The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is a two year program that prepares students to work under the supervision of a physical therapist as a PTA in a variety of rehabilitation settings.
Students who are accepted into the program start PTA courses in the fall semester. The first year is two semesters and one summer session (six weeks). The first clinical experience is performed during that first summer session. The second year is two semesters in length. Graduation is in May. An Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded upon successful completion of the program, which consists of 47 credits of technical courses and 22 credits (including four biology prerequisite credits) of general education courses. In addition to class work in psychology, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, composition, speech communications, neuroanatomy and physiology, modalities and kinesiology for physical therapy, and advanced physical therapy techniques, students gain hands-on experience through three clinical practice courses at three different health care facilities.
Specific PTA program admission requirements are available upon request or at [need updated link] . Applications are accepted January 1st - January 31st for the following fall semester start date. All applications are reviewed by the registrar's office and the PTA faculty. An orientation session is held in April for the 32 students who have been accepted. Once students are accepted, they must complete eight observation hours in two different physical therapy clinical settings (4 hours each setting) before PTA classes begin in the fall.
Facilities and Labs
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is located in the Visual Arts Building. The lecture and lab rooms all have internet access, projectors and seating for 32 students. The labs have up-to-date therapy equipment including modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, combination units, spinal traction, and various heating and cooling agents. There is also a wide variety of exercise equipment and assistive devices. Students also go to the Health and Wellness Center for specific labs.
Eighty-six percent of admitted students graduate from the Anoka-Ramsey PTA Program (4-year average from 2011-2014). Upon successful completion of the PTA program, graduates must pass the National Physical Therapy Licensing Exam (NPTE). The types of setting that a PTA can work in under the supervision of a physical therapist are hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home care therapy, and the school system. Areas of specialty in physical therapy are orthopedics, neurological rehab, pediatrics, geriatrics, pool therapy, manual therapy and sports rehabilitation.
One hundred percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates who returned the graduate surveys were working in a PT setting within six months of graduation. For the class of 2012, 85% of graduates were employed 6 months after taking the licensing exam based on student reporting through email. Ultimate pass rate of the NPTE from 2012-2014 is 98.6%, with an average first time mean score of 674.89. A total of 80 graduates from those three cohorts have taken the exam. For 2012 the ultimate pass rate was 100%, with all 27 students taking the exam. In 2013 the ultimate pass rate is 96% with all students taking the exam and 24 out of 25 students passing. In 2014 the ultimate pass rate is 100%, 27 out of 28 students passed on the first attempt and one student passed on their second attempt.