PTA students in class.

Mission, Philosophy, and Goals/Outcomes

Mission, Philosophy, and Goals/Outcomes


The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is to graduate knowledgeable and skilled health care providers, ready to work as part of a team to provide selected physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner. The program prepares graduates to be life-long learners and responsible, productive members of the health care community and society.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program aspires to provide the highest quality education in a learner-centered environment. The PTA Program is guided by a commitment to the Penn State Values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence, and community.

Program Goals/Outcomes:

Student-Level Goals

  1. The student will be able to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and in written form in an effective, respectful, and timely manner in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
  2. The student will be able to identify, respect, and act with consideration for patients/clients differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs in all work related activities.
  3. The student will observe ethical and legal standards of practice while performing physical therapy interventions.
  4. The student will participate in activities that afford opportunities for growth in social responsibility.
  5. The student will participate in ongoing self-assessment to improve knowledge, skill and behaviors that facilitate career development.
  6. The student will be able to competently demonstrate effective data collection techniques under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
  7. The student will be able to administer safe treatment interventions under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
  8. The student will be able to demonstrate the ability to interact with members of the health care team and provide inter-professional care.

Program-Level Goals

  1. PTA program admission and enrollment processes will support the mission of the program and reflect regional workforce needs.
  2. The PTA program will provide curricula that will adequately prepare students for clinical experiences, future employment as physical therapist assistants and life-long learning.
  3. The PTA program will work with PSU administration, admissions, library services, academic support services, and other support services to develop policies and practices and provide resources that are beneficial to the PTA students and faculty.
  4. The PTA program will maintain highly qualified faculty to educate and evaluate students in the program.
  5. The PTA program will work with qualified clinical faculty to provide students with relevant and diverse clinical experiences.
  6. The PTA program will promote the health and wellness of society.

Faculty-Level Goals

  1. The faculty will have contemporary expertise in assigned teaching areas and demonstrate effectiveness in teaching and student evaluation.
  2. The faculty will participate in productive service to the campus, University, profession, and/or community.
  3. The faculty will engage in on-going professional development related to enhancing knowledge of contemporary physical therapy practice, pedagogy, and/or service and research activities.

Program Outcomes

  1. Admission and enrollment criteria, policies and procedures support student success in achieving the PTA program mission.
    • Graduation rates are at least 60%, averaged over two years.
  2. Graduates of the PTA program are prepared to work as an entry-level PTAs under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
    • Students achieve entry-level performance for a PTA rated on the CPI for terminal clinical experience, minimum 90%, target 95% for cohort.
    • In response to questions about how well the Program prepared the graduate to perform skills and behaviors of an entry-level PTA, graduates report an average of > 3/5 (moderately well).
    • In response to questions about a Penn State Fayette PTA graduate’s ability to perform skills and behaviors of an entry-level PTA, supervisors will report an average of > 3/5 (meets expectations).
  3. Graduates of the PTA program are prepared to take The National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE).
    • Ultimate licensure pass rates are at least 85%, averaged over two years.
  4. Graduates meet the needs of the area workforce through employment in various clinical settings.
    • Employment rates are at least 90%, averaged over two years.
    • Program maintains at least 125% of clinical sites per cohort.

Acceptance and Matriculation Rates

  • For 2016-2017 and 2017-18 academic years, the average percentage of applicants that met the minimum admission requirements was 57%. 100% of these qualified applicants were offered admission to the PTA Program. 65% of applicants offered admission matriculated into the PTA Program.

Student Outcomes Data

  • For students matriculating in 2015-16, the two-year average graduation rate is 71%.
  • For the graduating classes of 2016 and 2017, the first-time pass rate on the national physical therapy exam (NPTE) for PTAs is 100%.
  • Of the 2015 and 2016 graduates responding to a graduate survey, 94% who sought employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant were employed within one year of graduation.