The Physical Therapist Assistant is a skilled, licensed healthcare worker who performs delegated interventions and data collection under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. The Physical Therapist Assistant provides physical therapy services to decrease pain, increase mobility, and increase function. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program (PTA) consists of general education and physical therapy courses which are designed to fulfill the objectives of the program. Concurrent theoretical and clinical experiences enhance the relation of theory to practice for the student. Clinical experience is provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. The freshman year consists of thirty-four (34) semester hours of general education prerequisites. Physical therapy course work begins in the sophomore year and totals thirty-nine (39) cumulative hours. Students must make a minimum grade of 77 for advancement. Students may repeat a course once if the 77 grade point average is not earned.
Special Note: HIV/HBV/COVID Vaccination
As members of the healthcare team, students are at risk of exposure to blood and body fluids. The exposure to blood or body fluids carries with it the potential to be infected with pathogens that cause HIV, which can become Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and/or Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). To date, no vaccine is available to prevent HIV/AIDS, and no antiviral drugs are available to cure HIV/AIDS. A safe and effective Hepatitis B Vaccine used in the prevention of HBV infection is available. A safe and effective COVID 19 Vaccine is used in the prevention of Coronavirus infection is also available. These vaccines are recommended for health care workers and can be obtained from the Public Health Department or a private physician for a fee.
Clinical Affiliating Agency Policies
Clinical affiliating agencies require Bishop State Community College physical therapist assistant students to consent to a drug screen and criminal background check. Physical therapist assistant students enrolled in the College PTA program are required to abide by all policies of the assigned affiliating clinical agencies including, but not limited to, security checks, ID badges, orientations, parking regulations, smoking, and dress code policies. Clinical affiliating agencies have the option of denying clinical access to a student based upon criminal background check and or drug screening. The cost of the background checks and drug screen is the responsibility of the student. Students are also responsible for Student Liability Insurance which is purchased through Bishop State’s Business Office.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085, telephone 1-703-706-3245
Legal Limitation of Licensure/Practice
The Alabama Board of Physical Therapy shall refuse to issue a license to any person and after notice and hearing in accordance with its regulations and rules shall suspend or revoke the license of any person who has: (1) practiced physical therapy without a referral, (2) used drugs or intoxicating liquors to an extent which affects his or her professional competency, (3) been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude, (4) attempted to gain a license by fraud or deception, (5) been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, (6) been convicted of violating any state or federal narcotic law or (7) other behaviors unbecoming or illegal of a PT or PTA. Any questions regarding the legal limitations of licensure/practice should be directed to the Director of the PTA program immediately before pursuit of the PTA degree.
The Admission Process
Admission Point System for selection to the second year of the program is posted on the website at www.bishop.edu. Students are advised to check the website periodically for updates prior to contacting the PTA Program.
- Please submit an application for general admission to Bishop State Community College. This may be done Online.
- Request official copies of all transcripts from each college or university attended. Transcripts may be forwarded in electronic format from a transcript service provider such as Parchment, Credential Solutions, or the National Student Clearinghouse or, they can be mailed to following:
Bishop State Community College
Office of Admissions and Records
Broad St Mobile, AL 36603
- Students must request ACT or SAT scores to be sent to Bishop State Community College by the deadline. Documentation of scores must also be uploaded into the Centralized Application System (CAS).
- Students are required to complete a minimum of 50 volunteer hours or paid time at TWO different types of clinical settings (hospital, nursing home, or outpatient clinic). Hours of observation must be performed under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and documented on the verification of work/volunteer hours form. A minimum of 25 hours is required at each location. These forms should be Uploaded into the Centralized Application System by May 15 for verification.
- A proctored College Entrance Essay is required. The essay is to be between 450 - 500 words. Students should contact the Director once they have an official Bishop email to be added to the Essay Module in Canvas. Applicants will need to monitor their Bishop State email to accept the course invitation. Students will be given a choice of topics to choose from. The Program phone number is (251) 405-4441.
- PTA students are required to pass a drug screen and a background check prior to attending clinical education experiences. Students may need to contact the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy regarding regulations for licensure if there is a history of drug dependency, mental or emotional disorders or conviction of a criminal offense.
- Students are required to submit the names of references on the application which should include a 1. Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant, 2. College Instructor in a prerequisite course, and 3. Employer or person you have worked with either for pay or as a volunteer. Please inform the reference that you have selected them to complete the reference form. References will receive an email from the PTA CAS asking them to complete the reference online.
The applicant is responsible for ensuring he/she/they submits al portions of the application to include:
- Bishop State Community College Application Online
- Bishop State PTA Program Application via CAS.
- Proctored Essay via Canvas.
- Transcripts from high school and all institutions of higher learning.
The PTA CAS cannot be submitted until all sections are completed.
Special Program Requirements
Prior to beginning the first clinical affiliation, students must have successfully completed the requirements for the Basic Life Support Certificate for the Healthcare Provider (BLS-C) and basic first aid.