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March 13, 2008
Due to limited space, increasing enrollment and new grant-supported initiatives, the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program and the Integrative Health and Healing (IHH) program are moving into a new 6,000 square-foot space at the corner of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Round Lake Boulevard during spring break.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s new space at the corner of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Round Lake Boulevard

Anoka-Ramsey Community College's new space at the corner of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Round Lake Boulevard - tentatively named Therapeutic and Holistic Health Center - will house the college's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and Integrative Health and Healing (IHH) programs beginning March 24. An open house will be held in late-summer to showcase the programs and the space, which will include a physical therapy clinic.


The college has entered a five-year lease of a newly constructed, off-campus facility to accommodate the two academic programs. To make the best use of the space, tentatively named the Therapeutic and Holistic Health Center by Anoka-Ramsey, the PTA program will offer daytime courses while the IHH offers evening courses. Beginning fall 2008, the PTA program will also operate a physical therapy clinic. The space will be available for community groups to rent when classes are not in session.

This location, referred to as the Medical Port by Coon Rapids city officials, was chosen for its close proximity to Mercy Hospital and several other health-related clinics/offices. The newly leased space has store-front facade to add attention to the facility.

The vacated space at the Coon Rapids Campus will be remodeled and occupied by TRIO's Veterans' Upward Bound as well as providing advising and tutoring space for students served by the Access and Opportunity grant.

Plans for a public open house prior to the start of the fall semester are in the works.

More About Physical Therapist Assistant Program
In response to a request from Anoka Technical College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College began to offer the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program in 2000. Prior to this transferring to Anoka-Ramsey, the program was experiencing poor enrollment. Currently, the program serves more than 50 students, which represents 90 percent of capacity. Due to inadequate facilities, the program has been unable to increase enrollments beyond the current numbers. The new facility provides the potential to add students in both the first and second years of the program.

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) nationally accredits the program. Each of the college’s PTA faculty holds a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and offers years of experience in the industry in a variety of patient care settings.

As part of the two-year PTA program, students participate in laboratory classes that provide hands-on application of therapy techniques and equipment use. There is a total of 16-weeks of clinical internships in three different physical therapy settings-one six-week clinical and two five-week internships. With the space for a clinic afforded by the new facility, students will have the opportunity to directly serve numerous individuals under the supervision of the talented faculty. They will also be better prepared for their clinical internships.

Physical Therapist Assistant graduates assist physical therapists to assess and treat individuals using various physical therapy techniques, helping them regain functional independence. Physical Therapist Assistants are educated to perform treatments such as thermal modalities, therapeutic massage, electrical stimulation, manual therapy techniques, neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic exercise and gait training. Physical Therapist Assistants work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, schools and doing home care. Expected starting salary ranges from $29,000 to $38,000 depending on the work setting.

See additional information about Anoka-Ramsey's PTA program.

More About IHH Program
The emerging field of Integrative Health and Healing that has captured the interest of healthcare providers, practitioners and consumers prompted Anoka-Ramsey Community College to begin an Integrative Health and Healing program started in the fall of 2005. The program offers a variety of courses and programs designed for individuals and healthcare professionals who are interested in natural, holistic practices. Currently, the college offers two new degree programs in the field: an Associate in Science degree or credit Certificate program.

To date the program has drawn a broad mix of students, ranging from age 18 to more than 60, with backgrounds in nursing, healthcare, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pre-pharmacy, business, healers, and more.

"We have the only credit program in the discipline in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System," says program director, Sheila Judd. "And, Anoka-Ramsey is the only institution nationally to offer an associate in science degree in Integrative Health and Healing. We are poised to be a leader in the field."

Currently, Judd and her team are developing other IHH-related certificates. For more information, contact Sheila Judd at 763-433-1402.