PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT (PTA)


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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT
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Physical Therapy Assistant Degree Program

What Is Physical Therapy Assisting?

Physical therapy is a branch of health care that addresses illnesses or injuries that inhibit a person’s ability to perform functional activities. This is done by assessing a patient’s history and movement, and then establishing a management plan that includes exercises, manual therapy and manipulation, and mechanical devices.

Physical Therapist Assistants (also referred to as PTAs) work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to contribute to overall patient care and are the only other members of the health care community who are qualified and licensed to provide physical therapy services.

This position is not to be confused with physical therapist aides, who are also supervised by physical therapists but cannot work directly with patients and are more focused on cleaning treatment areas and equipment and taking care of scheduling and administration.

Physical therapist assistants perform tasks like observing patients before, during, and after therapy; helping patients with specific exercises as prescribed by the supervising therapist; using assistive devices and equipment; discussing specifics of the treatment plan with patients and family members; and utilizing therapeutic interventions like massage, stretching, and gait and balance training. They also have to ensure that they record patient performance and progress and report to the physical therapist to ensure that the treatment is effective.

How Do You Become a Physical Therapist Assistant?

All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified, and that starts with earning an associate degree from a qualified, accredited school like Casa Loma College.

If you are interested in enrolling in a physical therapist assistant program, you will want to make sure it’s approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, and ideally, it will also prepare you to pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant (NPTA) examination, a key certification that you will need in the job market.

At Casa Loma, we also ensure that graduates of our Physical Therapist Assistant program have a clear understanding of the PTA role that is consistent with both the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which they practice and the American Physical Therapy Association’s Guide for the Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Casa Loma College offers a blended program with onsite and online classes to help you fit your program into your busy schedule.

 CIP CodeCreditsMonthsInstructional WeeksAwardTerms
Physical Therapist Assistant *51.080673.5 semester17.5 months75 weeksA.A.S. Degree5 semesters

 

How Much Does a Physical Therapist Assistant Make?

In California:

  • Workers on average earn $72,890.
  • 10% of workers earn $42,740 or less.
  • 10% of workers earn $94,260 or more.

In the United States:

  • Workers on average earn $59,770.
  • 10% of workers earn $33,840 or less.
  • 10% of workers earn $82,470 or more

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics  

What Will You Learn in Physical Therapist Assistant Classes?

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant at Casa Loma is a five-semester blended learning program that combines classroom work with in-person, hands-on training in both labs and clinical practicums. Our PTA faculty are all currently licensed professionals, up to date on all their competencies and requirements, focused on making sure they deliver the most up-to-date education utilizing the latest teaching tools and techniques.

Our physical therapist assistant courses cover topics like:

  • Medical terminology
  • PTA techniques
  • Pathophysiology
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Clinical biomechanics for the upper and lower extremities
  • Cardiopulmonary path and intervention
  • Lifespan development
  • PT for special populations
  • Physical therapy modalities

What is the Job Outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physical Therapist Assistant is listed as a Bright Outlook career.  Bright Outlook careers are expected to rapidly in the next several years, or will have large numbers of job openings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow 33 percent through 2029. That’s over four times the average for all occupations. Most of these will probably be employed at private offices and state, local, or private hospitals.

With the large baby boomer generation aging, the demand for health care services — including the need to be able to diagnose conditions such as heart disease and liver disease — is increasing. This means that Physical Therapist Assistants are on track to remain very in-demand.

 Employment (2018)Projected Employment (2028)Projected Growth (2018-2028)Projected annual Job Openings (2018-2028)
California5,900 employees7,600 employees29%1,010
 Employment (2019)Projected Employment (2029)Projected Growth (2019-2029)Projected annual job openings (2019-2029)
United States98,700130,90033% (much faster than average)15,100

California source: Projections Central 2018-2028 long-term projections . United States source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019-2029 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period. “Projected annual job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

 

Get Started With a Physical Therapist Assistant Program

If you’re interested in playing a key role in the long-term health and care of your community, Casa Loma College can prepare you to get started in one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand career paths with our Associate of Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. In under two years, you could be trained and ready to apply for a state license and seek employment in a wide variety of health care organizations and facilities.

At Casa Loma, you’re part of a school focused on community and the individual needs of our students. In addition to our comprehensive curricula and experienced faculty, we support you with financial aid assistance, career placement, job search resources, and more. Get started on a path to a physical therapist assistant career by contacting us today to learn more.

WHO IS CASA LOMA COLLEGE?

Casa Loma College is a non-profit college serving the professional health care community of Los Angeles, California since 1966. The college offers accelerated hybrid programs to help you earn a degree in less than two years.

IS CASA LOMA COLLEGE ACCREDITED?

Yes! Casa Loma is committed to providing quality education that prepares you to pursue a new career. We are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools as well as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE).

Casa Loma College offers academic programs under Title 38, United States Code, to enroll veterans and other eligible persons who qualify for educational benefits, and The United States Department of Education has approved Casa Loma College to offer Title IV Financial Aid assistance to students.

For more information, visit our accreditation page. 

CAPTE Standards Outcome Data

Definitions per the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE):1Graduation Rate: The percentage of students who are matriculated in the first technical course in the program after the add/drop period and who complete the program.2Licensure Pass Rate: The percentage of students who take and successfully pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE). Rates are considered to be stabilized one year after graduation.3Employment Rate: The percentage of graduates who sought employment that were employed (full-time or part time) as a physical therapist assistant within 1 year after graduation.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Casa Loma College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly please call (818) 785-2726 x225 or email ptainfo@casalomacollege.edu

File a Complaint with CAPTE, CAPTE considers complaints about accredited programs and about CAPTE itself. Find out how to File a Complaint with CAPTE.

Public Comment Policy Casa Loma College is committed to responding to all complaints promptly and constructively to ensure high standards and the continuous improvement of College services. Every complaint will be taken seriously and viewed positively as an opportunity to receive constructive feedback so that improvements may be made. The College may receive complaints from members of the public, clinical affiliation sites, colleagues, off-campus locations, externship and internship sites .If the complaint involves a student or clinical site, the complaint will be directed to the specific Program Director. The Campus Director responds to complaints from other sources.

CohortAcceptance
Rate
Graduation Rate1National Exam First Time Pass RateNational Exam
Ultimate Pass Rate2
Employment Rate3
201283%81%67%83%100%
201380%87%69%100%100%
201475%93%60%93%100%
201574%89%94%100%100%
201627%90%84%95%100%
201741%90%94%100%100%
201828%100%81%95%100%
201966%81%81%88%100%
2020-192%TBDTBDTBDTBD
2020-248%TBDTBDTBDTBD

Current National Physical Therapist Assistant 2-year Pass Rate is 92.3%

 

1Graduation Rate: The percentage of students who are matriculated in the first technical course in the program after the add/drop period and who complete the program.  Does not include students who leave the program for other than academic or administrative dismissal (illness, relocation, etc.

2Pass Rate:  The percentage of graduates who take and successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Rates are considered to be stabilized one year after graduation.

3Employment Rate:  The percentage of graduates who sought employment that were employed (full-time or part-time) as a physical therapist assistant within 1 year following graduation.

FINANCIAL AID

For those who are eligible, financial aid is an excellent tool to help reduce the out-of-pocket costs to attend college. Casa Loma College has a committed team of financial aid professionals on call to help students and parents navigate the process.

Casa Loma College participates in many programs to help reduce the cost of college, including:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS)
  • CSAC Cal Grant

To learn more about the financial aid process, and what you may be eligible, please refer to our financial aid page.

Veteran’s Benefits

In addition, for those who qualify, Casa Loma College is approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) to offer academic programs under Title 38, United States Code, to enroll veterans and other eligible persons who qualify for educational benefits.

For a full list of benefits, and to learn more, please visit our Veteran’s Benefits page.

Filing a Complaint
A person or organization desiring to file a complaint must satisfy the following criteria:
  1. The compliant must disclose the existence of a grievance against the College.
  2. The complainant must have attempted to resolve the grievance with the College prior to filing the complaint. The complainant must indicate in a written report that a serious effort was made to resolve the grievance before filing the complaint.
  3. The complaint must disclose the existence of a grievance against the College and must further indicate that the College dealt with the situation giving rise to the grievance in a manner that draws into substantial question the College’s integrity and compliance with state agencies and accrediting agency criteria.
  4. The complaint must be properly documented and provide supporting evidence or documentation, if applicable.
  5. The complaint must be submitted in a timely manner (within 30 days of situation).
When a complaint has been received against the College, the Campus Director (from appropriate campus) will acknowledge receipt of the form in writing to the complainant within five (5) business days. The complainant must complete all applicable sections of the Complaint Form for the complaint to be reviewed. The following procedures will take place once a formal complaint has been received.
In order for the Campus Director to investigate the complaint, it is necessary to share the grievance with the appropriate employee/student of the college and obtain the involved employee/student response.
Additional information may be requested by the Campus Director if insufficient documentation is submitted.
Upon conclusion the investigation, both parties will be provided with a written copy of the Campus Director’s decision.
If either party believes that the Campus Director’s investigation was incomplete or that the decision was unreasonable they can seek a review of the decision by the President of the College. The decision of the President is final. If either party believes that the Campus Director’s investigation was incomplete or that the decision was unreasonable they can seek a review of the decision by the President of the College. The decision of the President is final.
Records regarding complaints about the PTA Program are maintained by both the Campus Director and the PTA Program Director, or his or her designee for five (5) years.
 
Kathrina Almero-Fabros, Director Physical Therapy Assistant
Casa Loma College
6725 Kester Ave Van Nuys, CA 91405-4523