Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Mission and Goals:
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
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.
mission is reached through the following goals:
Offer a program designed to expose the student
to the practice standards and competencies
required in a Physical Therapist Assistant.
Prepare paraprofessionals in physical therapy
with the appropriate critical thinking in the
implementation of the functions delegated by the
Provide society with competent health
paraprofessionals in Physical Therapy that carry
out their duties safely and effectively.
Prepare students who exhibit legal and ethical
conduct according to the requirements of the
discipline to meet the immediate needs of
Prepare paraprofessionals who are able to take
an active, responsible and productive role
within their discipline and as members of a
health care team.
Prepare students, that once complete their
associate degree studies, continue their
personal development; stay updated on their
discipline and technological advances.
Develop students' skills and provide them with
the experiences necessary to successfully
complete the Puerto Rico Physical Therapist
Assistant licensing exam or the National
Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for Physical
Graduates from the Physical Therapist
Assistant Program in will have the following competencies:
graduate from the program will be able to develop the following
competencies in the areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes:
Demonstrates basic knowledge of sciences,
anatomy and physiology and utilize that
knowledge as a basis for their interventions.
Possesses knowledge on basic patient care,
therapeutic modalities in physical therapy and
pathology of most common conditions in the
Demonstrates clear understanding of the level of
authority and responsibility within the
organization which they serve.
Possesses the knowledge and skills to act
effectively in emergency situations.
Effectively execute exercises and ADLs as
established in the treatment plan designed by
the physical therapist.
Demonstrates the skills necessary for
entry-level practice as a Physical Therapist
Understands and implements the treatment plan
developed by the physical therapist.
Documents the patient’s progress and informs the
physical therapist who makes the necessary
modifications to the treatment plan.
Communicates to the physical therapist
immediately when a change in the state of health
of the client occurs and in emergency
Assists in the identification of data that will
help the physical therapist to re-evaluate and
modify the treatment plan.
Participates in the education of the patient,
family, and other health care team members as
set out in the treatment plan and under the
supervision of the physical therapist.
Documents relevant aspects of the patient’s
treatment, their response to treatment and other
administrative aspects relating to the services
Participates in the treatment plan as
established by the physical therapist.
Demonstrates effective oral, non-verbal and
written communication with patients, family,
colleagues and other members of the health care
Executes their role and responsibilities in
accordance with a Physical Therapist Assistant
practice standards as established for their
level of preparation.
Plans and manages time effectively.
Works under the supervision of a physical
therapist in a safe and effective manner within
an ethical framework while following legal
Analyzes if delegated duties and
responsibilities are within their competency and
Communicate effectively and in a timely manner
with all individuals involved in the care of the
Interacts with patient and their family to
provide emotional and psychosocial support
taking into consideration cultural and
Interacts with other health care professionals
and effectively represents a Physical Therapist
Assistant role and responsibilities.
Assumes responsibility for their professional
development by completing continuing education
workshops, being an active member of
professional organizations and the study of
literature related to their field of practice.
The Physical Therapist Assistant is a technically
educated health care provider who assists the physical
therapist in the process of providing physical therapy. The
physical therapist assistant
may perform procedures and
related tasks that are
selected and delegated by
the supervising physical therapist.
help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other
health related conditions that limit their ability to move and
perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTA’s work
in a variety of settings including, hospitals, privates
practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes,
schools, sports facilities, and more.
Requirements for the Associate of Science Degree
Program in Physical Therapy
admission requirements established in the Inter American
University General Catalog.
certificate no criminal record issued by the police of Puerto
recent health certificate issued by the Health Department or an
evidence of vaccination against Hepatitis B.
minimum grade point index of 2.50.
an interview with the program’s faculty.
Complete the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Application
Form at the Health Science Department.
Academic Progress Requirements:
the academic progress norms established in the University’s
major courses with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 2.0 GPA
while enrolled in the program.
who fail on two occasions in a same major course or two
different major courses will be placed on a probationary period
no longer than two semesters. If the student fails to comply
with the terms of the probationary period, the student will be
dismissed from the program.
an Institution free of discrimination is at the core of our
value system as stated on our mission statement which reads:
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
Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus strives
to have an admissions process that does not discriminate in any
manner against any applicant.
Dr. Katherine Rivera, PT MPT DPT
Physical Therapy Program Coordinator
Health Sciences Department
787-284-1912 ext. 3308
Katherine Rivera is our Program Director. She obtained her
bachelor degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Puerto
Rico, Medical Science Campus on May 1999. In June 2002, Dr.
Rivera completed her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from
Loma Linda University in California and in 2008 she completed
her Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University.
She is a licensed Physical Therapist in Puerto Rico, and has
worked in a variety of settings building ten years of clinical
and administrative experience.
Dr. Neysha Miranda
Physical Therapy Academic Coordinator of Clinical
Health Sciences Department
787-284-1912 ext. 3307
Dr. Neysha Miranda is the designated Academic Coordinator of
Clinical Education. She obtained her bachelor degree in Physical
Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
on May 2000. In June 2004, Dr. Miranda completed her Master
Degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University in
California and in 2008 she completed her Doctoral Degree in
Physical Therapy from Boston University.
She is an active clinician licensed by the Puerto Rico Physical
Therapist Board and is an APTA Certified Clinical Instructor.
Dr. Miranda has ten years of clinical experience in different
clinical setting including home care, hospitals and since 2004
has been working in a rehabilitation hospital.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS:
Safety in Dealing with Body Substances
Safety Regulations Regarding Laboratory Use
Informed Consent for Students Participating in Role of Subjects
Campus Safety and Emergency Procedures
COMMENTS & FEEDBACK
Your feedback is
very important to us.
Please click here to send us your feedback about our program.
The Inter American University, Ponce Campus, Physical Therapist
Assistant Program started
the process to achieve accreditation by submitting an
Application for Candidacy to the Commission on
Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) on September
1, 2010. CAPTE has not yet granted Candidacy for Accreditation
status to the program. The program will start accepting
admission applications for the program once candidacy status is
Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
To review CAPTE’s accreditation standards,
please follow the link below: