PTA Attendance Policies

Class Hours

Students must refer to their schedule for the actual class dates.

Theory classes are three to five days per week, depending on the term. Theory class schedule is 8:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. PST (tutorial periods for theory classes are scheduled between 2:30 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. PST).  PTA Laboratory classes are one day per week in Terms 2, 3 and 4 with a schedule from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. PST (tutorial periods for laboratory classes are scheduled between 4:30 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. PST) Clinical education courses are forty hours per week, typically five days per week (typically Monday through Friday, but may have weekend hours) in Terms 4 and 5 and are held from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. PST (days of the week as well as daily schedule will vary depending on the site).

Note:  Alternate days or different shifts may be required for certain PTA clinical practicum and affiliation courses due to clinical facility patient census restrictions or facility availability.  Some clinical education experiences may be offered on a 10 or 12 hour shift to match clinical facilities’ schedules.

Absence and Tardiness

The maximum number of allowed absences in a single term is three (3). Three (3) tardies or early departures (or “early out”) per term is equivalent to one absence. A tardy is defined as arrival after the scheduled start time of the class session, whether that is at the beginning of class, after lunch or after a designated break.  Early departure (or “early out”) is defined as leaving after 11:00 A.M. PST for theory courses and after 12:00 P.M. PST for laboratory courses. An absence is defined as leaving theory class before 11:00 A.M. PST or leaving a laboratory class before 12:00 P.M. PST. All remediations must be completed within 7 days of the absence/tardy/early out.

Remediation and Limit of Physical Therapist Assistant Theory Absences

Absences from theory classes will be remediated by completion of an assignment associated with the theory objectives for the day of absence.  A maximum of 3 sessions of theory absence may be remediated in a single term.  The faculty member teaching the theory course in which an absence occurs determines the type, nature, and extent of such remediation assignments.  Tardy arrivals to or early departure from theory classes will be remediated with work assigned by the course instructor. For theory course absences and tardies, the student is required to complete the standard remediation procedures, which are to: (1) complete a PTA Remediation Form; (2) complete the remediation assignment which is based on the material that was missed and the length of time that the student missed class; and (3) turn in to the instructor for grading the assignment stapled to a completed PTA Remediation Form. Tardy arrivals to or early departure from theory classes will be remediated as outlined above.  A tardy is defined as arrival after the scheduled start time of the class session, whether that is at the beginning of class, after lunch or after a designated break.  Early departure (“early out”) is defined as leaving after 11:00 A.M. PST for theory courses. An absence is defined as leaving theory class before 11:00 A.M. PST.

Remediation and Limit of Physical Therapist Assistant Lab and Clinical Education Absences

Remediation of PTA Lab absences and the associated clinical skills may be completed by performing, at minimum, a demonstration of proficiency for the lab objectives for each day of absence. It is the right and responsibility of the faculty member, however, in accordance with the institutional policy “Assignment and Grading of Remediation Assignments” to determine the type, nature, and extent of any remediation assignment as well as to evaluate and assign a grade for any remediation assignment for the students in the specific course that they are teaching. Tardy arrivals or early departure from lab sessions will be remediated with work assigned by the course instructor.  A tardy is defined as arrival after the scheduled start time of the lab session or after the completion of a scheduled break. Early departure (“early out”) is defined as leaving after 12:00 P.M. PST for laboratory courses. An absence is defined as leaving lab before 12:00 P.M. PST.

If a student misses a lab, it is his/her responsibility to contact the instructor to schedule the remediation of the missed coursework, such as the lab activities list and clinical skills competency checklist.  If a student misses a Practical Examination (“Practical”), it is his or her responsibility to contact the course coordinator to schedule the remediation of the Practical and achieve a passing score. Students missing a lab practical will forfeit their initial attempt to pass the practical exam. The highest grade they will be allowed to achieve is 80%.

A maximum of two (2) days of PTA Lab absence may be remediated in a single term.  This is not in addition to the 3 total allowed absences. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor prior to leaving class for any reason other than scheduled breaks.

As part of the professional education process for physical therapist assistant students, prompt, regular attendance is expected during clinical experiences. Students must arrive at the assigned clinical education site on time.

Students are strongly discouraged from absences during a clinical education course. The student must adhere to the clinic time schedule at all times. Absences must be arranged in advance with the clinical instructor (CI) of the clinical facility and the Academic Cordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE). For all absences from a clinical education course, including Practicum I, Affiliation I, and Affiliation II, the student and the clinical instructor, in coordination with the ACCE, will make arrangements for remediation on a day-for-day and hour-for-hour basis. Days or hours may be remediated either by the addition of days at the end of the clinical education experience (if available) or via extended day or weekend hours. The program’s policy allows for a maximum of two days of absences that can be remediated during the Practicum course and three days of absences that can be remediated during a single Clinical Affiliation course, with a maximum of five days of absences in total in Clinical Affiliation coursework. All hours and/or days that are missed must be remediated. It is at the discretion of the clinical site whether this is acceptable.

Remediation of all absences incurred during Practicum I must be remediated prior to the start of the next course. Remediation of all absences incurred during Clinical Affiliation I must be remediated prior to commencing Clinical Affiliation II. Remediation of all Clinical Affiliation II absences must be completed prior to the start of the Program Review course.

Unexcused absences occur when the student has either failed to notify the ACCE and clinical instructor of illness or failed to obtain permission from the ACCE and clinical instructor prior to the absence. Any unexcused absence must be reported to the ACCE by the Site Coordinator of Clinical Education (SCCE) or CI immediately. More than one unexcused absence during a term will result in a course failure and may result in a hearing before the academic faculty, at which time possible dismissal from the program may be considered.

In the event of an illness or injury, the student must notify the CI and ACCE as soon as possible. If an illness, injury or appointment, etc. necessitates time away from the clinical site, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the ACCE as to the nature of the absence. If a student is absent for more than two consecutive clinical days (Practicum I) or more than three consecutive clinical days (Affiliation I or II) due to illness, the student must provide a physician’s written approval for the student to return to his or her assigned duties at the clinical site. A copy must be furnished to the student’s clinical instructor and to the ACCE. In concert with the SCCE and/or CI, it is at the discretion of the ACCE and Program Director as to how, or if, the missed time can and will be made up.

In the case of excessive absences (more than 2 days for Practicum and 3 days for Affiliations; see specific policy above), the clinical education experience may be ended, and the student may receive a course failure. The ACCE may modify the attendance policy at any time throughout the term if the students are notified in writing of the change.

If the student is unavoidably tardy, he/she should notify the clinical instructor and ACCE by telephone of the reason for the lateness. Even a tardy of a few minutes should be reported immediately. The SCCE or CI must report episodes of habitual tardiness to the ACCE for action by the academic faculty. Repeated tardiness (a maximum of two occurrences) will not be tolerated and may result in a hearing before the academic faculty and dismissal from the program.

Students not returning to classes after an absence of 14 days will be dismissed.

Makeup of Course Examinations Due to Absence or Tardiness

Any examination(s) missed due to absence from a theory class must be made up within 48 hours upon return to campus or a grade of zero (0) will be assigned. The examination is to be scheduled by the PTA Student Services Officer and taken in the Learning Resource Center. In the case that a student is tardy and misses a quiz or an examination, the student must schedule to take the quiz or examination through the Student Services Officer after class and on the same day, or a grade of zero (0) will be assigned. Regardless of the score achieved on the makeup quiz or examination, the maximum grade that will be entered will be 75%.