Physical Therapist Assistant Degree PTA Program

Overview

Ranked #4 Best Health Care Support Job for 2018 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. Learn about other qualities successful physical therapist assistants have on our blog. 

Classes start January 7.
Learn more today!

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Physical Therapist Assistant Program available at these campus locations:

Brookfield (Milwaukee), WI

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, FL

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 attend a PTA Information Session, where you will learn about the program and admissions process. The information session will last approximately 1.5 hrs. Please call (407) 641-5227 to reserve your seat at the next PTA Information Session.

Minneapolis, MN

 

Careers

Career Paths

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.

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.

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.

Ready to take the Next Step?

Apply onlinerequest information or call 1-800-596-0724 to learn more about Herzing's physical therapist assistant program!

Curriculum

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Curriculum

ProgramCreditsMonths*
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant7320
*Average number of months for students to complete program

For Herzing University program accreditation information, please view the Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals.

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 Courses

All courses, 45.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Support Course

8.00 semester credit hour is 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's program must complete a minimum of 18.00 semester credit hours in general education distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of the catalog for Herzing University courses that would satisfy these requirements. * 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 6.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities** (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Science***  3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social and Behavioral Sciences * 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. ** 3.0 credits of this requirement is being met by the programmatic science course requirements. *** This requirement is being met by the programmatic science course requirements.

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.
Kim DeChant, PT, DPT, NCS PTA Department Chair

Meet our Faculty

Kim DeChant, PT, DPT, NCS PTA Department ChairMilwaukee/Brookfield

I teach a variety of courses within the PTA program and love building relationships with students to foster an enthusiasm for learning.  At Herzing, we're able to take advantage of smaller class sizes to give more one on one attention and develop important lifelong learning principles. I'm proud to be a part of Herzing  University's committment to assist students to not only learn course and program content but to be assets to the workplace and communities they serve.

Fun fact about me: I'm on a mission to visit all 50 states! 36 done!

 

Program Finder

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Disclosures

Physical Therapy 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.

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), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (262) 649-1710 or email pta@herzing.edu.

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

 

Class of 2017

Class of 2018                

Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 100% of the time)

71.4%

78.6%

Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percent of graduates passing national board exam)

100%

100%

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

100%

TBD

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), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (407) 478-0500 or email pta@herzing.edu.

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

 

Class of
2016

Class of
2017

Class of
2018

Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 100% of the time)

79.6%

79.5%

73%

Licensure Exam Pass Rate (percentage of graduates passing national board exam)

91.2%

94.9%

TBD

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

100%

97%

TBD

Minneapolis Physical Therapist Assistant  Program

Effective October 31, 2018, the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University's Minneapolis Campus has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org).  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (763) 535-3000 or email pta@herzing.edu.

Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

Herzing University has a contingency plan in place should the PTA program not receive Accreditation from CAPTE. Students who are enrolled in the PTA program will be notified if an adverse decision on accreditation is received. Upon adverse notification, efforts to enroll new students will be halted from entry into the PTA program until accreditation can be achieved. Students enrolled in the PTA program will be offered the following options: 1) remain in the PTA program until a final decision regarding the PTA program accreditation status is received from CAPTE, 2) granted academic and financial credit into a program of their choice at Herzing (e.g., OTA or other), 3) offered assistance transferring to another accredited PTA program, or 4) offered a tuition refund.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

View Program Course Sheet