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WVC Approved for Physical Therapy Assistant Degree

With great excitement, the faculty and staff at Wabash Valley College (WVC) proudly introduce a new program of study at the Mt. Carmel, IL campus.  The Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education have approved the development of a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) Associate of Applied Science degree at WVC.  The PTA program is a full-time, 5-semester program that consists of general education courses, technical PTA specific courses, and clinical education experiences.

“WVC and Illinois Eastern Community Colleges (IECC) provide a wide range of CTE degree and certificate programs aimed to help students in their pursuit of a career or as a pathway to a four-year institution,” said IECC Chief Executive Officer Terry Bruce.  Employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.  WVC President Dr. Matt Fowler added, “We believe in the power of education to create a better community, and we take pride in equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to make that happen.”  Illinois data shows 4,680 PTAs employed with an annual mean wage of $57,750.

The mission of the college’s new PTA program is to provide students with an exceptional educational experience so they are competent, service-oriented patient-care providers.  PTAs work with Physical Therapists to assist people of all ages who have various conditions that affect their mobility.  The PTA’s responsibilities can include assisting patients in prescribed exercises and activities of daily living, using special equipment, collecting data on the patient’s progress, and documenting and reporting on the patient’s response.

The program will seek accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), which is an accrediting agency that is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for licensure as a PTA.

The program is currently interviewing candidates for the new full-time PTA instructor positions and will submit an Application for Candidacy required for the pre-accreditation stage.  Submission does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation Status.  Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the PTA technical phase of the program. 

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