Physical Therapist Assistant - Learn More

Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate of Applied Science

Credits Required for Graduation: 70.00

Learn More About This Program

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

The PTA program consists of taking 70 credits over 5 semesters (including summer). Courses typically involve both a lecture and laboratory component.

Throughout the curriculum, students will be spending time working with patients at various clinical sites located around the area. The clinical sites are located both locally and in various areas around the state.

The PTA program is considered to be rigorous, challenging and demanding. The rigors of the program are a small price to pay as the program is the gateway to a very rewarding profession.

Important Documents

Program Head

Shari Berry

Professional Organizations

American Physical Therapy Association
Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the career for you?

Deciding on a future career is a big that should be made after careful consideration of many factors. It might be helpful to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you have a general idea of what physical therapy involves?
  • Do you enjoy science related classes?
  • Do you enjoy working closely with people?
  • Do you have the social skills and patience to work closely with people?
  • Do you handle responsibility well?
  • Can you take directions and carry out the task accurately and efficiently?
  • Do you have the time, finances and motivation to complete the program?
  • Is this compatible with your other needs and responsibilities? (family, etc.)

If you answer no to any question, you may still do very well in the program but should pursue further resources to assist you in your decision. (Western counselors, program faculty, family, etc) A PTA Program Counselor is available to assist you with the process. They can be reached at 608.785.9553.

What is a PTA and what do they do?

The PTA works under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. They assist in managing conditions such as; back and neck injuries, sprains and strains, fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, birth defects, injuries related to work and sports, and others.

What is the job market and pay like?

In general the job market is on the upswing! Locally the job opportunities are limited, (within 45 miles of Western Technical College) but there are various job openings located throughout the state and nation. The most recent job placement information from PTA class of 2005.

How can I prepare myself for the program?

It is highly recommended that prospective students job shadow (spend time with a local PTA on the job site) to help them identify with the role of the PTA in the health care field. Job shadow opportunities can be arranged by the student or a complete list of job shadow contacts is available from the PTA Program Student Services Advisor, Sandy Peterson

Students are entered into the program only once each year, in the fall semester. There are typically 20-50 students on the waiting list to enter the program. While waiting to enter the program students are strongly encouraged to complete as many electives and General Studies classes (including Anatomy and Physiology) as possible. The program waiting list is also managed by our Student Services Advisor.

Essential Functions:

Essential functions have been identified for each program. These essential functions specify the physical, environmental, and cognitive/mental requirements that students may be expected to perform to complete the program. To obtain a detailed list of these functions, or inquire about accommodations for a documented disability, please contact Kristina Stellpflug, Instructional Support Services at 608.785.9875, or . Students applying for admission to a program will be mailed a copy of the program's essential functions.