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Physical Therapist Asst. Program Open House Impact
Fairmont State News

Physical Therapist Asst. Program Open House

Dec 04, 2007

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Pierpont Community & Technical College of Fairmont State University is hosting a Physical Therapy Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

The event is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. in Room 310 of Fairmont State's Gaston Caperton Center, 501 W. Main St., Clarksburg. For more information, call Sue Hill, PT, at (304) 367-4043 or e-mail her at

"We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about physical therapy as a career to attend our Open House," Sue Hill said. "The employment rate for our graduates who pass their board exams is 100 percent. Last year, over half of our class received job offers before they graduated."

Kristi Hill of Hundred, W.Va., graduated from the program in May 2005 and has been working full-time as a licensed PTA at HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness in Morgantown since June 2005.

"The most enjoyable part of my job is the 'people' part. I like the interaction that occurs between everyone involved, both parents and colleagues," Kristi Hill said.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is an accredited associate degree program centered at the Caperton Center in Clarksburg. This program is a full-time day program that can be completed in two academic years plus one required summer session. Students learn physical therapy theory in the classroom, practice techniques in the laboratory and refine their skills in real heath care settings. Clinical placements begin in the second semester and continue in the summer and final two semesters. Clinical sites are situated throughout West Virginia. Graduates are eligible to take the state licensing examination and must pass the exam to work as physical therapist assistants.

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed health care provider who works within a physical therapy setting under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA assists in the practice of physical therapy by performing delegated patient-related activities. These activities include performing selected treatment procedures, and observing, recording and reporting patient responses. Career opportunities for PTAs can be found in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, offices of physical therapists in private practice, and in home health agencies.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of PTAs is expected to grow much faster than average through the year 2014. The average annual salary in May 2004 was $37,890. PTAs may continue their education and receive a baccalaureate degree in a related field, but technical courses taken as part of the PTA program do not necessarily transfer for credit toward a degree to be a physical therapist.

For more information on classes available at FSU's Caperton Center, visit or call (304) 623-5721.