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Physical Therapist Assistant
(PTA) Program

Ranked #1 Best Health Care Support Job for 2021 according to U.S. News & World Report

A Hands-on Career that Can Make a Difference

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs assist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. As the large baby-boomer generation ages, the need for these professionals will continue to expand.

A career as a physical therapist assistant could be right for you if you:

  • Enjoy being a coach, cheerleader and teacher - great PTAs instruct and encourage their patients/clients to achieve goals
  • Have the strength and agility required to work with physically disabled patients
  • Can clearly communicate and demonstrate specific instructions and directions
  • Have a passion for helping others in need

PTAs implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided, and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.

Classes Start October 4th

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Available at these campus locations:

Brookfield (Milwaukee), Wisconsin

At the Brookfield Campus, located just west of Milwaukee, our physical therapist assistant degree program begins once per year and we accept 27 students. For additional details please see Disclosures tab.

Orlando, Florida

Herzing's physical therapist assistant degree program at the Orlando Campus begins twice a year—January and July, and we accept 24 students each time without a waiting list. In order to become a PTA candidate, you will need to schedule an interview with the Admissions team by calling (407) 641-5227.

Herzing University is no longer enrolling students in the PTA program at the Minneapolis campus. 

Curriculum

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Curriculum

ProgramMonthsiCredits
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant2073
1. Average number of months for students to complete program
 

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

In Herzing’s well-recognized associate degree program, students gain a foundation in natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and humanities as well as specific career knowledge, skills, and capabilities. They also participate in planned clinical and laboratory experiences that provide a hands-on approach to classroom learning. Graduates are prepared to take the National Licensing Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs).  

Required Support Course

8.00 semester credit hour is required.

Required Courses

All courses, 45.00 semester credit hours, are required.

General Education Prerequisites

The following general education prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C (70%) or better for a student to be continued in the PTA program: Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology I Lab Anatomy and Physiology II and Anatomy and Physiology II Lab All other general education courses must be passed with a grade of D (60%) or better to be continued in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. A student who is dropped from the PTA program for failing to achieve the minimum grade specified in the general education courses, but who otherwise meets the academic standards of the University, may transfer to another Herzing degree program and/or may reapply to this program in a future cycle.

Required Courses in General Education

Students enrolled in this associate degree must complete a minimum of 18.00 semester credit hours in general education (◊includes 6.0 credit hours from Anatomy and Physiology listed in above required) distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of this catalog for Herzing University courses that would satisfy these requirements.* 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social or Behavioral Science 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics ◊Science Semester Credit Hours are satisfied through Anatomy and Physiology requirement listed above. * Transfer students may transfer courses that are within 1.00 semester credit hour of the courses listed above to meet these discipline requirements. Any resulting deficiency in the total of 24.00 semester credit hours required in general education may be made up with general education electives from any of the listed disciplines.

Personal and Professional Development Courses

2.00 semester credit hours are required.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Outcomes

Upon completion of their program, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate safe and effective technical skills during the provision of physical therapy within the scope of an entry-level physical therapy assistant.
  2. Assess a patient's response to treatment and contribute to the clinical decision making process following a plan of care developed by a physical therapist.
  3. Articulate effective and culturally inclusive communication to establish relationships with diverse patients and team members.
  4. Apply evidence-based physical therapy practice utilizing appropriate resources.
Careers

A high-demand occupation

Physical Therapist Assistants provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. Opportunities are best for physical therapist assistants who hold an associate degree and are licensed.

About 72% of physical therapist assistants work in the offices of other health practitioners and in hospitals. Physical therapists are expected to increasingly use assistants to reduce the cost of physical therapy services. Once a patient is evaluated and a treatment plan is designed by the licensed physical therapist, the PTA can provide many parts of the treatment, as approved by the therapist.

Physical Therapist Assistants may advance to administrative positions. These positions might include organizing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine.

Other assistants go on to teach in an accredited PTA academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community activities related to fitness, wellness and risk reduction.

Physical Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program

Work Environment

The hours and days that physical therapist assistants work vary with the facility. About 28% of all PTAs work part-time. Many outpatient physical therapy offices and clinics have evening and weekend hours, to coincide with patients’ personal schedules.

Physical therapist assistants need a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required in assisting patients with their treatment. In some cases, PTAs need to lift patients. Frequent kneeling, stooping, and standing for long periods also are part of the job.

What’s the difference between PTA and OTA?

There are a few key differences between PTA vs. OTA: the types of movement they deal with, the types of tasks they complete, types of patients they see and skills needed to succeed. No matter which career you choose, your goal is to help patients regain mastery over movement.

Advancement Opportunities

Physical therapist assistants may advance to administration positions. These positions might include managing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine. Experienced assistants can also go on to teach in an accredited academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community-run fitness and risk reduction activity programs.

Locations

Program Finder

Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Programs

Showing 1 program for the Online campus

On Campus| Online

This associate of science in physical therapist assistant program prepares students to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE) and be eligible for licensure/certification as a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. Students are provided a foundation of general education, including courses in English, Science, Mathematics and Humanities, as well as the technical education for the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to work in a healthcare environment as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Theoretical instruction is complemented with clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings in order to provide a broad, holistic, and reality-based understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a professional physical therapist assistant. Students will participate in planned clinical and laboratory experiences that will complement classroom learning and will stress health promotion as well as rehabilitation of the disease process across the lifespan.

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Accreditations

Accreditations & Disclosures

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Physical Therapist Assistants must complete academic and clinical education programs and pass the national licensure examination in order to be eligible to obtain licensure in most states. 

Herzing University is no longer enrolling students in the PTA program at the Minneapolis campus.

Brookfield Physical Therapist Assistant Program

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at the Brookfield, Wisconsin Campus of Herzing University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.orgIf needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Jeff Sischo, Program Chair, at (262) 649-1710 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Summary of Herzing University - Brookfield, Wisconsin Campus PTA Student Outcomes

 Two-Year Average

2019-2020 Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 150% of the time)

79.9%

2018-2019 Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percentage of graduates passing national board exam – first-time / all-time)

100% / 91.3%

2018-2019 Employment Rate (percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed as PTAs within one year of graduation)

91.5%

Orlando Physical Therapist Assistant Program

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at the Orlando, Florida Campus of Herzing University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Amy Vernon, Program Chair, at (407) 478-0500 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Summary of Herzing University - Orlando, Florida Campus PTA Student Outcomes

 

Two-Year Average

2019-2020 Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 150% of the time)

84.3%

2018-2019 Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percentage of graduates passing national board exam – first-time / all-time)

85.5% / 95.83%

2018-2019 Employment Rate (percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed as PTAs within one year of graduation)

95.5%

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

View Program Course Sheet

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