Physical Therapist Assistant Program | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Physical Therapist Assistant Program

By participating in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at NWACC, 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.

What is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)?

A Physical Therapist Assistant increases patients' mobility and independence through therapeutic treatments that can decrease pain and discomfort, as well as increase strength and endurance. An assistant's therapy treatments are performed under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

About the PTA Program:

The traditional PTA Program at NWACC includes two semesters of prerequisite course work followed by admission into the PTA Program for three semesters of technical and clinical physical therapy courses. This program runs Monday to Friday approximately 8-5. Applications open on November 1st and must be submitted by March 1st.

NWACC recently received CAPTE approval to offer a hybrid expansion program which is slated to begin Spring of 2022. This program will allow students to take all coursework online and only come to campus once a month from Friday-Sunday 8-6 for the lab component. This program is designed to meet the needs of those students who do not live in NW Arkansas but wish to have high quality PTA education available with a flexible schedule all while remaining living, completing clinical internships, and working in their hometowns. Therefore, students who reside further from NWACC will receive points towards the application process. Applications open on June 1st and close November 1st.

By partnering with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Physical Therapy (PT) Program , PTA and PT students are placed in the same classroom in an effort to gain the working knowledge of the PT and PTA relationship. PTA students can also attend clinical rotations side-by-side with the same PT students. 

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


Get Started

Applications for the traditional program are available every year from November 1st through March 1st. Applications for the hybrid program are available every year from June 1st through November 1st.

Find Out How to Apply


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: and website: 

If needing to contact the program directly, please call Sammi Beckmann at 479-619-4253 or


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