Career Strategies for the PTA
I. Course Prefix/Number: PTA 242
Course Name: Career Strategies for the PTA
Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course provides career overview for the PTA. Content includes exploration of career opportunities; professional development strategies; and employment requirements within the physical therapy delivery system.
IV. Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course, the student is able to:
- Refine oral and written professional communication skills.
- Integrate professional goals with professional development opportunities.
- Identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities, including the role of the PTA in the clinical education of PTA students.
- Prepare for PTA employment by creating a resume and cover letter, discuss interviewing and identify various forms of performance evaluation tools.
- Review quality assurance procedures, and examine performance evaluation processes.
- Complete application for taking computerized licensure exam.
- Identify legal and ethical requirements of Physical Therapy practice.
- Identify mechanisms available for reporting suspected cases of fraud and abuse and reporting incidents of the abuse of vulnerable populations.
- Describe aspects of organizational planning and operation of the physical therapy service.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Reinforcement of communication skills
- Progress note reinforcement
- Communication with non-medical audiences
- Sharing of clinical experiences with classmates and faculty
- Role of PTA within various types of employment settings
- Employment Preparation
- Applications, resumes and letters
- Interview fundamentals
- Job descriptions
- Performance evaluations
- Quality assurance studies
- Legal issues – malpractice, ethics, fraud/abuse of payment systems
- Complete application for licensure exam
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Audio-visual supplements
- Appropriate guest lectures
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
- Attend all schedules class session. Students who inform the instructor in advance (at the beginning of the semester) of an intended absence for a MAJOR religious observance will not be penalized. However, instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams or quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following the intended absence.
- Participate in class discussions and activities.
- Do all assigned readings and written assignments.
- Course is taught as face to face.
IX. Instructional Materials
- Selected articles and handouts.
- Appropriate texts as available.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
- Written exams and quizzes
- Preparation of an employment resume and cover letter (each worth 30%)
- Progress note writing. (10%)
- Project: Newspaper article on a Health Issue (30%)
Grades will be determined based on percentage of total scores as follows:
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.