Clinical Education Team

The Clarkson College PTA Program Clinical Education Team is comprised of the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and designated Course Coordinator/s who collectively manage and facilitate the PTA clinical education program for students and provide communication and outreach to extensions of clinical faculty including clinical agencies, Site Coordinator of Clinical Education (SCCEs) and Clinical Instructors (CIs).

Roles and Responsibilities

The primary role of the DCE includes serving as the primary contact between the Clarkson College PTA program and clinical agencies, establishing/updating clinical affiliation agreements, completing student clinical placements/matching, and ensuring all health and safety and additional onboarding requirements are completed and students are in compliance prior to attending clinical practicums, and serving as the Course Coordinator for, both, PTA 125 Clinical Practicum I and PTA 220 Clinical Practicum II.

PTA faculty serve as Course Coordinators whose roles and responsibilities include serving as the primary contact for SCCEs, CIs, and students while completing clinical experiences, scheduling and completing midterm site visits/calls, assisting with PTA CIET assessment, and final grading. All clinical agencies will receive electronic notification of who the Course Coordinator will be for any given clinical practicum prior to the student’s arrival.

The role and responsibility of the student during their clinical practicums is to observe the physical therapy environment, gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the various health care professionals involved, and provide high quality, safe, skilled and compassionate care to patients, including progression through a plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist and demonstrating critical thinking skills.

The student will be expected to demonstrate competency and thorough knowledge of the skills necessary to become a physical therapist assistant. The student is expected to adhere to each clinical site’s departmental policies as provided during their orientation. Appropriate legal, ethical and professional behavior is expected of the student at all times. The role of the student includes maintaining professional demeanor at all times, asking appropriate questions, accepting feedback, using feedback for development, and setting and achieving objectives. Students will be expected to seek learning opportunities, provide patient care as directed by clinical instructors and complete necessary documentation as directed by clinical instructor.

The SCCE is an employee of the clinical site whose responsibility is to serve as the liaison between their employer and the Clarkson College PTA program in establishing and maintaining a student clinical education program. The SCCE may oversee the scheduling of students in several sites, assign clinical instructor/s to students or serve as a CI themselves. The SCCE acts as the CI’s first contact in the conduct of a student’s clinical experience. The SCCE may also serve as a resource to a student if a circumstance arises that the student feels they cannot discuss with their CI, or if a situation has not been satisfactorily addressed by the CI. The SCCE and ACCE, in conjunction with the designated Course Coordinators, work together in the delivery of the student clinical education program.

The Clinical Instructor (CI) can be a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant working under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist who has assumed the responsibility of providing on-site instruction, guidance and supervision of a student physical therapist assistant. CIs must meet standards and criteria set by the SCCE and DCE and be willing to provide guidance and supervision to a student. CIs coordinate activities with the SCCE and provide feedback relevant to the student’s progress to the student and DCE and/or Course Coordinator/s. The CI role includes demonstrating and assisting in patient treatments, providing appropriate supervision for the student, ensuring patient safety, providing frequent feedback to the student, evaluating student’s performance and discussing the student evaluation to promote student improvement in their performance. The CI is responsible for completing the student clinical assessment tool provided by the PTA program.

Clinical Instructor Qualifications

The minimum qualifications to serve as a clinical instructor for Clarkson College PTA students are as follows:

  • At least one year of clinical practice as a licensed PT or PTA
  • Completion of PTA CIET training for PTAs (only needs to be completed once)
  • Willingness to serve as a clinical educator and provide guidance and supervision to the student
  • Preferred certification in the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP)

Clinical Faculty Privileges and Benefits

The rights and privileges of the clinical faculty are non-discriminatory and commensurate with other similar appointments within the College. Clinical faculty have access to many different services, resources and benefits offered at Clarkson College such as:

  • CEU certificate for clinical education hours (acceptance/approval of CEUs is dependent on individual state practice acts)
  • Continuing education courses offered/hosted by Clarkson College
  • Certified Clinical Instructor Program training
  • Access to Library services, resources, databases, and PT/allied health journals. Click here to visit the PTA Clinical Instructor Library page to login or request access.
  • Clinical Education Newsletter
  • Job postings: employers are able to post any job openings, free of charge, to our Job Submission webpage

Clinical faculty will be notified via mail when CEU opportunities are available.


For additional information regarding the clinical education program in the PTA curriculum including questions, comments or suggestions, or to learn more about becoming part of our clinical education team, please contact:

Karen Abboud, PTA, MHA, CLT
Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Education
PH 402.552.6096
FX 402.552.6019

Clarkson College PTA Program
101 S. 42 St
Omaha, NE 68131-2739