Walters State Community College’s 2014 physical therapist assistant graduates achieved an impressive 100 percent first-try pass rate on the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination.
The rigorous test is required for students to become licensed physical therapist assistants. The national average pass rate for first-time test takers is 85 percent, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Walters State’s first-time pass rate is usually above 90 percent.
“This is quite an accomplishment and I’m very proud of each of them,” said Ann Lowdermilk, director of the PTA program at Walters State.
“This reflects very well on the program, but it also reflects well on the class. We had very good students who were eager to learn and work hard. Now, they are going to be very good physical therapist assistants,” Lowdermilk said.
The class is likely to have a high percentage for job placement, too. All of the program’s graduates for the last three classes found jobs in the field within six months of graduation.
Physical therapists assistants perform a range of physical therapy procedures specific to a patient’s diagnosis under the supervision of a physical therapist. They help restore, maintain and promote health and fitness in addition to administering prescribed treatments.
The test covers the material learned in two years of classroom and clinical work.
“The clinical experience helps students prepare for the exam, “ said Nancy Clark, academic coordinator of clinical education for the program.
“The test includes many treatment questions. In clinical training, students learn how to make treatment decisions. It gives them a chance to put what they’ve learned in the textbook to work and that reinforces the knowledge,” Clark added.
In the picture: Faculty and students in Walters State’s 2014 physical therapist assistant program show some of the tools of their trade. All 22 members of the class passed the Rigorous national Physical Therapist Assistant Exam on the first try. From left are Sean Jared; Nancy Clark, academic coordinator of clinical education; Greta Stedan; Ann Lowdermilk, head of the physical therapist assistant program; Walter Maddox; Marisa Miller, associate professor; and James Shumaker.