Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team providing physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Individual treatment goals are designed to reduce pain, restore function, improve mobility, and prevent disability.
A physical therapist assistant associate’s degree requires five semesters of study, including three full-time clinical practicums. The PTA program prepares graduates to take a national examination for certification/licensure as a PTA.
The size of each entering class is limited so optimal clinical experiences and practical application situations can be maintained. Students are admitted into the program only during the fall semester and must progress through the program in the prescribed manner.
What to expect
As a PTA, you will:
- Provide physical therapy services under the direction of a physical therapist
- Treat patients in an ethical, safe, and effective manner
- Develop knowledge and skills in data collection
- Learn how to use equipment and conduct exercises associated with various physical therapy treatment modalities
- Modify selected interventions to progress patients to meet their individual goals
In order to accomplish these tasks, the major utilizes a combination of basic science and non-science course work coupled with courses specifically designed for the physical therapist assistant student.
You might like this major if...
You might like this major if you are interested in working with people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
PTAs work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to provide meaningful interventions, such as exercise, training for walking and other activities, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy.
More information about the Physical Therapist Assistant major
If you are interested in learning more about Penn State Shenango's PTA program or want to review the PTA Student Handbook, please schedule an appointment with Admissions or contact Admissions directly.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Shenango is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: [email protected]; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 724-983-2865 or email [email protected].
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The Pennsylvania State University is authorized to grant associate degrees, and the accreditation status granted by Middle States Commission on Higher Education includes such degrees. As detailed in the Statement of Accreditation Status, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education recognizes the U.S. Secretary of Education’s approval of the Commission Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education to accredit physical therapist assistant programs.
CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website.
Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.