2016 Fall Physical Therapy Assistant Data Summary

2016 Fall Physical Therapy Assistant Data Summary








Data and Evidence Analysis Summary– 2016
Physical Therapist Assistant
Conducted by Doreen Olson, Adjunct Faculty and Program Development Coordinator, 7-27-2016

WTCS Comparative Data:
https://facultyresources.westerntc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2015-10-5241-Physical-TherapistAssistant-QRP-Associate-Degree-Evidence-Analysis-Report.pdf
Course Completion
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Western’s C or Better for Physical Therapist Assistant program ranged from 72% (2012) to 82.6%
(2015). When compared to the other two colleges selected as a comparison group, Western
ranks 3rd out of three. Western’s average is 76% for the reporting years 2011-2015. Chippewa
Valley Technical College consistently outranked Western and has the highest completion rate
ranging from 89.9% (2015) to 97.4% (2014) with an average of 93.6%. Northeast Wisconsin
ranks second with an average completion rate of 90.5% from 2011-2015.
Western’s number of students dropped from 144 (2011) to 127 (2014) then increased to 138 in
2015. Chippewa Valley and Northeast Wisconsin Technical Colleges reported a steady increase
of students during the 2011-2015 period. Chippewa Valley’s student numbers increased from
34 to 45 with Northeast increasing their numbers from 63 to 158.

Second Year Retention
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Western’s second year retention rate ranged from 43% (2011) to 58.5% in 2010.
When compared to the other three colleges, Western has the lowest second year retention
average over the six years of measurement (2011-2015). Western’s average is 47.3% which is
lower than Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s average of 65.7% and Chippewa Valley’s
average of 75.5%.
Western’s second year retention fluctuated 82 students – 93 students during the years 20102014. In 2015, a decline to 63 students was noted.

Western’s Third Year Graduation
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Western’s third year graduation decreased to 11.5% (2014) compared to 20.7% in 2011.
In comparison to the other two colleges, Western’s third-year graduation rate (average) of
15.4% is three out of three. Chippewa Valley Technical College’s average is 75.7% and Northeast
Wisconsin Technical College’s average is 54.4%.
Western’s data indicates 436 student enrolled in the program from 2011-2015 whereas
Chippewa Valley has 70 students and Northeast Wisconsin has 217 students during this same
time period. Northeast Wisconsin showed an increase from 46 students in 2014 to 81 students
in 2015.

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Labor Market Analysis October 2015
https://facultyresources.westerntc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2015-OCT-Physical-TherapistAssistant-Program-Trends.pdf
In an analysis of the Western District and occupations associated with the field of Physical Therapist
Assistant, the following points are noted:
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From 2016-2020, this occupation is expected to grow 11.4% in the Western district compared to
a national growth of 12.3%. District trends are anticipated to be less than the state trend of
14.2%.
Job distribution in the district by the year 2020 indicates a high concentration in La Crosse
County (65 jobs). It is anticipated Jackson County will have 12 jobs with the rest of the
surrounding counties to have positions which are less than 10. Data includes positons for
physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides.
This program’s employment pattern has a solid age distribution of individuals represented in
each age group. The 25-34 age group leads the employment field with 25.9%. The 35-44 and 4554 age groups both indicate 21.9% and 22.1% respectfully for 2015 jobs. The 55-64 and above
represents 12% of the employees. The 19-24 year old population rounds out the employment
pattern with 17.2%.
The majority of jobs in 2015 were housed within general medical and surgical hospitals (38.8%)
Following close behind are positions within the offices of physical, occupational, and speech
therapists at 27%. Jobs in nursing care facilities rank at 14%.
An analysis of the district’s Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) shows that there is two
educational program tagged to deliver graduates into the field, Physical Therapist
Technician/Assistant and Rehabilitation Aide. In 2014, there were 18 completers for five
openings. At a cursory glance, it appears that the field is oversaturated with graduates. In
review of the 2013-14 graduate summary, 11/17 graduates responded stating they obtained
seven positons in the field within six months of graduation. One graduate was employed in a
non-related occupation with two seeking employment. It would be beneficial for the program to
do a deeper analysis of the employment rates.
Earnings for graduates of this program range from $18.79 per hour to $25.29 per hour with the
median hourly wage of $21.95. This is above the national median wage of $20.60. The
reported wage may actually be higher if the physical therapist aide wages were not calculated in
with the physical therapist assistant hourly wage.

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Student Satisfaction Trends
The Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory was conducted in the fall of 2015. The instrument asks
students to rate the importance AND the satisfaction with 95 items (1-7 with 7 as highest) related to the
following “scales”:
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Instructional effectiveness
Academic advising/counseling
Concern for the individual
Registration effectiveness
Admissions and financial aid
Student centeredness
Campus climate
Academic services
Service excellence
Safety and security
Campus support services and responsiveness to diverse populations

In the program self-study process (data and evidence analysis work), programs are asked to identify
gaps between importance and satisfaction. Gaps are calculated as the difference between the
importance of an item and the satisfaction level. Gaps that are close to a “1” should be discussed and
explored – particularly if they are tied to items that are rated as high in importance for students.
This survey had fifteen students respond. A cursory glance at the “scale” level did not reveal any gaps in
in the various categories of the survey. The overall satisfaction with the experience at Western for the
Physical Therapist Assistant program was 6.07 as compared to 5.68 for all students responding to the
survey. The Physical Therapist Assistant students indicated that the experience thus far was better than
expected (5.57), whereas all students responding to this survey scored this at an average of 4.93.
A more detailed analysis was conducted at the “item” level. Items are associated with one or more
“scales” and provide additional insight into specific areas.
Items rated highest in importance for Physical Therapist Assistant students include several items that
scored a 7 (scale of 1-7 with 7 as very important):
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Item #2 – Faculty care about me as an individual. 6.79
Item #16 – College shows concern for students as individuals. 6.75
Item #30 – Career services provides students with help to get a job. 6.78

Items that indicated gaps of 1.00 and above may be topics of discussion for this program include:
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Item #24 – Parking lots are well-lighted and secure. (1.36)
Item #30 – Career services provides students with help to get a job. (1.11)
Item #39 – Student parking space on campus is adequate. (2.01)

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Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Trends
There were 14 responses to this survey.
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Instructors were listed as what students liked about the program in almost every comment.
They were described as great, knowledgeable, compassionate, amazing, caring, and wellprepared.

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In addition to the instructors, some positive comments were the structure, progression of
classes, hands on experiences, and class size.

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Of the 13 dislike comments, five referenced making the program go longer as there was too
much information in a short period of time.

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Two students commented they would like a pathology class.

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All five conclusion comments were that the student had a very positive experience at Western.

Graduate Follow-Up Trends
Year
Types of jobs obtained
Companies hiring Western
graduates

2012-13
PTA
Achieve Therapy Solutions, Sparta, WI
MJ Care, Milwaukee, WI
Moundview Memorial Hospital, Friendship, WI
Oakwood Village, Prairie Ridge, WI
Three Oaks Golden Living Center, Marshfield, WI
Trans4m Physical Therapy & Fitness, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Winneshiek Medical Center, Decorah, IA

Year
Types of jobs obtained
Companies hiring Western
graduates

2013-14
Physical Therapist Assistant
Achieve Therapy Solutions, Juneau, WI / Reedsburg, WI
Aegis Therapies, Humbird, WI
Divine Savior Healthcare, Portage, WI
Lake Winona Manor, Winona, MN
Linden Grove, New Berlin, WI
Vernon Memorial Healthcare, Viroqua, WI

Year
Types of jobs obtained
Companies hiring Western
graduates

2014-15
Physical Therapist Assistant
Aegis Therapies, Sauk City, WI / Tomah, WI
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Dadez Physical Therapy Inc., Richmond, WI
Golden Living Center, La Crescent, MN
North Texas Rehabilitation Center, Wichita Falls, TX
Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester, MN
RehabCare, Sheboygan, WI
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Therapy Network, Inc., La Crosse, WI / Winona, MN

Career Pathways Assessment
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Your program had four responses to the survey. Three were full-time faculty.
You also had one dean or associate dean complete.
Items that may be topics of discussion for this program include:
o There appears to be disagreement around the course sequencing area so this might be a
possible discussion area. Topics such as embedded and laddering credentials, multiple
entry points and reentry points, and flexible delivery formats are included in this area.
o There appears to be an opportunity to discuss faculty responsibilities in credit
agreements, collaboration with high school teachers to maintain college level standards,
and extending Credit for Prior Learning to incoming students.
o Another opportunity for discussion might be internal partnerships with Business and
Industry Services, scholarship options with the Western Foundation, or opportunities to
work with the Career Services Office.
o Lastly, there seems to be some unknowns in the area of adjunct faculty. This might be
an area of discussion. Topics include use of technology to facilitate student learning,
employment of diverse or varied instructional strategies, communicating clear
classroom expectations, and employing instructional strategies that encourage skill and
knowledge development.

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