Physical Therapist Assistant

A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) works under the direction and supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist (PT). Duties include assisting the PT in implementing treatment programs according to the plan of care, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, using special equipment, administering modalities and other treatment procedures, reporting to the PT on the patient’s response, and documenting patient treatment and response. PTAs work in a variety of environments including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public schools, private clinics, and even patients’ homes.

This accreditation allows program graduates to be eligible to sit for the national licensure examination and become licensed in the state of Louisiana.  Comments or concerns regarding the Delgado PTA Program should be made to CAPTE using the above contact information.The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Delgado Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org.

For more information or to report concerns about the Delgado PTA Program please contact: Allied Health Admissions (504-671-6201, the Program Director, Susan Welsh, PT, PhD (504-671-6240, swelsh1@dcc.edu, or the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (Amelia Leonardi, PT MHS (504-671-6239, aleona@dcc.edu).

Program Facts

  • 29 out of 77 qualified applicants were accepted into the 2017-2018 PTA Class.
  • 24 out of 29 students who began the PTA Program in August 2017 are expected to complete the Program in July 2018.
Category 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017

# of applicants who met all admission requirements

92

92

81

73

# of students admitted to PTA Program

27

29

26

28

# of students who graduated with PTA AAS

23

27

20

25

Pass rate on licensure exam

91%

100%

85%

87%*

# of graduates employed within 12 months of passing licensure exam

100%

100%

100%

100%*

* 2016-2017 Class: 87% passed licensure exam on first attempt. 100% of those who passed are employed as of November 30, 2017.

Program Curriculum

The PTA Program at Delgado includes two parts:

  1. Required prerequisite courses (29 semester hours)
  2. PTA component of the PTA courses (43 semester hours)

See Official Program Description in the College Catalog.

Following successful completion of prerequisite course work and verification of experience in physical therapy (volunteer, observation or work experience) students may apply to the PTA Program. Admission to the PTA Program is by selection. Applications are due March 31. Please see admissions information.

The PTA component of the program begins in August of each year and consists of three semesters of full-time, day-time class work and clinical experiences. The final summer semester of the program is spent in full-time clinical affiliations and may require travel to facilities outside the New Orleans area.

Students in the PTA Program devote up to 40 hours per week attending classes on the City Park Campus and obtaining clinical education in a hospital or clinical setting. Students are expected to devote an additional 20-25 hours per week in study and class preparation. Students are strongly discouraged from working (even part-time) during their course of training. Students may be required to attend clinics out of the New Orleans Metropolitan area and are responsible for travel and housing.

Graduates are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree by Delgado Community College upon completion of the PTA Program and are eligible to sit for the PTA licensure examination. Graduates must pass this licensure examination to become licensed by the Louisiana Board of Physical Therapy as Physical Therapist Assistants.

Students interested in applying to the PTA Program should contact Mrs. Bianca Davis, Allied Health Advisor, Building 4, Room 312, 504-671-6203 or bdavis@dcc.edu or Mrs. Syretta Atkins, Building 4, Room 313, (504) 671-6201 or sussin@dcc.edu. You are advised to meet with Mrs. Davis early to plan your schedule and make sure you have needed prerequisite courses.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for PTAs are excellent. Licensed PTAs will find employment opportunities in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public schools, and private clinics. The median income for a physical therapist assistant is $46,000 depending on position, years of experience, degree of education, geographic location, and practice setting.

Educational Opportunities

The technical courses in a PTA program do not transfer for credit to a PT education program. Some hours of the pre-clinical courses may be accepted as prerequisites to PT programs, but there are many other courses needed as prerequisites to be considered for admission to a PT program. If you think you would rather be a PT than a PTA you should contact the LSU School of Allied Health Professions Department of PT (504) 568-4288 for information about their program.