Characteristics, perceptions, and other factors influencing physical therapist assistant program directors in 2001.J Allied Health 2003; 32(2):92-105JA
Little is known about program directors in physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs. This study describes the characteristics of program directors in PTA programs, such as time spent on responsibilities, influences on decision making, perceptions of current working relationships, and satisfaction with decision making. Program directors of 153 (57.5%) accredited PTA programs responded to the survey. The self-reported data were generated by a mail survey developed by the investigator that included 32 demographic items and 58 Likert-scale items to meet the purpose of the study. The data suggest that PTA program directors have average to extremely good levels of satisfaction with their positions and spend more time on student-related and accreditation/long range planning activities than they do on other activities. Information on years of experience and types of degrees suggest that respondents have a great deal of physical therapy experience but much less experience in teaching and administration within community colleges. This information may be valuable for people who seek, or who are recruited for, PTA program director positions. It provides a foundational database for periodic studies of PTA program directors. As enrollments and new programs stabilize and as new program directors are appointed, their impact on physical therapy education and the profession must be reevaluated.