Mt Hood Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Empowering individuals to provide safe, effective, compassionate and
professional physical therapy interventions
Frequently Asked Questions: 2014 - 2015
Below you will find the answers to frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, plan to attend an information meeting. No need to register, just attend a session that works with your schedule!

  • Dates: 2014 & 15:

Fall 2014
Monday Oct. 6
Monday Nov. 3
Monday Dec. 1

Winter 2015
Monday Jan. 5
Monday Feb. 2
Monday March 2

Spring 2015
Monday April 6
Monday May 4
Monday June 1

  • Times: 3-4 p.m. or 6-7 p.m.
  • Location: Rm. 2761, the Allied Health Conf Room, Gresham campus

1. What is a restricted entry physical therapist assistant program?
Restricted entry means that we have an annual selection process in which applicants apply, selected individuals are invited to interview, and we choose a class of 24 students each year. Selection criteria are established each year and the application is generally available each summer for a class to start the following fall (ie application for fall 2015 will be on the program website starting in July 2014))

2. What are the academic pre-requisites to apply to the program?
There are 4 courses which must be completed by the application deadline in order to qualify for selection. At MHCC these courses are:

  • BI121 and 122 (if a higher level A & P series is used, it must be completed by application deadline and must include lab coursework)
  • WR121
  • MTH65 or higher (cannot use MTH 211 series)

3. If I have taken those courses previously at other colleges, can those courses count as a part of the selection process or toward graduation requirements for the PTA degree?
Yes, as long as the coursework is equivalent (or higher level) than we require and you have provided us with an official transcript for that coursework, MHCC generally will accept it. There is NO time limit on how long ago any of the general education coursework is taken.

4. What is the selection committee looking for in a successful candidate?
Class selection is done via a point system. While the point system is not published, it is largely based on the following 3 criteria which are fairly equally weighed:

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for the Anatomy and Physiology series.
  • Physical therapy observation or work experience (a minimum of 20 hours of observation/work experience, no more than 60 hours necessary for selection purposes)
  • Impressions made at a group interview

Please see the application and application guide for more information regarding these criteria.

5. I have completed a previous bachelor’s degree; is that considered as a part of the selection process, or can it shorten the length of time it takes to complete the program?
Completion of a previous bachelor’s degree is not a part of the selection process itself. It will not shorten the length of time needed to complete the program though, as PTA courses are only taught once each year and are sequential. You would have a lighter course load some of the terms, but it will still take 2 years to complete the program..

6. Is there a wait list for those who don’t get accepted?
No, our program does not have a wait list. Besides the 24 students chosen, we choose an alternate list of individuals in case someone in the original class needs to step away, but that alternate list dissolves the 1st day of class in the fall. Individuals who remain interested are encouraged to re-apply, but are not placed on a wait list.

7. What is the general timeline for the selection process?
Our goal is to get the application up on the program webpage each summer and accept applications until the end of winter term. Selection and notification will happen in the spring for the class that begins later that year in the fall.

8. What’s the difference between a physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant?
There are significant differences, both in terms of education and responsibilities. It is important that you explore the answer to this question thoroughly and make an intentional choice that is right for you about the best level of the profession. Talk with both PTs and PTAs, visit/volunteer at various clinics, and check out the website of our national association, the APTA at www.apta.org

9. If I want to be a physical therapist later, does this coursework transfer into a PT program?
No, PTA programs are NOT designed to be stepping stones to PT school; none of the PTA coursework transfers, nor does it help your chances of getting into PT school. MHCC does offer pre-physical therapy coursework for those interested in PT school, but this program is not the route. Again, you need to do your research and make the right choice for you within the profession of physical therapy.

10. Other questions?
Please e-mail any other questions to the PTA Program Director at debbie.vandover@mhcc.edu and/or plan to attend an information session. For information on the number of applicants, graduation rates, licensure pass rates and employment rates, please see the PTA program website and look under “Program Statistics”.

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 7/1/2014 11:16:49 AM