General Information

Mission and Goals

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program aims to develop competent paraprofessionals who can offer quality services in their field. It offers a scientific knowledge base, founded on concepts and principles of natural and social sciences and on the humanities in addition to sciences related to physical therapy. It is designed to prepare entry-level paraprofessionals who use knowledge and skills for treatment of individuals whose function is limited or is in danger of being limiting due to some disease or injury.

The Program guides students through the awareness of intervention strategies in the rehabilitation process. Graduates will work under the supervision of a physical therapist in institutions such as general and specialized hospitals; rehabilitation and home care centers; clinics and private offices; schools and industries. In order to practice, graduates must pass the local board exam and obtain a physical therapy assistant license.

The mission is reached through the following goals:

  1. Demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and competence while providing therapeutic intervention in the rehabilitation process.
  2.  Apply critical/creative thinking and analytical skills in the functions delegated and supervised by a Physical Therapist in a variety of practice settings.
  3. Demonstrate legal and professional behaviors consistent with the practice and the ethical standards established by the American Physical Therapy Association.
  4. Act responsibly, contribute actively, and respond efficiently as a member of a health care team under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist.
  5. Recognize the value of personal and professional lifelong learning and keep abreast of the technological advancements.
  6. Effectively communicate with patients, supervisors, support personnel and other health care team members using suitable verbal, non-verbal, and written skills.
  7. Demonstrate the application of skills and concepts of the Program by passing satisfactorily the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and the local test.

Graduates from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program in will have the following competencies:       

Upon completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, the student will be able to:


  1. Apply theoretical and scientific knowledge to provide safe and effective therapeutic interventions in rehabilitation.
  2. Acquire knowledge of basic patient care, therapeutic modalities in physical therapy, and the pathology of the most common conditions in the population.
  3. Possess the knowledge to respond effectively to patient and environmental emergencies in the work setting.


  1. Provide safe interventions and ADL training as directed in the plan of care and supervised by the physical therapist.
  2. Demonstrate mastery of skills for entry-level practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
  3. Progress the patient interventions through the plan of care established by the physical therapist, and if is necessary, discuss the need of modifications.
  4. Identify, communicate and respond appropriately to emergency situations of changes in the patient’s state of health or environmental emergencies in the work setting.
  5. Educate others (patients, family, caregivers, staff, students, other health care providers) using relevant and effective teaching methods commensurate with the needs of the learners.
  6. Collect accurately and relevant data to quantify the patient’s response to interventions as directed and supervised by the physical therapist while maintaining confidentiality.
  7. Demonstrate effective, and appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills with patients, family members, colleagues, and health care team members in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
  8. Produces documentation to support the delivery of physical therapy services.
  9. Manages resources efficiently (e.g., time, space, and equipment) to achieve goals of the clinical setting.
  10. Perform safely and effectively evidence-based interventions under the supervision of a Physical Therapist following the Standards of Ethical Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant and Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant.
  11. Uses physical therapy aides and other support personnel according to legal standards and ethical guidelines.


  1. Be culturally sensitive and committed to the physical therapy profession’s core values and ethics.
  2. Adjust behavior appropriately out of respect for individual and cultural differences with each patient.
  3. Exhibit compassion, caring and empathy in providing services to patients and family members.
  4. Demonstrates responsibility and commitment for professional development by completing continuing education credits, reviewing professional literature and be active members of professionals organizations.
  5. Interact effectively with other health care professionals that reflect the roles and responsibilities of a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Non-discrimination Policy

Having an Institution free of discrimination is at the core of our value system as stated on our mission statement which reads:

“Inter American University of Puerto Rico Institution (UIAPR)-Wide Mission- Developing the talents of men and women, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age or nationality is IAUPR’s main purpose. The Campuses offer diversified programs including, but not limited to, a liberal undergraduate education as well as graduate, professional and occupational programs leading to the degrees, diplomas and certificates usually granted by higher education institutions.”

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus strives to have an admissions process that does not discriminate in any manner against any applicant.


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