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Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is designed to prepare students to perform as entry-level PTAs.

Most PTAs are drawn to this field because of their desire to work with people who need to regain their functional abilities. As a patient's rehabilitation advances, both the patient and the PTA are able to see the results of their hard work. These rewards are visible signs that a PTAs work is a valuable contribution to an individual's recovery and quality of life.

Under the supervision of a physical therapist, entry level PTAs provide rehabilitative care with simple or complex patients to optimize an individual's level of function after an injury or illness. The student is prepared to work as an entry-level PTA in a variety of clinical environments including outpatient facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and home health. The PTA Program includes two semesters of prerequisite course work followed by admission to the PTA Program for three semesters of technical and clinical physical therapy courses.

Successful completion of the PTA Program leads to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree, making the student eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination. The student must pass the NPTE to receive a license to practice in the state of Arkansas. Those students wishing to practice in other states should contact the state regulating board of physical therapy for that state to obtain their requirements.


NWACC PTA program has now partnered with UAMS PT program adding an exciting new dimension to physical therapy education. Now PT and PTA students will be in the same classroom in a collaborative effort to improve the working knowledge of the PT/PTA relationship. Students will then have the opportunity to attend clinical rotations side-by-side with those very PT students during in the UAMS OP clinic and Veterans Skilled Nursing Facility.
A career as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is rated by the US Department of Labor as one of the fastest growing professions in the country.

The PTA program at NWACC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE).

The NWACC PTA Program has an impressive 100% pass rate for graduates taking the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE) from 1999 to 2017.



National Exam Scores - 800 is perfect 713 669
Pass rates for National Exam 100% 93%

ATTENTION: Students planning to apply to the PTA Program please note the following requirement. Physician Certification of the applicants ability to perform the PTA Essential Functions and Physical Demands will be required in the PTA program Application, please contact the PTA Program Director at 479.619.4253 or


If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Sammi Beckmann at 479-619-4253 or email The Physical Therapists Assistant Program at Northwest Arkansas Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:


For concerns on the content of the website or the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, students, faculty, or staff please contact Sammi Beckman, PTA Program Director by email or phone 479-619-4253. In situations where you do not feel comfortable making an internal report, you may choose to use the College's confidential, third party reporting provider, EthicsPoint. The information you provide will be sent to us by EthicsPoint for our Ethics Committee to review. You can remain anonymous if you choose. You have our guarantee that your comments will be heard.


Program complaints can also be sent to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email: website: