Physical Therapist Assistant Program | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Physical Therapist Assistant


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Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) increase patients' mobility and independence through therapeutic treatments that can decrease pain and discomfort, as well as increase strength and endurance. By participating in an NWACC's PTA program, you will develop the skills and knowledge to perform direct patient care, prepare for the state licensure exam, and begin your career as the support role to a physical therapist.

NWACC partners with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Physical Therapy (PT) program, so you'll be able to be in the same classroom with UAMS PT students and gain the working knowledge of the PT and PTA relationship. You will also be able to attend clinical rotations side-by-side with the same PT students. 

By successfully completing the PTA program, you will obtain an Associate of Applied Science Degree and will be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTE). You are required to pass the NPTE to receive a license to practice.

Program Options

Traditional PTA program courses are offered on the NWACC campus and during the daytime. The program runs for four full-time semesters and two part-time summer semesters. It consists of three semesters of technical and clinical coursework and requires evenings and weekends for studying and hands-on practice in order to be successful.

Hybrid PTA program courses are offered online and you will be required to come to the NWACC campus approximately every three to four weeks (depending on the semester) for a three-day intensive lab. The program runs for four full-time semesters and two part-time summer semesters. It consists of one semester of pre-requisite courses, followed by another semester of technical and general education courses, and then three semesters of technical and clinical coursework. The program offers flexible hours for coursework but requires evenings and weekends for studying in order to be successful.

  • The hybrid PTA program is designed for those who do not live in Northwest Arkansas and require a flexible schedule while living, completing clinical internships, and working in their hometowns. Students who reside further from NWACC will receive points during the application process. The program also allows students to increase work hours slightly over that of the traditional student, if necessary.

Both traditional and hybrid programs contain the same requirements for service learning, didactic and clinical skills, testing procedures and clinical internship hours.

 

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at NWACC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Learn more below.

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

If needing to contact the program directly, please call Sammi Beckmann at 479-619-4253 or sbeckmann1@nwacc.edu

The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following: 

CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or 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 at www.fsbpt.org.