Terra State PTA program earns 10-year accreditation

Melissa Patrizi with CAPTE accreditation
PTA Program Chair Melissa Patrizi holds Terra State's 10-year accreditation awarded by CAPTE.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Terra State Community College recently received a 10-year reaffirmation on its accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

In order for students to be eligible to take the board exam to earn their PTA license, they must get their education at a CAPTE accredited institution. This accreditation is affirmation from the Commission that Terra State is substantially demonstrating compliance with all of their standards.

“This should be something we’re really proud of. I know I am,” said PTA Program Chair Melissa Patrizi.

The accreditation reaffirmation process included a self-study report submission by the PTA program, which is a document that explains how the program demonstrates compliance with all of the standards that the commission outlined. Once that was submitted, Terra State’s on-site team reviewed it and visited campus to verify the program was doing what they said in the report. The team met with the college president, deans, vice presidents, program chairs, instructors, financial aid, admissions, alumni and students.

“Our on-site team was from all around the country and when they walked into our PTA lab, jaws dropped,” Patrizi said. “They have seen many labs between the three of them and they were absolutely floored by our lab, our equipment and the space we have for our students.”

The self-study report was submitted in January 2019, on-site visits happened in early March 2019 and the information went before the commission in October 2019, which is when the commission read through Terra State’s report, the on-site team’s report and Terra State’s response to the on-site team report. Patrizi proudly displayed the CAPTE accreditation at the College’s January 2020 Board of Trustees meeting.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Bill Taylor is proud of all the College accomplished in earning this accreditation. “A lot of work was put into this accreditation and, with the help of Dr. Patrizi's leadership, we came together as a team and made it happen. With great faculty and a fantastic lab, we are proud that we can offer such an outstanding PTA program for students.”

“We could not have hoped for a better decision from the commission. This is exactly what we wanted,” Patrizi said. “I think it really speaks volumes to the dedication of the whole college to this program. It really, truly was a team effort. I’m so happy we did it and we couldn’t have asked for a more positive reflection of the work that we’re doing here.”

Moving forward, the PTA program must submit reports regularly to the Commission ensuring continuing compliance with the standards and required elements and will receive a formal visit in 10 years. “We’re really happy with how this panned out and we’re just going to continue moving forward with the plans we set in place to be compliant with all CAPTE’s standards,” Patrizi said.