BCC's Physical Therapist Assistant Students Score Above National Average

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced that students who enroll in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program enjoy a higher graduation rate and pass the national licensure exam at a higher rate than the national average.
The two-year outcome rates for 2019–2021, representing the classes of 2019 and 2021, are as follows:
  • Class of 2019: Graduation rate 73.7 percent; first-time licensure examination pass rate 85.7 percent; ultimate licensure examination pass rate 100 percent.
  • Class of 2021: Graduation rate: 75 percent; first-time licensure examination pass rate 100 percent; ultimate licensure examination pass rate 100 percent.
The Class of 2019 also enjoyed a 100 percent employment rate. (The Class of 2021 data is incomplete, though all graduates who have sought employment have been successful as of Oct. 1, 2021).
According to the Commission on Accreditation of PT Education (CAPTE), in 2019, the national graduation rate for physical therapy assistants was 85.6 percent; the first-time national test pass rate was 84.2 percent; the overall test pass rate was 94.2 percent; and the employment rate was 96 percent.
"I am so proud of our PTA graduates, not just this year but every year," said Michele Darroch, Coordinator, Physical Therapist Assistant Program. "Their pass rate on the national exams is consistently higher than the national average. I really think this is a reflection on not only the students and their determination, but also on the quality of education and support that BCC provides."
Along with 33 other schools, the BCC PTA program currently has a 100 percent pass rate on the national exams. 
"If BCC is compared nationally, our first-time pass scores have been higher than the national average since 1992," Darroch said. 
She further explained that the 2021 mean scale score on the national exam for BCC students was 692.4/800 with a standard deviation of 13.7, compared to the national mean scale score of 648.5/800 with a standard deviation of 59.1.
Physical therapist assistants work in diverse settings including hospitals, private PT practices, community health agencies, schools, pediatric facilities, nursing homes, industrial or corporate health facilities and rehabilitation centers. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Berkshire Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

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State Launches Commission on Clean Heat

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the members of Massachusetts' first-in-the-nation Commission on Clean Heat were sworn in, helping to advance the Commonwealth's ambitious goals to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in the buildings sector. 
The Commission, which was created via Executive Order 596, held its first meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, and over the next year will advise the Administration as it works to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The Commission membership, representing a wide range of backgrounds and expertise including affordable housing, energy efficient building design and construction, health care and real estate, will identify policies and strategies and recommend a framework to achieve emissions reductions that is well-balanced, affordable, and equitable.
"This Commission brings together a diverse, experienced and thoughtful group of experts and stakeholders to help our Administration develop the policies and strategies we will need to meet the challenges associated with decarbonizing the buildings sector in Massachusetts," said Governor Charlie Baker. "The membership of the Commission on Clean Heat represents a variety of important perspectives that will be critical in the development of balanced, forward-thinking approaches to decarbonization that prioritize innovation, affordability, and equity as we make this transition."
Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides has appointed EEA Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions Judy Chang to serve as her designee and chair of the Commission, and its membership reflects a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds from outside stakeholders, including representatives from the fields of affordable housing, energy efficient building design and construction, healthcare, heating system design and technology, real estate, and heating fuel distribution.
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