Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Enjoy an independently rewarding career as a PTA.  


Carroll’s 1½-year PTA program prepares you to pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination and obtain your license to work. Over the last two years, our PTA program has had a 100% graduation rate and 100% first time pass rate on the licensure examination, higher than any other PTA program in the state.* 

One of the most appealing aspects of being a PTA is that you are never limited in what you can do. Since you graduate as a generalist, you could work in a wide variety of clinical settings, and have the opportunity to provide services to a diverse patient population. There is also an unlimited selection of continuing education courses to specialize or sample other areas of interest. The APTA offers Advance Proficiency Pathways for PTAs to gain recognition for your skills.

Why choose Carroll’s Physical Therapist Assistant program?

  • Intensive hands-on training in our state-of-the-art lab with one-on-one faculty support
  • In-house clinic so students interact with patients early and often
  • All faculty are practicing clinicians maintaining current skills and abilities
  • Program guided by an advisory board of professionals and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

CAPTE Accredited Program

CAPTE LogoThe Carroll Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Upon successful completion of the PTA program, you may apply to the State of Maryland for a PTA license and permission to take the exam. The exam is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Examiners (FSBPT) at local testing sites. Students who pass the National Licensure Exam may then apply to other states for licensure without taking the exam again.

The Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners may deny a license to an applicant who has been convicted of or pleads nolo contendre to a crime involving moral turpitude, whether or not any appeal or other proceeding is pending to have the plea set aside. If prospective students have questions regarding this, they should contact the PT Board of Examiners directly. 


As an alumna and current instructor within the program, it is easy to attest to the validity and credibility of such a dedicated faculty in preparing students for future success as a practicing Physical Therapist Assistant. Faculty continue to look at current research and best practices to provide students with a challenging, high quality, functional education and strive to develop critical thinking skills in every student so that, no matter what limitation or dysfunction is present in a patient, our graduates have the skills to provide patients with an optimal outcome.”

–Sarah Licharowicz, ATC, PTA, faculty member and alumna of the PTA program at Carroll Community College

Learning Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate quality technique utilizing evidence based interventions based on patient need as required of the entry level physical therapist assistant.

2. Communicate with all members of the healthcare team, patients, caregivers, families, administrators, and payers in a culturally competent manner, including defensible documentation.

3. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing the facts of a situation or condition, gathering relevant data, interpreting information effectively, developing alternatives to address the situation or condition, predicting implications and consequences, justifying their choices with facts, consult with the primary PT as required, and applying approach within the POC.

4. Students will adhere to federal and state legal practice standards and institutional regulations related to patient/client care and fiscal management, act in a manner consistent with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant and Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant, and demonstrate integrity in all interactions.

Program Goals

1. Maintain a first-time pass rate on the NPTE above the state and national norms.

2. All graduates will be employed as a physical therapist assistant within 6 months of passing the NPTE.

3. The program will maintain contact with graduates by:  

  • providing opportunities for education
  • providing information on employment
  • providing opportunities to lecture on special topics
  • providing opportunities to become a clinical instructor for Carroll PTA students
  • providing the opportunity to become a member of the advisory board of the PTA program
  • providing social networking offerings
  • and serving as an ongoing resource for the PT community

*Gardner, K. Aggregate Program Data. Retrieved from

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Faculty Advisor: Sharon Reid Phone: 410-386-8259 Email: The Physical Therapist Assistant is a skilled technical health care provider who works within a physical therapy service supervised by a physical therapist. With the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, the physical therapist assistant performs selected physical therapy procedures and related tasks. The extent to which the physical therapist assistant will participate in the following activities will be dependent upon the employment setting and individual patient: functioning as a participating team member who contributes to total patient care; performing selected treatment procedures in accordance with planned programs; assisting the physical therapist in carrying out complex procedures and programs; and observing, recording and reporting to the supervisor conditions, reactions and responses related to assigned duties. A minimum grade of C is required in all pre-clinical courses. Admission to the program is required before taking PTA courses. Students intending to pursue bachelor's or master's study should take ENGL-102 for the Arts and Humanities or English Literature choice course. Certain Physical Therapist Assistant courses may not be transferable. Program graduation requirements are subject to change. All General Education requirements must be completed prior to or concurrently with PTA-231. In recognition of the intensity of the program requirements, most PTA students choose to complete all non-PTA coursework prior to the beginning of the program. For information regarding the program or program requirements or if you have extensive education or experience, please contact the Program Director at 410-386-8259. * Must have a minimum grade of C

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements

Carroll faculty members are scholars, researchers and distinguished leaders who are selected for their academic and industry credentials as well as for their teaching abilities.


Mark Dintino

Mark Dintino graduated from Physical Therapy school at the University of Maryland in 1991. He worked in various outpatient orthopedic clinics prior to joining the faculty at Carroll Community College in 1997. Mr. Dintino teaches Clinical Science 1 & 2, Neuroanatomy and Physiology as well as Modalities. He values the quality of student that the PTA program attracts and enjoys being part of the transformation of the student into a dynamic critical thinking member of the healthcare team.

Sharon Reid

Sharon Reid is the Director and Academic Clinical Coordinator of the Carroll’s PTA program, supervising all students working in the clinic. Prior to joining the faculty in 1998, she graduated from University of Maryland PT School and has worked in a variety of settings, including acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing and outpatient. She appreciates facilitating the transformation of students entering the program into professional clinicians.

Sarah Licharowicz

Sarah Licharowicz is an assistant professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Kinesiology and earned certification as an Athletic Trainer in 2003. She is an alumna of Carroll’s PTA program and holds dual state licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ms. Licharowicz continues to provide rehabilitative services in both outpatient and inpatient clinical settings in addition to her role as faculty. She enjoys interacting with students to develop the skills necessary to be successful in rehabilitation and works closely with other faculty members in both the PTA program and associated health professions to provide unique learning opportunities for students.

Carroll offers an exceptional education at an extraordinary value. Carroll’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program consists of 18 months of classroom, laboratory and clinical placements.


The program is 60 credits. Visit the Tuition and Fees page for the latest rates.  

Additional estimated expenses include: 

  • Books and supplies: $350 per term
  • Uniforms and equipment: $50
  • Licensure fee: Maryland $150, plus $50 for fingerprinting
  • National examination: $400 (as of March 2017)


Explore the following options:

Physical Therapy is one of the fastest growing allied health sectors according to the United States Department of Labor. The demand for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) continues to increase, especially as the rapidly aging population faces chronic illness, disabilities and limited physical mobility.


Physical Therapist Assistants work in all types of exciting and challenging settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Schools and pediatric settings
  • Private practice physical therapy offices
  • Home health agencies
  • Sports facilities
  • Research institutions

PTAs, under the supervision of the Physical Therapist, may provide rehabilitation services to athletes, children, older adults and post-surgical, neurological and orthopedic patients. Median annual salary, dependent on setting, ranges from $47,000 to $52,000.* PTAs who have worked in the field for several years can move into supervisory clinician positions.

Over the last five years, 100% of Carroll PTA graduates who sought employment were employed within 6 months of graduation. Many students have employment offers prior to graduation, usually from their clinical settings. The Carroll Physical Therapist Assistant Program has a Facebook page where the Program and graduates post opportunities. Additionally, the college has a listserv which lists all the jobs submitted by employers.

Students intending to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree should take ENGL-102 for the Arts and Humanities or English Literature course choice. Certain Physical Therapist Assistant courses may not be transferable.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition

A class of 26 students is accepted into the PTA program for the fall semester. Applications are processed from Jan. 1 to May 1 each year. While the actual number of students who apply each year varies, if more than 26 students apply then a ranking procedure is used. 


First, all student must apply and be accepted to Carroll Community College and submit an official transcript to the records office.

Complete a PTA Program Admission application form, a Clinical Facility Experience Documentation Form, and two Recommendation Forms, and submit them prior to May 1 of the year you wish to be admitted.

Successfully complete the following courses prior to the Fall Term for which you are applying. All courses must be passed with a grade C or better. Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II ( BIOL-210 and  BIOL-211) completed within the last five years. Fundamentals of Biology BIOL-101 College level mathematics (3-5 credit course; Statistics preferred) College Writing ENGL-101.

Due to the intensity of the program, PTA applicants are strongly encouraged to complete all general education prerequisites prior to applying to the program.

Complete 75 hours of observation, volunteer, patient time or paid clinical experience in a physical therapy facility under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or PTA. The program strongly recommends that these hours be performed in multiple settings (see clinical hours form and ranking procedure).

Provide at least two recommendations using the forms provided.

Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended. Certified mid-term grades on college letterhead or by verifiable email sent to the program director are acceptable until final transcripts are available.

If you are currently a PT/Rehab aide or tech, provide employment verification on your employer's letterhead.


All qualified applicants will be ranking according to the ranking scale.


Once the applications are reviewed and ranked, the top scoring applicants are chosen to move to the second step of the application process. Historically it has been the top 50% of ranked candidates who are interviewed. Students who are chosen for the interview are notified. The score for the interview is the average score of the interviewers. (link to interview rubric.)


Admission to Carroll's PTA program is very competitive. For information regarding the program and its requirements, or if you have extensive education or experience, please contact the Program Director at 410-386-8259.

Ranking Procedure

If there are more than 24 qualified applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, a points based ranking procedure is used. The admission process awards points to students who complete Carroll's application process and the PTA application process. 

All students are notified prior to the end of May. The highest ranking students are required to complete a writing assignment and an interview.

If any of the original accepted students decline their seats in the program or fail to meet their spring or summer course requirements, the next eligible student on the waiting list is notified.

Once grades have been posted in May or after summer sessions, official transcripts must be submitted to the PTA Program. Any student, who drops a course or fails to earn a “C” or better, is not admitted. 

Transfer courses with grades are included and are assigned quality points based on the letter grade. Transfer credits earned without a letter grade (CLEP, AP, military evaluation, Challenge examination) are not assigned quality points.

The program accepts 24 students each year.

  • Completion of Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 (five points for an A, three points for a B and one point for a C).
  • One point is awarded for being a Carroll County resident or from a community college that is a member of the Mid-Maryland Consortium.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 75 observation hours prior to the application process. If observation hours are completed and submitted prior to May 1st in three separate settings, three points are awarded; two settings, two points are awarded and one setting, one point is awarded.
  • Students having a letter from their employer, on letterhead, verifying they have been a PT tech or aide for at least six months receive one point.
  • Students who have completed Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 by the end of the Spring Term of the year they wish to enter the program receive one point. Students must submit a copy of their spring schedule if a course is in progress. A midterm grade for the course in progress must be provided to receive credit for it.
  • Students who will have completed all non-PTA coursework by the beginning of the program receive two points. Students must submit a copy of their spring course schedule and/or summer registration with their application.

PTAImageGymTrainerWhat requirements are there to enroll in the PTA program?

A minimum grade of C is required in all pre-clinical courses. Admission to the program is required before taking PTA courses. All General Education requirements must be completed prior to or concurrently with PTA-231. In recognition of the intensity of the program requirements, most PTA students choose to complete all non-PTA coursework prior to the beginning of the program. Program graduation requirements are subject to change.

For more details about admission requirements, see Admissions tab.

Is financial aid available for the PTA program?

The Financial Aid Office assists eligible students with meeting their college expenses. Financial assistance is provided through scholarships, grants and employment opportunities. Additionally, the Physical Therapist Assistant program occasionally provides information from outside sources regarding specialized financial aid and scholarship opportunities. 

What is the profile of a PTA student?

The average student age over the past several years has been between 22 and 30. However, 12% of our class is 46 years of age or older. Most of our students have families, and many have worked in different fields prior to entering the program. Students from varied personal and professional backgrounds have found success within our program. The most important factor in determining success in Carroll’s PTA program and, ultimately, as a Physical Therapist Assistant is a desire for life-long learning and a strong motivation to help people.

Data on Fall 2017 students who will graduate in December 2018

 Number of applicants who met minimum requirements
 Number admitted

 Number on wait list

 Two year average graduation rate for 2015 and 2016
 Two year average Employment within 6 months for 2015 and 2016
 Two year average first time pass rate for 2015 and 2016 on National Licensure Examination
 Two year average ultimate pass rate for 2015 and 2016 on National Licensure Examination

Historical Demographics of the PTA Classes (three year averages)

 Average number admitted
 Percentage of women in each class
 Percentage of men in each class
 Percentage of Caucasian students in each class
 Percentage of students of other ethnicities/races
 Percentage of students who are married at admission
 Percentage of students who marry during the program
5% or less
 Percentage of students with dependents who need care
 Percentage of students who worked during part of program
 Percentage of students with bachelor's degrees
 Percentage of students with associate's degrees
  Percentage of students with master's degrees
 Retention rate (overall) over three years

98% who enter, graduate

85% of those who left were dismissed for academic reasons

Remaining students chose to leave for family, money, personal reasons and may have "stopped out" because of pregnancy or military placement.

What are the requirements for the clinical portion of the program?

The clinical portion of the program takes 18 months to complete. This portion of the program includes all PTA didactic, laboratory and clinical coursework. Carroll's three clinical affiliations provide specific experiences at three different levels.

You must provide your own transportation to each clinical site. While the program attempts to keep you close to home for at least two of the affiliations, travel may be up to ninety minutes.

If you know of a practice or hospital where you would like to conduct your clinical(s) the academic clinical coordinator can arrange for the setting to sign a contract with the college. However, you are not permitted to complete your clinicals where you have been employed. For more information, contact the Program Director, Sharon Reid, at 410-386-8259 or

  • PTA 241-01 Clinical Arts One
  • PTA 242-01 Clinical Arts Two
  • PTA 243-01 Clinical Arts Three

How do I submit a comment or critique about the PTA Program?

We welcome input from all communities in our effort to enhance Carroll's Physical Therapist Assistant program. As such, any community member may comment or critique Carroll's PTA program and the program's students and graduates. Those who are not a Carroll student, faculty or clinical educator should utilize the following procedures.

Complaints which fall outside of the Formal Complaint process or the Code of Integrity should also utilize the following procedures.

Comments must be provided in writing and signed by the author. Anonymous submissions nor written comments provided on behalf of an anonymous source will not be acknowledged.

Comments must be submitted to: 
Carroll Community College
PTA Program Director
1601 Washington Road
Westminster, MD 21257

The PTA Program Director responds to all comments within seven days to further discuss and resolve the issue. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, appeal may be made to the Division Chair of Allied Health within seven days. If satisfactory resolution still is not reached, appeal may be made to the Office of the President within seven days. The decision of the President will be final and not subject to further appeal.

Records of all correspondence are maintained by the Program Director for two years.

Mission Statement

The mission of the program is to enhance physical therapy services throughout Maryland by preparing skilled physical therapist assistants who are capable of performing selected patient care activities under the direction of a physical therapist. In establishing this mission and the goals which follow, the faculty has taken direction from, but has not been limited to, the criteria and guidelines set forth in The Standards for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (American Physical Therapy Association, 2004), The Normative Model of PTA Education and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice.

Program Goals

Goal 1: Intervention

  • Review the plan of care, established by the physical therapist, prior to initiating patient/client intervention.
  • Provide safe interventions as directed in the plan of care and supervision of the physical therapist.
  • Provide effective instruction to the patient/client and others to achieve the goals and outcomes as described in the plan of care.
  • Collect data to quantify the patient/client’s response to interventions as directed and supervised by the physical therapist.
  • Progress the patient/client interventions through the plan of care.
  • Complete documentation that follows professional guidelines, the health care system and physical therapy facility policies.
  • Respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies in the work setting.

Goal 2: Communication

  • Expressively and receptively communicate in a culturally competent manner with physical therapists, patients/clients, family members, caregivers, other health care providers, students, interdisciplinary team members, administrators, payers and consumers.

Goal 3: Education

  • Effectively educate others using teaching methods commensurate with the needs of the learners.
  • Educate others about the role of the physical therapist assistant.

Goal 4: Resource Management (Human, Fiscal, Systems)

  • Utilize human and material institution-based resources and services to provide high-quality, efficient and cost-effective physical therapy services.
  • Comply with facility procedures and payer regulations consistent with the health care delivery system and the practice setting.

Goal 5: Career Development

  • Participate in learning and development activities to ensure continued competence.
  • Participate in and respond to self-assessment activities.
  • Participate in clinical education.

Goal 6: Accountability

  • Adhere to federal and state legal practice standards and institutional regulations related to patient/client care and fiscal management.
  • Act in a manner consistent with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant and Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant.

Goal 7: Altruism

  • Place patient/client's needs above the physical therapist assistant's self-interests.

Goal 8: Compassion and Caring

  • Exhibit compassion, caring, and empathy in providing services to patients/clients.
  • Promote active involvement of the patient/client in his/her care.

Goal 9: Cultural Competence

  • Identify, respect and act with consideration for the patient/client's differences, values, preferences and expressed needs in all physical therapy activities.

Goal 10: Duty

  • Demonstrate behaviors, conduct, actions, attitudes and values consistent with the roles, responsibilities and tasks of the physical therapist assistant.
  • Support and participate in organizations and efforts that promote physical therapy.

Goal 11: Integrity

  • Demonstrate integrity in all interactions with patients/clients, family members, caregivers, supervising physical therapists, co-workers, other health care providers, students, other consumers, employers and payers.

Goal 12: Social Responsibility

  • Value and support the physical therapy profession in society.
  • Demonstrate citizenship.