Grading and Attendance Policies
The Minimum "C": The faculty of all four PTA programs at Penn State are in agreement that students should achieve a grade of at least "C" in each of the courses listed below. This is to ensure student's successful completion of the program, to ensure their competence as a health care provider, and most importantly to ensure passing of the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants.
It is the students professional responsibility to approach the professor in a timely fashion for guidance in improving their academic performance.
Your are required to achieve at least a C in the courses listed below:
- BIOL 129 (4)
- BIO 141 GN (3)
- BIO 142 (1)
- PT 100 (3)
- PT 204 (1)
- PT 205 (2)
- PT 270 (3)
- PT 384 (4)
- PT 150 (2)
- PT 160 (3)
- PT 250 (4)
- PT 260 (3)
- PT 280W (4)
- KINES 013 (1)
Failing to achieve at least a "C" in these courses prevents you from continuing in the program.
Student's will need to achieve a minimum of "C" in all academic courses listed above before progressing on to clinical rotations.
The following grading scale will be used :
- A (93 - 100)
- A- (90 - 92)
- B+ (87 - 89)
- B (84 - 86)
- B- (80 - 83)
- C+ (77 - 79)
- C (75 - 76)
- D (60 - 74)
- F < 60
Any grade below "C" is considered unacceptable in the courses listed above and will delay academic progression. Students in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program can fail one course and have the opportunity to repeat that course. If the student fails a second course they are dismissed from the program. The student needs to maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in the program.
Attendance includes tardiness and class participation. It is the professional responsibility for all students to notify the instructor when they can not be present for any lecture, lab activity, or exam. For each unexcused absence the instructor will deduct 2% from the final grade. If a student misses an exam with prior notification, and valid reason, a make-up exam will be given. Without prior notification and/or valid reason the student will receive a grade of 0. Faculty may choose a predetermined percentage for attendance of a student's final grade.
Travel and Housing During Clinical Rotations
To ensure quality clinical education experiences, it may be necessary to secure temporary housing outside a student's home or campus location. With the increasing number of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant programs, there is a greater demand on all clinical sites for student placement. Therefore, it has become even more of a necessity for all students to anticipate having to relocate for one, two or possibly all rotations. Making adequate and appropriate travel and housing arrangements is the responsibility of the student. The academic coordinator of clinical education can identify clinical sites that house students, but these are few. The student must make all contacts based on information provided and complete all arrangements. It is imperative that the student has reliable and dependable transportation.
All clinical facilities require students to have malpractice liability coverage. A blanket policy is obtained from Seabury and Smith Associates for which students pay a very nominal fee. General liability insurance is also required by most sites and is also obtained for a nominal fee. Information is provided during the first week of classes.
All clinical sites require that affiliating students' medical records and vaccinations are current and complete. Students will obtain the required medical examination form from the campus health services office. They then have the option of scheduling an appointment with the health services and the contracted physician for this examination and any updated vaccinations; or the student can choose to go to their own physician for the examination. However, all records will be returned to and remain in the health services office. We strongly recommend every student receives the Hepatitis B vaccinations.
Students are strongly encouraged to independently arrange for observation in a variety of physical therapy settings throughout their academic program. These observations greatly enhance the student's ability to integrate academic course material and better prepare them for the clinical affiliations.
GENERIC ABILITIES: PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS
1. Generic Abilities* - Generic abilities are attributes, characteristics or behaviors that are not explicitly part of the profession's core of knowledge and technical skills, but are nevertheless required for success in the profession. Ten generic abilities were identified through a study conducted at UW-Madison in 1991-92. The ten abilities and definitions developed are:
- Commitment to learning - the ability to self assess, self correct, and self direct; to identify needs and sources of learning; and to continually seek new knowledge and understanding.
- Interpersonal skills - the ability to interact effectively with patients, families and colleagues, other health care professionals, and the community; to deal effectively with cultural and ethnic diversity issues.
- Communication skills - the ability to communicate effectively (speaking, body language, reading, writing, listening) for varied audiences and purposes.
- Effective us of time and resources - the ability to obtain the maximum benefit from a minimum investment of time and resources
- Use of constructive feedback - the ability to identify sources of and seek out feedback and to effectively use and provide feedback for improving personal interaction.
- Problem solving - the ability to recognize and define problems, analyze data, develop and implement solutions, and evaluate outcomes.
- Professionalism - the ability to exhibit appropriate professional conduct and to represent the profession effectively.
- Responsibility - the ability to fulfill commitments and to be accountable for actions and outcomes.
- Critical thinking - the ability to question logically; to identify, generate and evaluate elements of logical argument; to recognize and differentiate facts, illusions, assumptions and hidden assumptions; and to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant.
- Stress management - the ability to identify sources of stress and to develop effective coping behaviors.
*Developed by the Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison May et al. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 9: 1, Spring 1995.
Activities related to these Generic Abilities will be incorporated into your professional courses.
2. Professional Expectations of Students Enrolled in the PTA Program:
- Accept and dedicate oneself to promoting and achieving the mission and goals of the Penn State Hazleton PTA Program.
- Uphold the Guide for Conduct as described on the APTA website »
- Accept responsibility for your actions and your professional life. Accept the instructor's evaluation of your work as a professional assessment of your performance from which you continue to advance your professional and clinical skills.
- Know and understand your role as a PTA as defined by the State Board of Physical Therapy for Pennsylvania located at their website »
- Become committed to knowing the clinical practice issues impacting your position in the health care system.
- To make a life-long commitment to self directed, independent learning.
- To accept your role as a health care team member in improving the quality of life in your patients.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
All students should examine the following list to determine if they can complete the essential functions of the program with or without reasonable accommodation as defined by the ADA:
- Transfer patients (lifting and moving)
- Perform physical agents (manual dexterity)
- Communicate effectively
- Guard and assist with ambulation
- Handle the stresses of the work
- Perform resistance during exercise
- Assess a patient from 10 feet away (adequate vision and hearing)
- Respond to a timer (adequate hearing and vision)
- Respond to emergencies
- Perform full body range of motion
- Clean whirlpools
- Perform debridement
- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Apply universal precautions
- Monitor vital signs
Dr. Rosemarie Petrilla
PTA Program Coordinator
- PTA Program Information