Fayette's physical therapist assistant program receives accreditation

December 20, 2012

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has announced that the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, has received accredited status. Accreditation follows two years of evaluation of the program by CAPTE as the degree program was rolled out. Accreditation indicates that the educational program meets the standards for quality set by the profession. The Fayette campus program is led by instructors Stacy Sekely, program coordinator, and Pamela Pologruto, academic coordinator of clinical education.

Through the Physical Therapist Assistant program, Penn State Fayette students can receive a two-year associate degree that helps prepare them to become skilled health care workers who assist physical therapists in patient treatment. Physical therapist assistants are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports and fitness facilities, schools, home health agencies and nursing homes.

Sekely said, “There is a high demand for physical therapist assistants in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 46 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Moreover, helping people recover from an injury and return to optimal function is very rewarding.”

The physical therapist assistant curriculum combines general education, science and technical courses. Specialized instruction includes anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (the study of motion of the human body), rehabilitative procedures, and the use of specialized equipment. Students develop the knowledge and skills required to provide therapeutic exercise, functional training, electrotherapy and other treatments included in the physical therapy plan of care.

In order to accommodate the clinical practicum, this major requires five semesters to satisfy graduation requirements.

This newly accredited program offers a new option for individuals to earn a physical therapist assistant degree in two years in Fayette County and prepare themselves for an exciting career.

Francis Achampong, the chancellor at the Fayette campus, said, “The Physical Therapist Assistant Program offers students an excellent opportunity to become part of a growth occupation in the health care industry. The accreditation of the program is a testament to the high quality programs for which Penn State is known nationally and internationally.” For more information about the physical therapist assistant degree program at Penn State Fayette, call 724-430-4130 or visit Fayette.psu.edu.

For more information on the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), visit www.capteonline.org.



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Last Updated December 21, 2012