial contact has been made with the new facility, a telephone interview is
conducted to discuss staffing, the required on site supervision by a physical therapist and
patient population. The contractual process is outlined and explained to the administrator.
Whenever possible, an on-site visit takes place before the actual contractual process begins.
During this on-site visit the CI is interviewed, the La Guardia Community College Clinical
Manual is delivered and explained, and a tour of the facility takes place. The clinical
expectations and learning objectives of the PTA program are discussed. The Clinical Manual
remains the property of the facility.
The ACCE consistently looks for specialty experiences and a variety of inpatient and
outpatient experience to insure that the student has a well rounded experience.
2.8. Equipment and Supplies
The program has adequate access to sufficient operable equipment and adequate
supplies. Opportunities are provided for academic faculty and students to use equipment
and supplies reflective of current practice in physical therapy.
The PTA program at LaGuardia Community College offers a wide variety of physical
therapy equipment and supplies for academic faculty and students to use in the physical
therapy laboratory. All equipment and supplies used in the program are reflective of the
current practice in physical therapy. The equipment and supplies are kept or stored in the two
physical therapy classrooms/laboratories and the PT storage room. Supplies for physical
agents, integumentary care, ambulatory aids, and therapeutic exercises are to be replenished
annually based on the rate of use and are inventoried by the PTA program lab technician
(CLT). Orders are submitted for purchasing by the college upon annual budget approval.
There are numerous sets of anatomic and skeleton models, anatomy charts and reference
texts available for student use in the Kinesiology classroom and student study/locker rooms.
Students and faculty also have full access to all electrical modalities for radiant therapy,
cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, ultrasonic, compressive and mechanical traction in
the physical agent laboratory. Other equipment for therapeutic exercise, strength and
conditioning, balance, mobility, gait, orthotic/prosthetic, and functional training equipment are
available in the mobility and exercise laboratory. The PTA program also ensures adequate
equipment and supplies for student to gain competency in examination skills such as
assessment of range of motion, strength, and cardiopulmonary status. All equipment and
supplies are available for faculty and student use during class and lab hours as per schedule for
each semester. Additional open lab and study hours are maintained by the CLT during normal
All electrical modalities and exercise equipment are inspected and calibrated annually by
approved vendors, while repairs or replacements are made on an as needed basis as per the
PTA program CLT’s coordination. Currently there are no equipment or supplies on loan, they
are all properties of LaGuardia Community College.
See equipment inventory and maintenance records in the Appendix under Tab 4.
SECTION 3: CURRICULUM
3.1. Core faculty assume primary responsibility for the development of the curriculum
plan with input from all appropriate communities of interest.
It is the responsibility of the core faculty to develop, revise, modify and review the PTA
program curriculum plan on an ongoing basis. The faculty modified and revised the entire PTA
curriculum in 2003-2004 with revisions being approved by the Departmental Curriculum
Committee, the College Wide Curriculum Committee, the College Senate and the City
University of New York. Being concerned with pass rates on the NPTE, changes in the field of
physical therapy and referencing the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant
Education, several modifications were made. The new curriculum included an addition of a
course in Ethical Concepts for PTA’s to address legal and ethical standards of practice along
with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for the Physical Therapist Assistant. In
addition the Mobility course was separated into two courses: Mobility Skills in Physical
Therapy and Functional Gait Training Skills. The Mobility Skills course is an introduction of
the patient/client model, the theory and application of massage and functional movement
theory and skills. The Functional Gait Training Skills course introduces the student to the
theory of normal and abnormal gait and the principles of orthotics and prosthetics. The
Therapeutic Exercise course was separated into a Neuromuscular Rehabilitation and
Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise course along with expansion of the cardiopulmonary
component, which is discussed in the Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise course. The
Neuromuscular Rehabilitation class includes treatment of patients with neuromuscular
conditions, treatment of the pediatric patient and treatment of special populations. The total
credits went from 60 to 68 and the new curriculum was implemented in the Spring II semester
The core faculty modifies course content on an ongoing basis based on input from
students, employers, adjunct faculty, clinical facility evaluations and advisory board members.
On a biannual basis, the faculty meet students from Level I and Level II in a formal Faculty-
Student Advisory meeting. Student input has been helpful in expanding the student library,
improving open laboratory effectiveness, revising clinical affiliation hours, and selecting
textbooks. Input from employers and clinical instructors through site visits and surveys have
provided valuable input regarding students’ difficulties with documentation. The PTA
Advisory Committee consists of clinical faculty, employers of PTA graduates, LaGuardia PTA
faculty, PT faculty from SUNY Downstate DPT Program and PTA program alumni has been
helpful in modifications in course curricula including improvement of cardiopulmonary course
content to include, to review and expand on pathology across the PTA curriculum and
patient/client monitoring. Revision of the therapeutic modalities course included moving
integumentary care to Therapeutic Procedures II to allow a more thorough examination of the
material, and teaching ultrasound in Therapeutic Procedures I prior to the first clinical
experience. Documentation was changed to be initiated in the Introduction to Physical Therapy
course and is now incorporated into each course in the technical and clinical phase.
3.2. The curriculum plan is documented, is comprehensive, incorporates the
philosophy, mission and goals of the program and prepares students for their role as
physical therapist assistants to work under the direction and supervision of physical
The curriculum plan is a culmination of the philosophy of the institution and prepares the
students for their role as physical therapist assistants. The general education courses which
comprise the pre-clinical phase of the program consists of 31 credits in Social Science,
English, Humanities and Natural and Applied Sciences. The pre-clinical phase provides the
students with a foundation in critical thinking, critical writing, urban studies, basic psychology,
anatomy and physiology, oral and verbal communication, pathology and the aging process.
The clinical phase of the PTA program consists of 37 credits and has been designed,
reviewed and revised using the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant Education,
The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, the Minimum Required Skills of PTA Graduates at
Entry-Level Document, the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy
Examination (NPTE) Test Content Outline, and the APTA Standards of Ethical Conduct for
the Physical Therapist Assistant. In addition the clinical phase reflects the college’s core
competencies of critical reading, critical thinking, critical writing, quantitative reasoning,
technological literacy, oral communication and research and information literacy. The clinical
phase coursework culminates in a capstone experience in Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, which
combines the didactic and clinical skills of all prior coursework.
The curriculum is based on a modified problem based model. Presentation of lecture
material is followed by reinforcement and practice of hands on skills. With the exception of
Introduction to Physical Therapy and Ethical Concepts for the PTA courses, all clinical courses
have a lecture and laboratory component. Lectures are presented by PowerPoint and are
available on Blackboard for student access. Laboratories involve demonstration, hands on
practice and case study presentation. All courses involve critical reading, critical thinking, and
have a written and/or oral presentation component that is uploaded to the students’ electronic
portfolio. Each ePortfolio contains an assessment section for program evaluation of critical
literacy and oral communication. A ten-page evidence-based research paper is assigned in the
capstone course to address research literacy and quantitative reasoning. All courses are on
Blackboard to address technological literacy.
In the course Ethical Concepts for PTAs students are introduced to the APTA Ethical
Standards for the PTA, APTA Code of Ethics, the New York State Practice Act, HIPPA and
quality assurance. The role and supervision of the PTA is reinforced in Introduction to Physical
Therapy including reporting changes in patient status and implications of direct and continuous
supervision. In all subsequent clinical coursework, the ethical/legal role of the PTA in carrying
out the plan of care implemented by the PT is emphasized and reiterated. In the laboratory
practical exams, students are questioned regarding reporting of changes in patient status and
modification of patient interventions to the supervising PT. Furthermore, relevant data
collection and treatment intervention is addressed in each clinical course with emphasis on
communication with the physical therapist and other members of the health care team. All
laboratory courses use case studies to perform data collection and treatment interventions as
directed by the physical therapist. All oral practical examinations include a component of
reporting significant changes in status to the supervising physical therapist.
The curriculum plan is available in the PTA Student Handbook on page 7 and on the
program website at www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram. The most recent changes and review of
the curriculum plan may be found in the appendix under tab 5, which outlines the 2009
curriculum review and plan of change.
3.2.1. The curriculum plan includes a series of organized, sequential and
integrated learning experiences.
The curriculum of the Physical Therapist Assistant program follows an organized sequential
plan of study. Students enter LaGuardia Community College and must demonstrate
competence in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Most freshman are placed in freshman
seminar and a Learning Academy which consists of two of the four key courses for the PTA
major. If students do not need remediation or basic skill courses, the student may complete all
four key courses in their first semester. The following document outlines the expected plan of
study after students complete all of their basic skills coursework.
The Curriculum Summary Form can be found in the Appendix under Tab 6.
Suggested Progression of PTA Curriculum
PRE CLINICAL PHASE(General Education)
COURSE TERM CREDITS CONTACT HOURS
ENG-101 Fall I- Year One 3.0 48
SSY 101 General Fall I- Year One 3.0 36
SCB203 Fall I- Year One 4.0 60
Human Biology I
SCN 195 Fall I- Year One 2.0 24
PTA 000.4499 PTA Fall I- Year One 0 0
Liberal Arts Fall II- Year One 3.0 36
SCB 204 Fall II- Year One 4.0 60
Human Biology II
SSY 240 Spring I-Year One 3.0 36
ENG 102 Spring I- Year One 3.0 60
SCH III Aging & Spring I- Year One 3.0 36
SCO 230 Spring I-Year One 3.0 36
CLINICAL PHASE(Technical Phase)
COURSE TERM CREDITS CONTACT
SCT 101 Spring II- Year One 2.0 24
SCT 102 Ethical Spring II- Year One 2.0 24
Concepts for PTA’s
SCT 203 Clinical Fall I- Year Two 4.0 72
SCT 211 Fall I- Year Two 4.0 72
SCT 220 Mobility Fall I- Year Two 3.0 48
Skills in Physical
SCT 221 Functional Fall II-Year Two 3.0 48
Gait Training Skills
SCT 212 Fall II-Year Two 3.0 48
SCT 290 Part Time Fall II-Year Two 2.0 100 clinical hours
SCT 230 Spring I-Year Two 4.0 72
SCT 231 Spring I-Year Two 4.0 72
SCT 291 Clinical Spring II-Year Two 3.0 275 clinical hours
SCT 292 Clinical Fall I-Year Three 3.0 275 clinical hours
Ideally, for the students to complete the Physical Therapist Assistant Program in five terms and
in 2.5 years, students are eligible to apply for PTA candidacy in the twelve-week session
(example- Fall I above) in which they complete or are in the four key courses which are
ENG 101, SSY 101, SCN 195 and SCB 203. Students are notified by a letter of acceptance
into the PTA program and have two semesters (example- Fall II and Spring I above) to
complete their volunteer work and the remaining pre-clinical courses (general education
courses). The clinical phase (physical therapist assistant core courses or technical phase) is one
and a half years in duration and students are progressed through the curriculum upon
successful completion of all pre requisite coursework. The pre clinical (general education
courses ) and clinical phase (PTA technical courses) can be completed in five terms as
illustrated above. A suggested plan of study can be found on the program website at
www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram and in the Student Handbook on page 7.
3.2.2. The curriculum plan includes well defined statements of the expected student
outcomes. The program has effective mechanisms for communicating these
expected outcomes to students, prospective employers, and other communities of
Each course in the Physical Therapist Assistant program has a course syllabus with aligned
instructional and behavioral objectives that reflect the content of each course. Standardized
objectives including the use of technology to access course materials, accessing health care
literature to enhance knowledge, the incorporation of ethical, legal and safe practice into all PT
interventions and the use of effective oral and written communication. In addition to the
individualized course objectives, the program has a list of course objectives that are designed
to reflect the expected student outcomes of the Physical Therapist Assistant program upon
completion. In addition to the data collection and intervention aspects of the program, the
outcomes include an integration of the LaGuardia Community College seven core
competencies including: critical thinking, critical reading, written communication, oral
communication, quantitative reasoning, technology literacy and research and information
literacy. The program objectives are designed to assess competency in the technical and
clinical portions of the program.
Instructional and behavioral objectives are found on each syllabus. All syllabi can be
accessed on the blackboard site for that specific course. The expected PTA student outcomes
can be found in the Clinical Facility Manual on page 34 and in the PTA Student Handbook on
the program website. They include safe ethical practice, knowledge of indications and
contraindications for physical therapy interventions, awareness of cultural diversity, and
completion of a research paper using evidence based practice among others. When contacted
by prospective employers, the PTA faculty refers the employer to the PTA program website for
further information on program curriculum, course descriptions and outcomes of students such
as pass rates on the NPTE. Any one requesting a copy of the Admission Handbook may access
it on the PTA program website or may receive a hard copy by mail. In addition PTA
information sessions are conducted twice per year and are open to the public. The orientation
sessions are advertised on the college’s plasma screen televisions and e mail notification is sent
to local high schools, the college advisors and to students who are registered as a physical
3.2.3. The curriculum plan includes courses with instructional objectives stated in
behavioral terms that describe the depth and breadth of content, and the level of
expected student performance.
The program ensures that all courses in the technical phase of the curriculum meet the
behavioral and instructional objectives of each course. Each course syllabi and course schedule
can be found on the blackboard site of each prospective course. The course syllabi include the
course description; course information including: credit hours, clock hours, course
prerequisites and teaching and learning methods; instructional and behavioral objectives;
grading criteria; and required and recommended readings. Grading criteria is clearly listed in
each syllabus with expectations for student performance. All students are required to pass both
written and practical portions of each course with a 70% or better in order to successfully pass
The program faculty reviews the curriculum and course syllabi annually and revises and
modifies curricula according to faculty and student input and clinical faculty feedback.
Curricula modifications are made and syllabi are updated annually. The most recent curriculum
review was conducted in January 2009. The curricula review resulted in modification of
instructional and behavioral objectives and a design of standardized objectives to be used for
each course. For example, standard aligned behavioral and instructional objectives were added
to each syllabus that address demonstration of effective verbal and written communication,
recognition of cultural differences, ethical and legal practice standards, access of health
literature, following the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist and use of
Skills listed in the objectives are measured by progress on laboratory competencies, written
examinations, practical examinations, case study preparation during class, Blackboard
discussion and clinical evaluation. In addition, the LaGuardia Community College seven core
competencies are intertwined throughout the curriculum and measured according to a college
developed rubric. For instance, a recent review of critical writing skills involved
interdisciplinary reading of physical therapist assistant student papers. The writing from an
Introduction to Physical Therapy paper on a medical diagnosis was compared to an evidence
based paper written in the capstone course, SCT 231- Neuromuscular Rehabilitation. The
papers were read and scored by the Assessment team which comprised of Cecelia Macheski
and Mary Romanello from Academic Affairs and the core faculty from the PTA program-
Debra Engel, Clarence Chan and Jacqueline Ross. The papers were graded according to a
critical literacy rubric(copy available on site) designed by the assessment team at the college.
Copies of each course syllabus can be found in the Appendix under Tabs 9-20 with the
corresponding examples of written examinations, competencies and lab practicals.
3.2.4. The implemented curriculum plan utilizes appropriate methodology.
The PTA curriculum uses a variety of instructional methods and learning experiences. The
teaching and learning methods include a combination of lectures, multimedia presentations,
laboratory instructions, hands-on practice, interactive Blackboard discussions, ePortfolio
activities, case studies, student presentations, small group projects, written exams, practical
exams, skill competencies, offsite clinical affiliations, and integration of clinical experiences
into classroom discussions.
The physical therapist assistant faculty has incorporated the use of a variety of methods to
facilitate the students’ ability to critically read, critically think, to use technology, to develop
quantitative reasoning, to access health literature and research evidence based practice and to
develop written and oral communication skills. The capstone course which includes a
culmination of all skills in the technical phase, allows the faculty to assess the students’
readiness for clinic by administering a comprehensive practical examination.
All of the physical therapist assistant classes are held in one of the two PTA laboratories.
The setting is conducive to demonstration of equipment and intervention techniques during the
lecture portion. Each laboratory is equipped with a whiteboard and multimedia technology
along with internet access to enhance lectures. During laboratory, faculty uses a combination
of skill demonstration, hands on practice, and case studies to enhance learning.
All courses in the clinical phase use Blackboard to post syllabi and course schedules, to post
readings and Power Point slides in preparation for each lecture, to provide resource material
and to encourage topic discussion and group review.
Each student in the PTA program is required to design an ePortfolio(electronic portfolio).
Most students enter the technical program with a basic ePortfolio and all students upgrade to an
intermediate ePortfolio during the curriculum. Students are required to deposit a minimum of
one paper or project from each PTA course and attend a studio hour during their capstone
course to develop their ePortfolio for career placement and advancement. In spring of 2009 all
PTA adjunct faculty participated in four ePortfolio instructional seminars funded by a mini
grant obtained by program faculty to standardize the quality of student work that is uploaded to
the student’s ePortfolio. Access to student ePortfolios will be available to the on site
Students complete three clinical experiences in a variety of settings for a total of 650 hours.
Upon completion of SCT101 – Introduction to Physical Therapy; SCT102 – Ethical Concepts
for PTAs; SCT203 – Clinical Kinesiology; SCT211 – Therapeutic Procedures I and SCT220 –
Mobility Skills in Physical Therapy, students complete a part-time 100 hour experience in an
outpatient clinic. Upon completion of all didactic work in the technical phase, students attend
two full-time terminal clinical experiences consisting of 275 hours each. One clinical
experience is an outpatient facility and the other clinical experience is an inpatient experience.
PLACEMENT OF CLINICAL EXPERIENCES IN THE TECHNICAL PHASE
SPRING II FALL I
SCT 101 SCT 203
SCT 102 SCT 211
FALL II SPRING I
100 HOUR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE(part time) SCT 230
SCT 221 SCT 231
275 HOUR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
275 HOUR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
3.2.5. The program faculty utilize a variety of effective methods to measure students’
achievement of the objectives.
Evaluation mechanisms are varied and include written exams, practical exams,
Blackboard discussions, laboratory competencies, small group projects and written
assignments. Student evaluation is ongoing during the technical phase and student
evaluation and grading standards can be found on course syllabi. Samples of student
written exams, skills competencies, practical examinations and clinical evaluation
forms can be found with the corresponding syllabi for each course in the Appendix
under Tabs 9-20.
The PTA faculty conducts annual reviews of the PTA program written exams for
accuracy, content, and student success. A recent curriculum review with program
faculty insured that all content in the course objectives were being discussed and
Upon entering the PTA program, a diagnostic reading skills tool is administered by
PTA faculty in collaboration with the Communications Department. The success of
completing this multiple choice tool will be used as an additional measure to determine
correlation of success on the NPTE. Any student receiving less than 70% on the
diagnostic reading tool will be encouraged to attend additional remediation sessions.
The English Language Acquisition Department will be conducting a multiple choice
test taking strategy workshop in fall 2009.
Written and practical exams are administered around mid semester and at the end of
the semester. All final written exams are cumulative. Students receive feedback from
each exam and faculty review all exams with the students. To successfully complete a
course, students must receive a minimum grade of 70%. In classes that have a
laboratory component, students must receive a minimum grade of 70% on both the
written and practical portions of the course. Any student with an average below 70%
on the midterm written and/or practical component receives a written notice of the
grade needed on the final written and/or practical course to successfully complete the
course. A copy of this notice is kept in the student’s file.
Prior to the laboratory practical examination, all students are required to complete a
skills competency in the open laboratories. Students who score less than 70% of the
competency are required to schedule remediation with the college laboratory technician
to improve student success on the practical exam.
The PEAT exam is used by the PTA program as an exit exam. The exam is
administered during the last semester of the program during the seminar that
accompanies the second and last full time affiliation. Students must receive a minimum
of a 60% on the PEAT exam in order to successfully pass the seminar course and
graduate from the program. If a student receives a grade of less than 60% on the PEAT
exam, they must repeat the exam until they receive a minimum of 60%.
During SCT 231- Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, the capstone course, a
comprehensive practical examination that incorporates all of the skills from the
technical phase, is used to determine student readiness for the terminal clinical
experiences. All students must receive a minimum of 70% on the comprehensive
practical to pass the capstone course.
Throughout the curriculum written papers, oral presentations and projects are
deposited in the student’s ePortfolio. The assessment portion of the ePortfolio allows
the PTA program to assess the student’s writing literacy and oral communication skills
using a rubric designed by the LaGuardia Community College Assessment Team.
During each clinical experience, students are expected to complete a clinical
workbook. Each workbook contains a list of mandatory clinical competencies to
complete along with written tasks including patient and family teaching, note writing,
and skill reflection. Midterm and final evaluations are provided to the student by the
clinical instructor during the clinical affiliations. The full-time experiences use the
Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) to measure student achievement of clinical
objectives along with an onsite visit by the Academic Clinical Coordinator of
Education to ensure that all clinical goals are being met.
At this time there is not a long distance component of the PTA program and no
testing is completed by distance mechanisms.
3.2.6. The program faculty determines that students are competent and safe to progress
through the curriculum, including the clinical education component.
The program determines skills the students should perform competently and safely
and develop criteria and evaluation tools to determine student”s progression through the
program. The PTA curriculum review is based on CAPTE criteria, the Normative
Model of PTA Education and the Minimum Required Skills of PTA Graduates at Entry
Level. A list of skills in which the student is expected to be competent in can be found
in the Appendix under Tabs 9-20 under each corresponding course.
In each laboratory course students are required to pass the written and oral
component of each course with a minimum of 70%. The program has a standardized
list of critical safety elements which are components of every competency and oral
practical examination. A violation of any of the critical safety skills results in an
automatic failure of the practical examination with a score of 65%. Critical safety skills
include but are not limited to: locking of wheelchair brakes during transfers, safe and
appropriate guarding of the patients during functional activities, observance of
precautions and contraindications during interventions, and proper care and
maintenance of electrical equipment. A list of the critical safety elements are found on
the program website at www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ptaprogram, in the PTA Student
Handbook on page 17 and on each course syllabus. Students are informed of the critical
safety elements during program orientation and they are reinforced throughout the
curriculum by faculty and the college laboratory technician.
The capstone course, SCT 231-Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, is designed to be a
culmination of all coursework in the technical phase. The skills of therapeutic exercise
are combined with patient/client management, functional mobility, gait training and
elevation activities. The final comprehensive practical examination includes following
a treatment plan to include: patient interview; vital sign measurement; assistive device
measurement and instruction; modality application including: sensory testing,
positioning and draping; therapeutic exercise; gait training and elevation training. The
final comprehensive practical exam is designed to determine student readiness for the
full time clinical experience. All students must pass the final comprehensive practical
examination with a minimum of 70% to pass the capstone course and progress to the
Each laboratory course has competencies to be completed during the open
laboratory sessions prior to the practical examinations. The laboratory competencies for
each course are posted on the course blackboard site. Students are advised to schedule
additional remediation with the PTA program college laboratory technician if they
receive less than a score of 70% on the competencies or if they violate one or more of
the critical safety skills.
Each course in the technical phase of the PTA program uses written exams,
practical exams, skill competencies, group projects, individual assignments and
ePortfolio to determine if students are competent to progress through the curriculum.
After successful completion of all didactic course work, students are progressed to the
final two terminal full time clinical experiences. In order to progress through the PTA
program, students must successfully complete all pre-requisite work. Students may
repeat one course in the technical phase. Failure of more than one course results in
dismissal from the program.
All clinical facilities receive a PTA Clinical Education Manual. The manual
consists of information on the PTA curriculum, course descriptions, grading standards,
student and clinical faculty responsibilities, program objectives, and the clinical
evaluation tools. The affiliation seminar instructor and the ACCE check the clinical
evaluation forms for accuracy. Questions regarding discrepancies are addressed to the
clinical faculty by the ACCE. All final grades are determined by the PTA faculty based
on site visit feedback, the facility evaluation form (CPI) and course requirements
(exams, presentations and assignments). All work completed in the clinical phase is
kept in the student’s file which is stored in the program director’s office.
As stated previously, the program objectives can be found on page 29 of the PTA
Clinical Educational Manual and on page 9 of the PTA Student Handbook. The
program objectives were designed by program faculty to summarize the culmination of
skills required for successful completion of the physical therapist assistant program at
LaGuardia Community College.
3.3. Comprehensive Curriculum
3.3.1. The physical therapist assistant curriculum includes, or its prerequisites
include, elements of general education, including basic sciences that include
biological, physiological, and anatomical principles and applied physical
therapy science. The coursework is designed to prepare the student to
think independently, to clarify values, to understand fundamental theory
and to develop critical thinking and communication skills.
The PTA program is designed so that the student completes all of the prerequisite
courses before they enter the technical phase. The prerequisite courses are meant to
provide a background in English, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Social Science.
The Liberal Arts Elective in Oral Communication, Critical Thinking or Group
Dynamics provides additional knowledge and skills required in all of the PTA courses.
Students enter LaGuardia Community College and are evaluated to determine if
they need to complete remediation courses in math, reading, and writing. In order to
apply for candidacy, students must apply in the semester that they are taking or have
completed ENG 101 – Composition I, SSY 101 – General Psychology, SCB 203 –
Fundamentals of Human Biology, and SCN 195 – Community Health. After
completing the key courses, students must then complete ENG 102 – Writing through
Literature, SSY 240 – Developmental Psychology, SCB 204 – Fundamentals of Human
Biology II, SCH 111 – Aging and Health, and SCO 230 – Functional Pathology.
The college competencies of critical literacy (critical reading, critical writing and
critical thinking), quantitative reasoning, oral communication, technological literacy
and research and information literacy are intertwined throughout the prerequisite
curriculum. Most students participate in a learning community where entering students
are taught by a team of faculty that collaborate and design assignments based on
common themes. The college core competencies are addressed and most students
design ePortfolios to deposit and showcase their completed assignments.
The English courses are designed to introduce students to a wide variety of writing
skills. In English 101, students focus on writing clear, correct and effective essays. In
English 102, students continue their ability to write correct well organized essays and
complete a critical research paper. The Psychology courses, SSY 101 and SSY 240
introduce students to personality, mental illness, social psychology and physiological
and psychological factors on individuals from birth through adolescence. The
Community Health class, SCN 195 introduces the students to health careers, health
centers, and health issues. The Human Biology I and II course, SCB 203 and SCB 204
introduces the students to the anatomy and physiology of the human body including
organ systems; muscles, bones, nerves and dissection. The Aging and Health course,
SCH 111 introduces the student to the effect of biological changes on the mental
processes and functioning of the individual. The Functional Pathology course, SCO
230 introduces the students to the response to disease and injury and effects on bodily
systems. In addition to the prerequisite course work, all students must complete 50
hours of volunteer work in a physical therapy department to gain exposure to the
physical therapy field.
The prerequisite course work is sequenced logically and an example of a curriculum
summary plan can be found in the Appendix under Tab 6. Through the Center of
Teaching and Learning, the PTA faculty collaborates with faculty from the prerequisite
courses to promote inclusion of curriculum to facilitate a transition of knowledge from
the pre-clinical phase (prerequisite) to the clinical phase (technical courses).
In addition, the PTA faculty collaborates with the faculty in the pre-clinical phase to
design curriculum and suggest course content. Debra Engel has coordinated SCN 195,
the Community Health course, which is a key course for candidacy, for the last six
years and has designed the curriculum and assignments to expose students to medical
terminology, medical diagnoses, insurance payment plans and medical and community
health centers. The PTA majors in the Community Health course participate in a virtual
interest group with a PTA student in the clinical phase and a PTA faculty member to
facilitate PTA advisement. The faculty has collaborated with the faculty teaching the
Functional Pathology course to highlight suggested musculoskeletal, neuromuscular
and cardiopulmonary diagnosis that are relevant to the field of physical therapy. Debra
Engel has presented lectures in SCH 111, the Aging and Health class on cardiac
rehabilitation of the geriatric patient. Jackie Ross, the instructor of SCT 203, the
Kinesiology course has collaborated with the human biology coordinator to discuss
innovations to improve the students understanding of muscles and bony landmarks.
3.3.2. The technical education component of the curriculum includes learning
experiences to prepare the entry-level physical therapist assistant to work under
the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. Courses within the
curriculum include content designed to prepare program graduates to meet the
described performance expectations.
The technical education component of the curriculum focuses on developing
skills to prepare the student to work under the direction and supervision of the physical
therapist. As stated previously, the curriculum was revised and changes implemented
in 2006. The changes reflected an increase of credit hours from 60 to 68 and the
addition of an Ethical Concepts for PTAs course. Two courses were revised. The
Mobility course was separated into a Mobility Skills and Gait Training course. The
Therapeutic Exercise course was separated into an Orthopedic Exercise and
Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Course to allow deeper exploration of course content.
The PTA curriculum is sequenced into pre clinical (general education) and
clinical phase (technical, clinical education and terminal clinical education). LaGuardia
Community College courses are designed to be taken in a twelve week or six week
session. In each calendar year, there are two twelve week and two six week sessions.
The academic year begins with Fall I in September (12 weeks), followed by Fall II in
January (six weeks), Spring I in March (12 weeks) and ends with Spring II in June (six
The pre-clinical phase consists of the general education courses and lays the
foundation for the clinical phase. The general education courses incorporate critical
reading, critical writing, oral communication, theories of physiology, principles of
human anatomy and physiology, pathology and principles of working with the aged.
The clinical phase (technical phase) begins with SCT 101 Introduction to
Physical Therapy and SCT 102 Ethics for PTAs. These two courses (six weeks),
which are lectured based, introduce medical terminology, note writing skills and the
principles of ethics. In both courses patients are introduced to standards of legal and
ethical physical therapy practice and the relationship of the physical therapist and the
physical therapist assistant. Students are introduced to practice under the supervision of
a physical therapist.
In the second session (12 weeks) of the clinical phase (technical phase) students
are enrolled in SCT 203- Kinesiology, SCT 211-Therapeutic Procedures I and SCT
220-Mobility Skills for PTAs. All three courses are in lecture and laboratory format. In
this session students are introduced to the patient / client management model and
develop their draping, positioning and patient interview techniques. Students begin data
collection including goniometry, manual muscle testing, pain management, vital signs
and circumferential measurement. Intervention skills include passive range of motion,
passive stretching, massage, application of modalities, pain management, transfer
training and functional movement training. Oral and written communication skills are
reinforced throughout the semester.
In the third session (six weeks) of the clinical phase (technical phase) students
are enrolled in SCT 212-Therapeutic Procedures II, SCT 221 Training Skills for PTAs
and SCT 290-Part time affiliation and seminar I. SCT 212 and SCT 221 are in a lecture
and laboratory format. In SCT 290 students complete 100 hours of clinical experience
in an outpatient setting two days per week for approximately seven weeks. Students are
provided with the opportunity to apply previously learned data collection and
intervention skills and carry out a plan of care as directed by the physical therapist.
Students are required to attend a weekly seminar class one evening per week. Students
continue to reinforce their written and oral communication skills throughout the
session. SCT 212 is a continuative of SCT 211 and students are introduced to wound
care, phototherapy and the application of electrical stimulation. Patient/ Client
management skills are reinforced. SCT 221 reinforces patient/client transfers,
wheelchair management and mobility training and progresses the students to the
theories of gait. Students adjust assistive devices and perform gait training on level and
elevated surfaces. Students are also introduced to orthotics and prosthetics and their
role in ambulation. Documentation Skills are reinforced in all courses throughout the
semester. An oral presentation is required in SCT 221.
In the fourth session (twelve weeks) of the clinical (technical phase) students
are enrolled in SCT 230- Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise and SCT 231-
Neuromuscular Rehabilitation. Intervention skills include therapeutic exercise for the
patient / client with cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions.
All data collection and intervention skills are reinforced from previous sessions to
facilitate a comprehensive treatment program. SCT 231 is the capstone course of the
PTA program and students are required to complete a research paper that examines
healthcare literature and evidence based interventions on a diagnosis that the student
presented in the first session in the PTA program in SCT 101- Introduction to Physical
Therapy. Students must pass a comprehensive practical exam in SCT 231 that includes
a patient interview, vital sign measurement, patient preparation, modality application,
manual muscle testing, goniometry, transfer training, gait training, elevation training
and a therapeutic exercise program based on the plan of care outlined by a physical
Students complete two terminal clinical experiences in SCT 291- PTA
Affiliation and Seminar II and SCT 292- PTA Affiliation and Seminar III. Each clinical
experience is 275 hours each and offers a variety of clinical experiences for the student
to apply data collection skills and intervention skills based on the plan of care as
directed by the physical therapist. Students complete one in-patient and one out-patient
clinical experience. Each clinical experience is accompanied by a weekly seminar class
in the evening. Written and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills and
documentation skills are reinforced. NPTE test preparation classes are offered in
SCT- 292. Students are required to pass the PEAT exam with a minimum of 60% in
order to graduate from the PTA Program. The terminal clinical experiences reinforce
ethical behavior, communication skills, critical thinking and the ability to work under
the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist.
Throughout the curriculum the PTA students develop an electronic portfolio
(ePortfolio). A Physical Therapist Assistant template allows the student to develop a
professional ePortfolio with their career goals (personal mission statement) resume and
class assignments and projects. The PTA program guides the student to deposit specific
work into the assessment section of the ePortfolio, which facilitates program
assessment of critical literacy and oral communication. Class assignments and projects
are staged to demonstrate student growth, group collaboration and progressive
knowledge during the PTA curriculum.
The Course Objectives and Outcomes Form can be found in the Appendix under
Tab 8 which outlines all of the course objectives listed in 3.3.2 with the corresponding
course and means of measurement.
3.3.3 Clinical Education
184.108.40.206 The clinical education component of the comprehensive curriculum includes
organized and sequential experiences coordinated with the didactic component of
the curriculum. Clinical education includes integrated experiences and full time
The LaGuardia Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to
enable the student to be exposed to clinical experiences that will help to reinforce the academic
material covered in the classroom and to have clinical experiences that challenge and enhance
their present knowledge base. The student’s first clinical experience is part time, two days per
week. The student is expected to complete 100 hours in an outpatient setting. This fieldwork
experience is to be completed within an eight weeks time frame. Before being able to begin
this Level I experience the student needs to have successfully completed Introduction to
Physical Therapy (SCT 101), Ethical Concepts in Physical Therapy (SCT102), Clinical
Kinesiology (SCT 203), Therapeutic Procedures I (SCT 211) and Mobility Skills in Physical
Therapy (SCT 220). Coinciding with the first clinical affiliation, the student is registered for
Functional Gait Training Skills (SCT221) and Therapeutic Procedures II (SCT 212). The Level
I clinical experience is where the student has the opportunity to practice skills they learned in
the core curriculum courses they have completed. As part of this fieldwork experience the
students are required to complete a clinical workbook. This workbook asks the student to
perform certain mandatory clinical skills that they had been taught in their previous course
work. In addition to the mandatory skills that need to be performed in the clinic, there are also
recommended skills that the faculty suggests should be performed by the student during their
Level I affiliation. The clinical supervisors need only to confirm (by signature) that the student
completed the mandatory tasks. The skill with which the student completes these tasks is not
graded in this workbook but is considered when the clinician completes the student evaluation
It is the completion of the mandatory tasks, satisfactory completion of the clinical workbook
written assignments, and the Clinical Supervisor’s student evaluation that are assessed to
determine the student’s final grade for their affiliation. The written assignments assess the
student’s ability to effectively communicate with the community and medical populations. It is
during this Level I experience where the students practice basic skills and to also begin to
understand the communication skills and time management skills necessary to be an effective
At the end of the technical coursework the student is required to complete two terminal full-
time clinical experiences of 275 hours each. One of these two full-time affiliations is in an
inpatient setting and the second is assigned to an outpatient setting. After the completion of the
second of these two affiliations the student is expected to be entry level for the profession. If
the student is not considered entry level then the student is given one additional affiliation
assignment. If the student fails this additional clinical, the student is unable to graduate from
the program. The full time affiliation experience also requires completion of a workbook where
more advanced skills are required to be completed. The students are graded during these
affiliations by the Clinical Instructor through completion of the CPI form. The final grade
determination is by considering the grade on the CPI and the information obtained during a site
visit or a telephone conversation between the ACCE and the Clinical Instructor. There is a
graded seminar component attached to each of the full time affiliations. PTA program faculty
assign the final clinical grade for the students’ clinical affiliation.
220.127.116.11 Clinical experiences selected by the program provide students with appropriate
role modeling and an opportunity to interact with individuals with impairments common
to the clinical setting.
In an effort to help to ensure that our students are exposed to similar educational
experiences in the clinic, we have designed workbooks that each student needs to complete
while on their clinical internships. Two different workbooks have been designed that
specifically address completion of clinical tasks that are representative of the student’s current
knowledge base. Both workbooks contain written assignments that are geared to the specific
level of internship. Some of the tasks include note writing, administrative/departmental
analysis and communication skills. It is not the responsibility of the clinician to see that the
student complete their workbooks but the students are asked to show their workbooks to the CI
at the beginning of the affiliation and the clinicians need only to apply their signature to the
document before the student submits the workbook to the faculty for a grade. This helps to
guarantee that the clinician is made aware of both the student’s and the clinic’s
The PTA Program ACCE assigns the students to facilities that are appropriate to their level
of education. The Level One students are assigned to outpatient facilities and are in the clinic
two full days per week for a 7-8 week period. These facilities are carefully chosen based on
the clinics ability to provide a setting where the student is able to practice basic skills that were
learned in Therapeutic Procedures I, Clinical Kinesiology and Mobility Skills in Physical
Therapy. The Level I workbook the students are required to complete during this affiliation
asks the student to perform or observe basic PT interventions. These interventions were
practiced within the classroom during previous semesters. It is at this point in the clinical
education that it is very important for the student to begin to understand the importance of
professionalism, communication and time management. This workbook includes tasks that
consider a variety of patient populations.
The Level II clinical experiences (terminal experiences) are chosen based on the facilities
ability to allow for the student to practice the skills necessary for Entry Level. The students are
required to complete two full time affiliations consisting of approximately 8 weeks each. One
affiliation is in an out patient setting where the students are exposed to special populations such
as pediatrics, sports medicine, aquatic therapy, and/or hospital outpatient departments. The
second affiliation is in an inpatient setting. The inpatient setting can be completed at
rehabilitation centers, hospitals, long term care centers or short- term care facilities. At the
completion of the two full time affiliations it is expected that the student be competent at entry
level in the physical therapy field.
The Level II workbook requires the student to complete more complicated interventions that
are in line with entry level expectations. The Level II workbooks require that the student
observe an evaluation with the PT and write about their experiences. This helps to guarantee
that if the student is working with a PTA as their CI, they are made aware of the important
Each of the clinics working with our students is made aware of the expectations that the
PTA program has for the particular affiliation assignment. The facilities have a copy of the
LaGuardia PTA Program Clinical Manual, where the clinical expectations for the two different
levels of clinical students is explained and the ACCE is available to discus via telephone the
expectations the PTA program has for each level student.
Student’s clinical experiences are discussed throughout the semester during the seminar
portion that is attached to each of the three clinical courses. It is at this time that the student
has an opportunity to speak about their positive and/or negative feelings about the clinic and
their exposure to different patient populations.
Around the midterm point in the course the ACCE makes a site visit where both the student
and the CI are interviewed individually. During this interview it is determined whether or not
the student is able to complete the requirements of the workbooks and the program.
Suggestions may be made at this time to help guarantee that the student is receiving the clinical
experience appropriate to his/her level of education. If there are concerns identified during the
site visit, follow-up is made with either the student or the clinic to determine successful
completion of the student affiliation.
4.1. Assessment is part of a systematic and formal approach to continuous improvement.
The program has in place an ongoing process to determine the effectiveness of the
program that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
4.1.1. institutional policies and procedures
4.1.2. program policies and procedures
4.1.4. mission, philosophy, goals and objectives
4.1.6. clinical education program
4.1.7. performance of recent graduates
4.1.8. admissions process, criteria, and prerequisites
4.1.9. program enrollment
4.1.10. core faculty
4.1.11. adjunct and supporting faculty
4.1.12. clinical education faculty
The PTA program has an ongoing, assessment process. The Program Director
monitors graduation rates, pass rates on the NPTE, admissions, candidacy and
employment rates. The core faculty meet once per year to review curriculum, to update
syllabi, to review course descriptions, to discuss course grading, to discus course pass
rates and review and modify behavioral and instructional objectives. Changes are made
based on course examinations, student feedback, Graduate Summative Reports (exit
surveys) employee surveys, clinical education evaluation forms and verbal feedback.
Copies of these surveys can be found in the Appendix under Tab 22.
The PTA faculty meets monthly to discuss student success, curricular obstacles
and difficulties with program policies and procedures. The PTA faculty meets with
student representatives from each level twice yearly to discuss issues regarding faculty
satisfaction, course structure, library and textbook resources, laboratory and open
laboratory structure and curriculum. The faculty meet with the PTA Advisory Board
yearly to present curricular changes, updates to the Admission and Student Handbooks
and to discuss clinical placement and clinical obstacles in the New York City Area.
The Assessment Process Documentation Grid found in the Appendix under Tab
21 outlines a summary of goals the PTA faculty has addressed in the last few years to
enhance improvements in NPTE pass rates, student advisement, curricular
modifications, course restructuring, clinical hour modifications and students
recruitment and retention to name a few.
More recently the PTA program assessment has incorporated use of the
ePortfolio. The goal of using the ePortfolio in assessment is to show continual growth
of the PTA student as the student progresses through the program. The ePortfolio
showcases the student’s ability to analyze diagnostic conditions and demonstrate both
critical thinking, and clinical decision making. The ePortfolio allows the program to
assess student engagement throughout the curriculum by requiring uploading of a
student written or oral assignment from each course in the clinical phase. A LaGuardia
Community College PTA ePortfolio has been developed by the PTA faculty to assess
the academic core competencies of the college: written communication quantitative
reasoning, oral communication, research and information literacy technological,
literacy and critical reading/critical thinking.
In addition, the PTA program has added the APTA core competencies
of : accountability, altruism, compassion learning, excellence, integrity, professional
duty, social responsibility, clinical skills and group dynamics to a revised assessment
grid that is encompassing and addresses competencies in addition to those required by
The college has developed a written literacy and oral communication rubric for
assessment. In January 2009, the PTA faculty and members of the college assessment
team evaluated PTA student writing samples. A random sample of student work
comparing early writing from SCT101 – Introduction to Physical Therapy was
compared to writing in SCT231 – Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (capstone course).
The PTA faculty has recently collaborated with the Communications Department and
reviewed an oral communications assessment rubric. In the summer of 2009 an
assessment of oral communication skills in the PTA program will be initiated with
taping of oral presentations presented by PTA students working with members of the
Speech program supervised by Professor Louis Luca. All oral projects will be
uploaded to ePortfolio with assessment to be completed by the oral communications
assessment team in the fall of 2010. Preliminary review of oral assignments has led to a
development of guidelines given to the students to facilitate improved project quality.
Further modifications need to be addressed and the program faculty have applied for a
mini grant from the Center for Teaching and Learning for the 2009/2010 academic year
to address improving grading rubrics and assessment of oral communication projects
along with developing guidelines to assess the ePortfolio.
The PTA program has established program competencies based on the core
competencies of the college and the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant
Education. The following document outlines the program competencies including
where the competency is covered and the method of assessment.
Program Objective Course Covered Outcome Measurement
1. Demonstrate knowledge and SCT 101 Written exam
adhere to the “Standards of
Ethical Conduct” and “Guide for SCT 102 Written exam
Conduct of the Physical Therapist
Assistant” as they relate to
supervision and practice.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of Introduced in Written exam
medical terminology, abbreviations SCT 101
components of a medical chart All courses Class discussions, written
related to physical therapy and oral exams
3. Demonstrate ability to extrapolate SCT 290 Completion of Workbook
pertinent information from the SCT 291 Tasks
medical chart. SCT 292
4. Demonstrate oral communication SCT 290 Clinical workbook tasks,
skills in the ability to interview a SCT 291 Clinical performance
patient/client and obtain pertinent SCT 292 instrument form
medical history, social history and
history of the present illness.
5. Demonstrate ability to monitor SCT 220 Skills assessment in oral
patients/clients during a treatment SCT 230 practical exam
session using vital signs and to be SCT 231
able to recognize changes in
6. Demonstrate ability to position SCT 211 Oral practical exams
and drape patients/clients with SCT 220
regard to patient/client’s safety, SCT 212
comfort, modesty, and accessibility SCT 231
7. Demonstrate competency in SCT 220 Oral practical exams
massage, selected manual SCT 212
techniques and use of physical SCT 212
agents. SCT 231
8. Demonstrate knowledge and SCT 230 Oral and written practical
application of therapeutic exercise SCT 231 exams
for strengthening, flexibility,
endurance, balance, coordination
9. Demonstrate ability to choose and SCT 221 Oral practical exams
measure assistive devices and SCT 231
instruct the patient in appropriate
gait pattern using appropriate
10. Demonstrate ability to manage a SCT 221 Oral and written exams
patient/client with prosthetics and/or
11. Demonstrate ability to perform SCT 220 Oral practical exams
functional mobility activities
including transfers, position changes
and movement of the patient/client in
12. Demonstrate ability to utilize SCT 211 Oral practical exams
universal precautions, aseptic
technique, and to care for the
patient/client with integumentary
and/or infectious conditions.
13. Demonstrate ability to safely SCT 230 Oral practical exams
perform interventions applicable
to the Physical Therapist
Assistant on a patient/client with
14. Demonstrate understanding of All courses Written exams
the role of a Physical Therapist,
Physical Therapist Assistant,
Physical Therapy Aide and other
members of the health care team.
15. Demonstrate ability to adjust SCT 230 Oral practical exams
exercise equipment for SCT 231
patient/client safety and
16. Demonstrate ability to assess SCT 203 Oral practical exams
joint measurements inclusive of SCT 230
establishing end feel. SCT 231
17. Demonstrate ability to monitor SCT 220 Oral and written exams
the patient/client during SCT 221
functional activities and modify SCT 230
interventions/activities according SCT 231
to the plan of care.
18. Demonstrate the ability to select SCT 220 Oral exams, practical
and document data collection, SCT 221 exams clinical performance
intervention and patient/client SCT 211 instrument
response. SCT 212
SCT 290,291 292
19. Demonstrate an ability to SCT 290 Clinical Performance
communicate clearly and SCT 291 Instrument.
effectively in both written and SCT 292
verbal form with patient/client,
family, colleagues and other
20. Demonstrate knowledge of All courses Written exams and clinical
indications and contraindications performance instruments,
for all physical therapy site visit
21. Demonstrate proficiency in SCT 230 Written and oral exams and
instructing and supervising SCT 231 clinical performance
patients/clients in exercise SCT 290,291,292 instrument, site visit
22. Demonstrate effective time SCT 290 Clinical performance
management in the clinical SCT 291 instrument, site visit
setting. SCT 292
23. Maintain a clean and safe SCT 290 Clinical performance
environment in the clinic. SCT 291 instrument, site visit
24. Demonstrate proficiency in SCT 211 Written and oral practical
providing rationale for SCT 212 exams, clinical
patient/client intervention based SCT220 performance instrument,
on critical thinking and critical SCT 221 site visit
reading. SCT 230
25. Demonstrate ability to access and SCT 212 Blackboard, ePortfolio,
analyze, throughout the written assignments,
curriculum, health care literature classroom presentations
and complete an evidence based
practice paper in the capstone SCT 231-
course. capstone course
26. Demonstrate the ability to utilize All courses in the Blackboard, power point
technology in the PTA technical phase presentations, ePortfolios
27. Demonstrate the ability to SCT 101 Assignment in SCT 101,
recognize individual and cultural SCT290 clinical performance
differences in individuals and SCT 291 instrument, site visit.
respond appropriately. SCT 292
28. Demonstrate the ability to SCT 290 Clinical performance
perform data collection and SCT 291 instrument, site visit
intervention skills as outlined in the SCT 292
plan of care of the Physical Therapist
4.1.1. Institutional Policies and Procedures
LaGuardia Community College has an open admission policy and students may select
physical therapist assistant as their major. Each year the program director is contacted by the
Registrar’s office regarding the number of seats that should be allotted as PTA majors. The
program faculty has decided not to limit seats in order to allow a maximum number of students
to apply for candidacy.
The college has an institutional attendance policy that states that “attendance in class is
a requirement and will be considered in the evaluation of student performance. The maximum
number of unexcused absences is limited to 15% of the number of class hours”. The PTA
Program has a mandatory attendance policy for all clinical courses as missing class is
detrimental to student knowledge. The PTA Program does however uphold the attendance
policy of the college and any student who is absent more than 15% of class time receives a
failing grade for that specific course.
At LaGuardia Community College, the Registrar’s office monitors and regulates the
candidacy process. In the Allied Health programs at LaGuardia Community College, Nursing,
Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant have a candidacy process. In
the PTA program, the minimum GPA for the four key courses (SSY101, ENG101, SCN195,
SCB203) was established at 2.5 to qualify for successful candidacy. The Registrar is
responsible for calculation of the key course GPA and ranking the students from highest to
lowest overall GPA. The PTA faculty has discussed the minimum GPA of 2.5 in the key
courses and has established that the parameters are appropriate to insure that at least 20
qualified students are able to be offered seats in the program twice a year. In addition, the PTA
faculty has reservations about lowering the GPA upon admission with success on the NPTE.
Those who have traditionally had difficulty passing the NPTE have had a lower overall GPA in
the pre-clinical courses. Therefore, the PTA program has not considered lowering the key
course GPA below 2.5.
Passing the exit exam of LaGuardia Community College the CPE (City University of
New York Proficiency Exam) which tests students Analytical Reading and Writing and
analyzing and integrating material from graphs and text is required for graduation. Students
are required to take the test upon completion of 45 credits and are allowed three attempts to
pass. The program director of the PTA program requests and monitors CPE pass rates from the
Division of Institutional Research. The pass rate of PTA majors on the CPE for 2008 was
87.2%. Traditionally the pass rate for PTA majors has been above 80%. The PTA program is
conscious of the requirements to pass the CPE and has consistently assigned papers and
projects to improve student’s ability in the area of critical reading, writing and quantitative
4.1.2. Program Policies and Procedures
The PTA program faculty regularly reviews the program policies and procedures and
revises the programs mission, goals, and objectives.
The PTA program faculty have collaborated and developed a comprehensive Student
Admissions Handbook and Student Program Handbook to describe the programs policies and
procedures. The Student Admission Handbook can be accessed on the PTA Program website
and a hard copy is available from the PTA Program Director and from the PTA program
secretary. The PTA Student Handbook is distributed by the PTA Program Director to each
student during the program orientation session conducted during the first week of the clinical
The Student Admission Handbook is reviewed and revised annually by the PTA
Program faculty. Recent additions included clarification of New York State licensure to only
those candidates who have legal status in the United States. In addition, the PTA program
mission statement was revised to reflect the core competencies of the American Physical
Therapy Association. In keeping with the core competencies of the APTA, the PTA program
has added the APTA core competencies to the assessment plan of the program which are
reflected in the students ePortfolio.
Approximately two years ago following the discussion with the Executive Director of
the Office for Student Services and Disabled Services, regarding a student with visual
limitations, an Essential Functions document was drafted. Upon approval by CUNY Office of
General Counsel, Essential Functions were added to the Admissions Handbook.
The PTA Student Handbook is also reviewed and revised annually by the PTA faculty.
About two years ago the PTA faculty developed a list of critical safety elements that are
incorporated into each laboratory course. The list of critical safety elements, which include but
are not limited to locking the wheelchair brakes, safe execution of electrical modalities and
knowledge of the indications and contraindications of interventions are included in all course
syllabi and in the PTA Student Handbook. The discussion and inclusion of critical safety
elements has improved student performance during the oral practical examinations as
evidenced by improved pass rates of the critical safety assessments.
Traditionally, the PTA program struggled with maintaining a three year 80% pass rate
on the NPTE. Several initiatives have been implemented. Curriculum revisions were initiated
in 2003 and implemented in 2006 that included increasing the credit load from 60 to 68.
Review classes on test preparation, and course content were implemented in 2007 by the PTA
faculty and college faculty from the English Language Acquisition Department. The inclusion
of the PEAT exam with a minimum pass rate of 60% was introduced in the spring of 2007 as
the PTA program exit exam. The students have improved their readiness to take the PEAT
exam with the average grade improving from 51.5% in spring 2007 to 80.9% in fall 2008. A
correlation has been noted between the score on the PEAT exam (above 60%) and success on
A semi annual student faculty advisory meeting has facilitated a discussion of program
policies and procedures. Based on student feedback improvements have been made with
access to the locker room and the resource center. Hours have been expanded to improve
student accessibility. Students are notified at midterm by written notice if their midterm grade
is below 70% on the written and/or practical portion of the course. Students requested that
these written notices be distributed in privacy of the faculty office and faculty have complied.
Course evaluations and PTA graduate exit surveys are also used to review program
policies and procedures. Most of the feedback has focused on textbook use. Program faculty
continually review new textbooks for content and price.
The PTA program faculty assesses the adequacy of the programs resources in
discussion at program faculty meetings, during student-faculty advisory meetings, at advisory
board meetings, by course evaluation forms and by graduate survey.
Academic Faculty – The core faculty of the PTA program participate in year long
seminars and projects in the Center for Teaching and Learning. The seminars promote
collaboration of learning opportunities with faculty in the pre-clinical phase. Debra Engel has
taught in Freshman Learning Academies and has been able to design curricular activities with
other academic faculty to improve student preparation for the clinical phase. Debra Engel has
been the coordinator of SCN195 (a key course) since 2003 and has been able to design syllabi,
choose textbooks, and mentor faculty who teach the course. Debra Engel has also perfomed
peer evaluations on faculty who have taught SCB203 (Human Biology I), SCN195
(Community Health) and SCH111 (Aging and Health) all of which are pre-clinical courses.
After the peer evaluation occurs a dialogue ensues regarding course content and presentation of
material in an effective manner.
Library Resources – A Library liaison is assigned to the PTA program. The liaison
communicates with the Program Director regarding budget and availability to order texts and
media. The program faculty regularly recommends texts and media to be ordered. The
Program Director receives an annual update of library resources and reviews the list. Together
with the liaison, the Program Director recommends outdated resources to be removed. Based
on graduate surveys and feedback from student faculty advisory meetings, new and varied
versions of the NPTE test preparation have been ordered for the library to facilitate student
access to those resources in the late evening and on the weekends.
Budget – The program budget is decided by the Department Chairperson. Each
program is allotted a budget on an annual basis. After allotting monies for annual calibration
of equipment, the program core and adjunct faculty send the Program Director their requests.
The core faculty prioritize requests and purchases are made. Often, the faculty assesses that
additional funds are needed to improve the quality of teaching and availability of resources.
Core faculty have applied for and received grants for the purchase of a laser; funding for the
Scorebuilders Review class; and funding to train the adjunct faculty in the use of ePortfolio.
Student Services – LaGuardia Community College has a variety of student resources
including health services, counseling services and testing accommodation services. Feedback
is received regarding these services via the student surveys and during the student advisory
meetings. The faculty works closely with the Executive Director of the Office for Student
Services and Disabled Services to insure that eligible students receive and need testing
accommodations and advisement. Based on student discussion, feedback, the core faculty have
been able to arrange lectures on stress management, textbook reading, tai chi, reading a
multiple choice question, alternative therapies (acupressure), financial planning and meditation
that have presented during the PTA club hour.
Administrative Support and Technical Support – The PTA program shares a
secretary with the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. The Administrative Support is
adequate to support the programs needs. In addition the program receives additional
administrative support to assist the ACCE in updating of clinical contracts and correspondence
with the clinical faculty. The additional Administrative support was requested and received
and has insured that all clinical contracts are renewed or established in a timely manner.
Space – There is adequate space for classrooms, offices, laboratories, locker room and
storage room to promote safe effective student learning. All PTA courses are conducted in a
PTA laboratory, which allows for demonstration of skills during lecture. Locker rooms are
available for student practice daily when faculty is on campus. Based on student feedback
during student faculty advisory meeting and from student surveys, additional kinesiology
models, a skeleton, information charts, mat tables and a white board were purchased to
facilitate student learning in the locker room.
All faculty have a private office with telephone, file cabinets, shelves for books and a
computer. A recent mini grant received by the PTA faculty has allowed the department to
purchase laser pointers, computer speakers, a printer and photo camera to enhance instruction
in the classroom and assessment of student work.
All classes in the building where the PTA program is housed are “smart classrooms”
with a white board, computer, multimedia projector and Internet access. Student computer labs
are also available. Adequacy of instructional technology is assessed by student survey and
during student – faculty advisory meetings.
4.1.4 mission, philosophy, goals and objectives
LaGuardia Community College uses ePortfolio to upload and display student work and
to assess student work. Each program at the college has designed an assessment grid based on
the college’s assessment plan to provide a venue of examining student work. The PTA core
faculty has been actively engaged in the Center for Teaching and Learning in seminars to
develop an ePortfolio for every student in the PTA program. The faculty has been involved in
ePortfolio development for the past three years. At the present time, each student designs an
ePortfolio by the end of their first semester in the PTA clinical phase. Each course in the PTA
curriculum deposits at least one written or oral assignment to the ePortfolio. In the capstone
course, SCT231 – Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, students attend a studio hour specifically
designed to reflect professionalism and to prepare a comprehensive ePortfolio to reflect their
mission of life long learning and career planning. In addition, during the capstone studio hour,
students deposit work completed during their pre-clinical and clinical coursework into an
assessment area. The LaGuardia Community College assessment grid is available onsite which
reflects the core competencies of the college including critical literacy, research and
technological literacy, quantitative reasoning, oral communication and technology literacy.
The PTA program presented and is in the process of adding the APTA core competencies to
the ePortfolio assessment. The PTA program has completed an assessment of critical literacy
in collaboration with the college’s assessment team using a college designed rubric. Writing
skills were assessed on student work from a diagnosis paper from the Introduction to Physical
Therapy course and compared to the writing literacy of the evidence based research paper from
the capstone course.
In January 2009, a recent random sampling of 53 pieces of student written work was
retrieved from the assessment section of the student ePortfolio. The PTA program faculty
Debra Engel, Clarence Chan and Jacqueline Ross and the assessment faculty from the Division
of Academic Affairs, Cecelia Macheski and Mary Romanello reviewed student writing using
the critical literacy rubric which was developed by the assessment team. Faculty was oriented
on the critical literacy rubric using modeling of sample student work and group grading to
insure accuracy. The student papers were read based on critical reading, critical thinking, logic,
organization, grammar, mechanics and vocabulary. The rubric contains six levels of grading.
Level I is unacceptable up to Level 6 which is superior. Two separate teams scored the papers.
Out of a total score of a combination of twelve possible points (a possible score of one through
six from each team), the average score was 7.31. Collectively, 22 out of 53 papers received a
total score of 8 or above (out of twelve) indicating a score of “Adequate”. Of those only three
papers received a score of “Strong” from the team. Common features of weakness identified
were that the papers lacked creativity, organization and coherency.
The PTA program is aware that the LaGuardia Community College student faces many
challenges in reading and writing literacy. As evidenced in section 4.1.7 and in section 4.2 the
PTA program in collaboration with the college community have multiple initiatives in place to
address student weakness and promote student success in the PTA program. Using the rubric
has given the PTA faculty an opportunity to discuss and integrate aspects of the rubric when
grading student work in the curriculum. The faculty will use aspects of the critical literacy
rubric to assess other core competencies in the program. Previously, the PTA faculty graded
student work from a clinical aspect and the faculty has begun work to adopt a different model
for grading written assignments based on our experience with the assessment team.
In addition, the PTA faculty will continue to assign written projects in all clinical
courses with improved modeling and instructions for grading criteria. The capstone course now
contains a lengthy discussion of the evidence based practice paper and the requirements for
successful completion. The capstone studio hour has allowed for the research paper to be
staged and contains a peer review component. Students are now given ample time to revise
their research paper before submission. In the fall students will be provided with an expanded
grading rubric based on the critical literacy rubric provided by the assessment team.
An annual review of curriculum is conducted by program faculty to determine whether
the curriculum addresses the core competencies of the college and the core competencies of the
APTA and the Physical Therapy Profession. Each syllabus is reviewed to insure that the
instructional and behavioral objectives reflect course content and reflect the mission of the
PTA Program. Each course description is reviewed to determine whether the course
description reflects course content and aligns with syllabi topics. Changes are determined by
suggestions from core faculty, adjunct faculty, student input, clinical faculty input, student
survey and course evaluation forms, clinical facility evaluation and employer survey. Changes
to curriculum are reflected in updates to course syllabi and are updated in the PTA Admissions
Handbook, PTA Program Handbook, and PTA Clinical Manual and on the website. Course
description changes are submitted to the program and college curriculum committee before
changes are made to the college catalogue.
The following table reflects assessment of the curriculum and changes implemented as
the result of the most curriculum assessment in January 2009.
CURRICULUM REVIEW MEETING
Tools used: College Core Competencies, APTA Core Competencies, Normative Model of PTA
Education, CAPTE Evaluative Criteria, and Minimum Required Skills for PTA Graduates at
CONCERN ACTION REQUIRED PERSON TIMELINE
Patient/Client Both SCT220 and SCT211 will Course Faculty Beginning
Management introduce the model in week#1 to Spring II
Model facilitate patient preparation and 2009
insure content consistency in the
Consistency Review that all Handbooks remain Program Spring I
between course consistent in descriptive content Director 2009
description in PTA
Course syllabi Created 7 new statements that will Faculty Immediately
language be used for all course objectives and
inconsistencies. modified for instructional and
All course syllabi behavioral language.
do not reflect core 1. Introduce (reinforce,
competencies of demonstrate) effective and
College and APTA appropriate verbal and non-verbal
communication with the
patient/client, the Physical Therapist
healthcare delivery personnel, and
2. Introduce (recognize, reinforce)
individual and cultural differences
in all aspects of Physical Therapy.
3. Introduce (demonstrate,
understand) practice standards that
are legal and safe and reflects the
expectations of the members of the
profession of Physical Therapy
4. Introduce (understand,
familiarize, reinforce) the student
with how a plan of care is developed
by the Physical Therapist in order to
achieve short and long term goals.
5. Encourage the student to access
6. Facilitate continual usage of
(demonstrate the ability to use) e-
7. Introduce (expand, demonstrate,
competency) proper documentation
as it relates to Physical Therapy
Ensuring that each Reviewed each CAPTE evaluative Immediately
evaluative criteria criteria from section 3.3.2 and
was matched to indicated which course addressed
each course where criteria.
the subject was
Lab safety Changed to include appropriate Program Completed
guidelines need to dress attire Director
Inconsistency in Changed to reflect that each course Immediately
grading criteria for count the workbook as 10%
Scorebuilders book Will be introduced and Summer
was not introduced recommended in SCT 101- 2009
early in the Introduction to Physical Therapy
Course content 1. Hydrotherapy and integumentary Immediately
sequencing needed care were moved from SCT211 to
revision based on SCT212. These skills were
faculty discussion, identified to be used more
clinical feedback frequently in the terminal clinical
and student input experiences.
2. Massage was moved fro SCT211
to SCT220 to allow more time in
SCT211 for course content.
3. Biofeedback, diathermy, US
traction, edema management moved
from SCT212 to SCT211 to prepare
students for earlier acquisition of
skills prior to the first clinical
4. Vital signs moved from SCT101
5. SCT292 added additional general
academic review and PEAT
4.1.6 Clinical Education Program
There is an ongoing assessment of the student’s clinical education. This is
accomplished in a variety of methods. The faculty has monthly meetings where issues of
clinical education are discussed and twice a year there is a faculty/student advisory meeting.
During these meetings the students are at liberty to discus all matters relating to the curriculum
and last year constructive suggestions were made regarding the student’s clinical experience.
At one of the meetings in 2008 the students expressed a desire to extend the length of time of
their Level II affiliations and reduce the clinical time of their Level I affiliations. The faculty
listened to their concerns, discussed the change at faculty meetings and surveyed clinical
supervisors for their input. The faculty decided that this would be a positive change and
significantly enhance the student clinical experience.
The ACCE ensures that there are an ample number of clinical sites that are available
where both levels of clinical students may complete their affiliations. New affiliation
agreements are continually being sought at facilities that offer the PTA student clinical
experiences that are suitable to their level of education. There is an on-going effort to recruit
new clinics, hospitals, extended care facilities and specialty practices that will offer our
students a valuable and varied clinical experience. We currently have a minimum of twice as
many facilities available for affiliation than the number of students who need to be placed in
any one semester. At present count the PTA Program has 88 clinical sites for student fieldwork
Each semester the ACCE either visits the affiliation site where the students have been
placed or is in telephone contact with the clinical supervisor. At that time it is determined
whether the students are meeting the expectations of the facility and the supervisors are
reminded that the student needs to complete the clinical workbook and the interventions that
are required of them.
Another method of assessing the clinical experience is through the reporting of the
students. Prior to beginning the clinical education experience the students are informed of
what their expectations in the clinical environment should be. In weekly seminar classes they
have an opportunity to report any concerns. The ACCE also sits with each student during the
site visits and discusses any areas that may be of concern. At the end of each clinical
affiliation the student needs to complete an evaluation of their facility and their supervisor.
The completion of this facility assessment form is a requirement before a grade for the clinical
experience can be received. This evaluation form is reviewed by the seminar faculty and the
ACCE and remains permanently in the file for each clinical site.
4.1.7 performance of recent graduates
The PTA program assesses the performance of program graduates based on pass rates
on the National Physical Therapy Education examination for PTA’s, on employment rates
(alumni survey and telephone follow-up) and by employer survey. In New York State,
licensure laws were passed requiring passing the NPTE in 2003. The PTA faculty initiated an
ongoing assessment plan in 2004 through the present to track success of the PTA student on
the NPTE. Based on the NPTE pass rate assessment, several initiatives have been
implemented to address the program’s pass rate of less than 80%. The table that follows
describes the process of assessment of graduate performance on NPTE and the initiatives
implemented throughout the curriculum to improve student preparedness to pass the licensing
exam. Currently, the PTA program is in compliance with demonstrating a three year pass rate
of at least 80% on the NPTE.
Assessment of NPTE Pass Rate < 80%
Concerns Identified Action Timeline Outcome
1. Reluctance of students to take A. “Scorebuilders” Spring II 2005 Students will now be
exam in a timely fashion. review is discussed and (book purchased in required to purchase
recommended for SCT290 – Part- in SCT101 (Intro to
purchase early in the time Affiliation and PT) starting Summer
PTA curriculum Seminar) 2009.
B. Initiation in seminar Fall I 2006 – Due to financial and
reminding students to Present personal obligations,
take exam in timely students may take up
fashion to one year after
graduation to take the
C. Initiation of graded Spring I 2007 Average grades on
PEAT exam to build PEAT as follows:
student confidence 6/07 51.49
D. Hosted Spring I 2007, Adult and Continuing
Scorebuilders course Spring I 2008, Education has
helps student develop a Spring I 2009 committed to
study schedule and (scheduled for sponsoring an annual
facilitate timely May) seminar.
execution of exam
E. Created a graduate Fall I 2007 – As a result of
meeting where recent ongoing feedback, established
alumni who passed the forum on Blackboard
NPTE attend to discuss where students who
study strategies have graduated are
able to communicate
and support their
classmates in the
preparation of the
F. Included in PTA Fall I 2007 Faculty addresses the
student handbook the NPTE exam
importance of taking throughout the
the NPTE soon after curriculum.
G. Program Director
outreach to graduates
on a monthly basis to Spring 2008 and Continual
offer support and ongoing communication with
guidance program graduates.
2. Students state they have A. Established a Spring II 2005 Presently have a pool
difficulty with the language of student Resource of 1400 practice
the exam. Center with various questions.
versions of PTA
B. Refer students who Spring I 2006 - Improved opportunity
have stated they have present of students to work on
language difficulties to oral communication
the writing center at the skills. Students have
college and the speech oral presentations in
lab each clinical course.
C. Collaboration with Spring I 2008 - Mandatory attendance
Collegiate Science and present of current students
Program who sponsors
lectures on test taking
strategies for multiple
choice exams, textbook
reading techniques and
These lectures are
offered during the PTA
D. Test-taking strategy Spring II 2007 Current students
review session in attend each session
seminar 292 to and alumni are
reinforce skills invited.
presented in workshops
and correlate it to
relevant course content
E. Introduced Spring II 2007 Excellent student
workshop run by verbal feedback as to
English Language efficacy; Workshop is
Acquisition offered yearly
Chairperson to instruct
students in test taking
strategies, reading of
F. Incorporated “pop Spring II 2007 - Progressive
quizzes” in SCT290, present improvement of
291, 292 all in multiple PEAT scores
choice format and NPTE pass rate
G. Administration of First Identify students
Diagnostic Tool Administration during the first
developed in February 2009 semester of the
collaboration with the clinical phase that
Communication may have difficulty
Department that will with multiple-choice
assess critical reading exams.
3. Students expressed fatigue A. Administer multiple Fall I 2006 - Students are
during execution of NPTE exam choice exams in all present familiarized with the
in terms of stamina clinical courses format of the NPTE
earlier in the program
B. Initiated a required, Spring II 2007 Grades on the PEAT
graded PEAT as a continue to improve.
component of SCT292
– PTA full-time
affiliation and seminar
C. Initiated the Spring II 2008 Ability to identify
requirement that all early in the program
clinical courses have those students who
final exams in may be having
comprehensive difficulty with timed
multiple-choice format. computer generated
The student is required multiple choice
to complete all finals in exams
each semester in one
session where the time
to complete the exam is
comparable to the
4. Lack of retention and A. Biannual Spring I 2004 - Ongoing revision of
synthesis of material learned student/faculty present curriculum as
earlier in the curriculum advisory meetings appropriate
where students have the
opportunity to identify
B. Assessed weak Spring II 2005 Developed test
areas on preparation review
comprehensive exams sessions that were
in SCT291 - Full-time incorporated into
Affiliation and Seminar SCT292 – Full-time
I and SCT292 – Full- Affiliation and
time Affiliation and Seminar II to reflect
Seminar II weak areas
C. Review lectures Spring I 2006 PEAT scores continue
were incorporated into to show improvement
the syllabus of Seminar from first
II covering such topics implementation in
as neuromuscular, June 2007 –
musculoskeletal, December 2008.
cardiopulmonary, the NPTE mean score
integumentary system, improved from 556 in
ethics, and 2006 to 669 in 2008.
D. “Scorebuilders” Spring I 2007, Pass rates and mean
seminar is offered Spring I 2008, score on the PEAT
through Adult & Spring I 2009 continue to improve.
Department at the
E. Incorporates “pop Spring II 2007 Progressive
quizzes” in SCT290, improvement of
291, 292 PEAT scores and pass
rates on the NPTE
F. Designed capstone Spring I 2008 Final comprehensive
course to create a practical examination
culminating experience must be passed with
of all clinical courses 70% minimum in
order to pass the
course and to assess
all students have
passed the course.
5. Faculty/Program unclear as to A. Purchase of Spring II 2007 Revision of test
whether there were consistent “content area preparation sessions
areas of content where students subscription” to allow in SCT292 to reflect
performed below average on the faculty to examine weaknesses
NPTE content areas of student
weakness on the NPTE
B. Annual Annually ongoing Curriculum review
curriculum/faculty and revision of
review curriculum based on
CAPTE criteria and
normative model of
C. Created anonymous Spring 2008 Ongoing revision of
exit surveys for all curriculum and
courses and programs inclusion of
6. Low graduation pass rate on A. On-site meeting Spring II 2006 Decided to investigate
NYPTE in comparison with with faculty of Touro possibility of hosting
other local PTA schools College to discuss “Scorebuilders”
strategies for successful review course for
student NPTE results New York City area
B. Network with Spring 2007 Initiated the PEAT
Program Directors exam as a
from Nassau requirement for
Community College Seminar II in Spring
and Suffolk 2008.
Community College to
discuss strategies used
in their individual
programs to enhance
NPTE preparation and
7. Predictability of student A. Analysis of past Fall I 2008 No statistical
success on the NPTE student performance to significance noted
determine if there was except minor
a correlation in such correlation with
areas as language skills students who had
(English as 1st lower overall GPA
language), successful ranking, upon
completion of all admission compared
clinical courses, and with success on
GPA ranking NPTE
B. Correlate PEAT Fall II 2009 Program director is in
scores with successful the process of
NPTE passing rate evaluating the
correlation of PEAT
scores with NPTE
pass rates. In
graduation class, one
student failed the
NPTE and received
the lowest score on
the PEAT exam. The
second lowest score
on the PEAT was a
student who failed
initially but passed on
According to graduate surveys, data gathered at Alumni meetings and telephone contact with
students, approximately 100% of recent students who are actively seeking employment, are employed
within 6 months of the initiatives of job seeking.
In addition, surveys are distributed to employers to gather information on employment of the
LaGuardia graduate. Although a great deal of informal input is received from colleagues who are
employers, the employer survey collects input of LaGuardia Community College PTA graduates
regarding strengths, weaknesses and degree of satisfaction with the graduate regarding academic and
4.1.8 admissions process, criteria and pre-requisites
At LaGuardia Community College, the admissions criteria is established by the Natural and
Applied Science Department. Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and the Physical Therapist
Assistant programs have a candidacy process. It is the policy of the institution not to interview
applicants who apply to an Allied Health program, and therefore the PTA program admits student’s
solely on GPA. As discussed earlier, the PTA faculty has assessed and determined that a minimum of
a 2.5 GPA is appropriate to admit a group of 20 students twice a year who are able to manage the
rigors of the PTA curriculum. In reviewing program pas/fail rates and reviewing the pre requisite
requirements of the PTA program, it has been concluded that those individuals who score less that a C
in the SCB 203 and/or SCB 204- Human Biology I and II have a greater chance of failing one or more
courses in the clinical phase.
4.1.9 program enrollment
The program tracks and assesses program enrollment based on the number of students who
apply for candidacy, the number of students who meet the requirements for candidacy and the number
of students of who are offered seats. The program director maintains records during each candidacy
cycle and all information is kept in files in the program directors office.
Semester of Application # student applied # student qualified # students offered a seat
Fall 2005 42 28 23
Spring 2006 40 26 23
Fall 2006 51 33 26
Spring 2007 40 26 26
Fall 2007 41 25 25
Spring 2008 48 28 24
Fall 2008 32 19 19
The program faculty is actively involved in recruitment. The program director conducts
biannual PTA information sessions. Below is the number of attendees at the information sessions.
The faculty also conducts information sessions at Allied Health counseling fairs, at CSTEP (Collegiate
Science and Technology Entry Program ) presentations to Allied Health Majors, tours to GED –
Bridge to Health Career students, information sessions to Freshman Seminar for PTA majors and
information disseminations at the college club fairs. In addition, the PTA program works closely with
Carole Julien, the Academic Advisory Coordinator of Allied Health to collaborate on dissemination of
the information on the PTA program admission and the schedule for information sessions.
Date of information session # of attendees
Spring 2007 14
Fall 2007 15
Spring 2008 9
Fall 2008 13
Spring 2009 21
4.1.10 core faculty
The core faculty participates in professional development seminars in the Center for Teaching
and Learning. Faculty development activities have enabled the core faculty to develop the program
website; to participate in the ePortfolio initiative at the college; to develop pre-clinical advisement
activities in SCN195 – Community Health; to develop the capstone course and create a culminating
experience in the clinical phase. In addition the faculty have been able to develop a studio hour in the
capstone course to enable the students to develop a professional ePortfolio, to develop the assessment
component on the ePortfolio and to measure the core competencies of the college. Clarence Chan has
been involved in working with the Center for Teaching and Learning to assist other area colleges and
universities to develop their own ePortfolio project. More recently Clarence Chan is working with the
faculty from the Long Island University Physical Therapy Program to assist them in the development
of a professional ePortfolio.
Each core faculty member is encouraged to participate in professional development activities both
inside and outside the college. All core faculty are members of APTA and NYPTA and participate in
District and Chapter activities. All core faculty are engaged in life long learning as evidence by the
continuing education information identified on their curriculum vitae.
Each faculty member is required to be evaluated by students using an SIR (student evaluation form)
twice yearly if untenured and once yearly if tenured. Faculty are graded on clarity of presenting
lessons, availability and respect for students, testing resources and organizational skills. The program
director receives the SIR evaluations and reviews them before distributing the evaluations to the
faculty. Strategies to improving teaching skills and improve pedagogy are discussed on an individual
basis, an SIR form will be provided onsite.
In addition to student evaluation forms each faculty is peer observed by a faculty member with
equal or higher academic ranking. Each nontenured faculty is observed twice per year. Each tenured
faculty member is observed once per year. Subsequent to each observation a conversation takes place
to discuss the observation and a written report is reviewed and discussed. A copy of both the SIR and
peer observation forms are kept in the employee folder in the Program Director’s Office and in Human
Resources in the faculty member’s personnel file located in Human Resources.
Each core faculty member until they reach tenure, is evaluated annually for reappointment. The
annual evaluation form assesses the faculty member in the areas of primary responsibilities of
teaching, departmental contributions, professional development, college contributions and collegiality.
The annual performance evaluations also outline goals that must be achieved by the individual
employee. The annual evaluation is reviewed by the Departmental Chairperson who together with the
Department Personnel and Budget Committee (P&B) recommend reappointment or non
reappointment to the College Wide Personnel and Budget Committee .
4.1.11 adjunct and supporting faculty
The adjunct faculty are also evaluated by the students using the SIR and by faculty using Peer
Observations. Adjunct faculty are evaluated every twelve week semester they teach. Based on student
evaluations, feedback from the student faculty advisory meetings and peer observations,
recommendations are made to the Departmental Chairperson regarding reappointment.
Based on recent feedback of SCT230 – Orthopedic Therapeutic Exercise, the students through
course evaluation and a student faculty advisory meeting, the course was restructured to be team
taught by two adjunct faculty. The students stated that the course was too theoretical and did not allow
adequate time for skill practice. By designating one adjunct faculty member to teach theory and one
adjunct faculty member to conduct lab and practice skills, the strength of both faculty members were
highlighted. The quality of the course and student satisfaction has increased based on assessment of
the adjunct faculty SIR’s and course evaluations and discussion during the faculty student advisory
4.1.12 clinical education faculty
The PTA Program at LaGuardia Community College continually assesses the quality of the
student’s clinical experiences. This includes the determination that the clinicians who work with our
students are appropriate in meeting the qualifications of the program.
Prior to assigning a student to a facility it is determined by telephone communication who will be
the student’s clinical instructor for the affiliation to which the student will be assigned. If the ACCE is
not familiar with the specific clinician then information is obtained regarding level of clinical
supervision according to New York State practice standards.
The other methods by which we assess the effectiveness of the supervision provided by the clinical
faculty are through the feedback from the students. A facility information form available onsite, is
completed by the students, during each clinical assignment. Included in the Clinical Information Form
is a detailed listing regarding the clinical faculty, their education and their employment history. Often
the clinician’s curriculum vitae is included with this form. The second method of student assessment is
through the facility evaluation form that the students are required to complete. There are specific
questions on the form that addresses the students’ opinion as to the effectiveness of the clinical faculty.
The third method by which the student’s assess the effectiveness of the clinical faculty is through an
anonymous summative report that the students are asked to complete during their final clinical course
Our clinical faculty are invited to ongoing educational seminars that take place at LaGuardia
Community College. We have invited our clinicians to attend review courses for the PTA National
Examination and seminars on Infection Control. The clinics have been surveyed and there is
substantial interest in having some of their clinical faculty becoming Credentialed Clinical Instructors.
The PTA program is currently working with the Division of Adult and Continuing Education to assess
the cost and logistics of being able to offer this seminar at LaGuardia during the next academic year.
The program provides evidence of the implementation of the assessment process, provide
examples of how collected data stimulate changes in the education program provides examples
of changes that are made and provides evidence that changes made result in program
The PTA program assessment has resulted in changes that have impacted the quality of the
PTA program. The PTA program recognizes that continual revisions to curriculum, program policies,
faculty evaluation, performance of graduates and program goals are essential to graduate successful
physical therapist assistants. The following table outlines a sampling of the results of program
assessment, changes made to the PTA program and the effect of these changes.
Results of program assessment Changes to PTA Effect of change made
I. NPTE rates Initiated graded PEAT Consistent improvement
2004/2005/2006 < 80% exam as PTA exit exam on PEAT Score
spring I 2007 6/07 51.49
A. Student fatigue during All final exams are Continual improvement
NPTE exam. comprehensive multiple of NPTE pass rates.
choice format taken in a
computer lab. Initiated
Spring II 2008.
B. Retention and Synthesis of Creation of All students pass the
material studied early in curriculum comprehensive capstone capstone course
exam that tests all skills
in clinical phase in
Spring I 2008
C. Understanding test question Incorporation of lectures Continued improvement
language on the NPTE exam. on test taking strategies, of NPTE scores
textbook reading and test
Initiated in Spring II
Administration of Recently initiated. To be
Diagnostic reading tool evaluated.
upon admission to the
PTA program to assess
critical reading skills and
recommend students for
Established a Student Pool of 1400 practice
Resource Center with questions.
various versions of PTA
III. Annual Curriculum Review
A. Inconsistent language in course Created seven new Standardized coverage
syllabi course objectives to be of documentation,
included in all clinical ethical and legal
course syllabi concepts, cultural
awareness, access of
health care literature and
use of technology in all
B. Review of all CAPTE evaluative Addition of missing Coverage of all required
criteria, the Normative Model of PTA topic material to topic areas.
education and the Minimum required curriculum
skills of PTA Graduates at entry level.
C. Review of PTA Admission Incorporation of updated Updated handbooks and
Handbook and PTA Student college and program development of formal
Handbook by core faculty and adjunct policies. program orientation to
faculty. review PTA Student
Handbook during the 1st
week of the clinical
IV. Summative program assessment
A. Students stated PTA resource Expanded hours to M-F Improved access to PTA
hours were too limited from 9am to 5pm exam practice questions
with increased utilization
of resource center
B. Students unable to synthesize Devised Pathology Improved knowledge
knowledge of pathologies as related to Supplement in and understanding of
treatment Musculoskeletal, pathology and improved
Neuromuscular and integration of classroom
Cardio Pulmonary knowledge on written
conditions. Also and practical
incorporated more examinations.
pathology review into
each clinical phase
course when new
curriculum was initiated.
V. Student-faculty Advisory
A. Students felt overwhelmed by the Changed the part time Changed course and
150 hour requirement of the part time experience to 100 hours clinical schedule to meet
clinical. and added 25 hours to the campus time required
each of the terminal by the students
B. Student felt that the SCT230 – Class is now team taught Improved effectiveness
Orthopedic Physical Therapy class by two adjunct of classroom experience
was too theoretical and did not provide professors. Tuesdays and ability to capture the
enough practical hand on experience. class is clearly strength of both adjunct
theoretical(May Tom) professors.
and Thursday’s class is
totally hands on practical
VI. Clinical Facility Survey and Incorporation of Increased comfort
feedback about student difficulty with documentation of the student in
documentation throughout each course documentation as
in the clinical phase evidenced in workbook
VII. Critical Literacy Assessment Integrate writing Need to reassess student
assignments in every critical literacy in one
course in the clinical year to determine if
phase and continue critical literacy of the
written discussions in PTA student improves.
blackboard on course
PTA orientation to allow
faculty to assess
student’s reading literacy
and identify students at
risk in the beginning of
the program with referral
to speech laboratory,
And PTA resource
center for multiple
choice exam practice.
Integrate critical literacy
rubric into grading
criteria for written
assignments in the
courses in the clinical
VIII. Graduation rates have Due to the increase in Program continues to
decreased since December 2007 the number of credits in monitor graduation rates
the curriculum, the and will assess the
increase in rigor of the implemented changes on
curriculum, initiatives to an ongoing basis to
better prepare the determine the effect of
students to pass the initiatives on graduation
NPTE, student illness rates. Slight
and financial hardship, improvement noted from
the following initiatives class of December 2008
have been made to to class of June 2009.
improve the graduation
CSTEP to offset
the cost of NPTE
taking the PEAT