Required General Education Courses


 The general education courses required for your AAS degree through the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Central Piedmont Community College are the same or very similar to courses required for an associates degree from any other program offered here. The information contained in those courses is considered basic to a well rounded education. We thought that you might like to know how they fit into the Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum.

In order to succeed in our program you must be able to read and comprehend the texts that we use. After successful completion of English 111 the student “should be able to read assigned essays with understanding and make reasonable inferences from their context.” English 113 is designed to “….enlarge communication skills by urging greater sophistication in organization and more abstract and analytical thought than that stressed in (English) 111”. An objective of COM 110 is “(t)o identify and demonstrate appropriate listening skills and to become a more critical thinker.” Two specific objectives of COM 231 are for the student to “(d)emonstrate critical thinking skills in the selection and use of research materials “… and to “(d)emonstrate effective critical thinking and listening skills when evaluating speakers inside and outside of the classroom.” MAT 140 has as among its objectives the ability to “think logically, and be able to work collaboratively and independently.” PSY 150 includes a goal for students to be able to “(a)pply critical thinking in evaluating research…” A course recently added to our program, MED 120, is designed to give you a background in the language of medicine – the language in which much of our coursework is taught. The realization of all of these objectives will help you succeed in what can be rather difficult PTA coursework.

As a physical therapist assistant you will work as part of a healthcare team to decide how best to care for your patients/clients. In interaction with patients/clients & their families, you must be able to communicate what you are going to do, why it will help, and how to continue care at home in addition to delivering the physical therapist’s plan to restore them to their maximum functional abilities. Whenever you work as part of a team, your ability to communicate, to understand, and to listen are key to your success. Here are some of the learning objectives from the required and optional General Education courses that will help you develop the needed skills:

ENG 111

The students who successfully complete ENG 111 should be able to:

• Participate productively in both large and small peer group discussions and in student/teacher conferences


• To demonstrate an understanding of effective verbal and non-verbal
communication skills used in interpersonal and group discussion.
• To give and receive instructions effectively.
• To demonstrate an understanding of effective communications skills for the workplace.
• To understand the relationship between a positive attitude and
effective communication

COM 120
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
• Analyze his or her own role in interpersonal relationships….
• Apply both practical and theoretical knowledge to improve his or her own interpersonal communication competence.

MAT 140
Upon completion students should be able……
• To work collaboratively and independently

Whichever math course you choose to take, you will gain practice in thinking logically to solve a problem.

The medical terminology course supplies you with the language with which you will communicate.

BIO 168 & 169 provide you with a substantial portion of the scientific background that will help you understand human pathology and the effect of your treatments on a human body. You will need to know what normal responses to heat, cold, relaxation, and exercise look like in normal body systems in order to assess their effects on your patient/clients. The language of anatomy and physiology will complement the medical terminology you will be studying.

A practical knowledge of computer operation is essential to accomplish research for papers and presentations as well as a means of presenting your research. Many clinics are currently using computers for record keeping and even to run some of the more advanced medical exercise machines.

Finally, a basic psychology course, as well as a humanities course, will help you develop a broad and compassionate view of the patients/clients whom you plan to serve.