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Professional Development Plan
Activity Objective: to assist the student in developing an approximate FIVE-year professional
growth and/or development plan as an entry-level physical therapist assistant, after successfully
graduating from an accredited program and obtaining licensure.
[Take note, studying and passing the licensure exams cannot be a step included towards meeting
any of your goals. This achievement is implied already in your professional development.]
1. List at least THREE professional development goals that you plan to attain within five
years of clinical practice. (You have an option to develop 1-2 goals for a long-term
timeline of 10 years if desired.)
a. Feel free to develop more than the minimum three; this activity is meant to be
designed by you and is expected to evolve once you are a practicing clinician.
b. Examples of possible goals for professional development:
• Clinical Leadership position- be specific: supervisor, clinic manager, etc
• Clinical Certification/Specialty- be specific
• Obtain a Post-professional degree (Bachelors, Masters, etc.)
1. Be specific: What degree? What line or track of study?
• Open a Private Practice (what type of setting? Patient population? Where?)
• Obtain leadership position in the professional organization (i.e., APTA, FPTA)
• Become involved in Academics (what role?)
2. For every goal listed (from Item #1), contain at least FOUR steps you would incorporate
into your plan as a means to help you achieve your goal within five years.
a. Think of the listed steps necessary to accomplish your goal as ‘short-term goals’
that will elevate you and position you closer to achieving your main goal.
b. Example (as discussed in class):
• Professional development goal 1: to be promoted to a position of
leadership as a clinical supervisor at an Orthopedics PT facility within five
years of clinical practice.
1. Focus my job market search for orthopedic PT facilities that allow
for clinical promotion or leadership for PTAs, and make my
interest in career mobility known from the beginning.
2. Inquire or participate in the facility’s discussions of operational
management (i.e., productivity, quality improvement, scheduling).
*This assignment is a personal opportunity to start to focus and target your career aspirations.
Take the time to think, develop, and research what plans/preparations are necessary to grow.*
Professional Development: Short Essay
Write a two-paragraph minimum essay addressing the following items:
1. Identifying the most valuable goal you developed (this is a personal choice), describe the
necessary steps you feel are required to achieve it in the timeframe chosen- either 5 or 10
years, as decided by you.
a. This is just an elaboration of Part 1 of your Professional Development
assignment. Full sentences (not bulleted or fragmented ideas) are an expectation
within this portion.
2. Describe what are the possible benefits or advantages that this goal, once achieved, can
result in for your future?
Required Elements: At least TWO resources or reference to support your statements
presented in the essay. For example, if you stated that one benefit from your goal is a
higher salary, then you can support this statement by searching the bureau of labor
statistics website (https://www.bls.gov/) for information on the actual average wage.
Note, when providing such reference provide the exact URL used in AMA format.
Rubric for Assignment
Above Average
Final Draft of
Prof Dev Plan
• At least 3
specific goals,
• At least 4 steps
per goal that
are congruent
to the main
Either one of the
• Goal(s) not
• Steps do not
correlate to
• Not enough
goals or steps
Short Essay• Effectively
• Only effective
answers both
answers one
Presents TWO
Presents ONE
Total Possible Points for Assignment
Below Average
Any of the
• Repetitive
• Incomprehensible
• Lack of
specificity as
• Ineffectively
‘answers’ itemsconfusing info
Presents NO
references at all

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