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Physical Therapist Assistant (APPTA)

Associate in Applied Science Degree


Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are skilled and licensed health care providers who work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. PTAs perform components of physical therapy plan of care developed by a supervising physical therapist. PTAs assist physical therapists in providing services that help improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent disabilities for people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related concerns. Duties of the PTA include assisting the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs, providing interventions, and communicating with the physical therapist and other members of the health care team regarding the client's response to treatment and interventions. Clients may include accident victims, individuals with disabling conditions, and those requiring instruction in health promotion and wellness activities. Upon successful completion of this program, the student will receive an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant and is eligible to apply for Michigan licensure and take the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).


Eastern Michigan University, BS degree;
Davenport University, BBA degree.

Copies can be obtained from the Counseling Office, a program advisor, or from the Curriculum and Assessment Office Web site: www.wccnet.edu/curriculum/articulation/levelone/colleges/.

Admissions Requirements

Washtenaw Community College uses a competitive admission process for high demand programs in health care. Each year, approximately 20 students are accepted to the program for a Fall semester start. There are multiple requirements that must be completed prior to submitting an application for admission. This is a full-time program; no part-time option is available. For detailed information regarding admission to this health care program, please visit our Health Care website at health.wccnet.edu.

Prerequisite and program requirements along with WCC's point system and scales are reviewed annually and subject to change. Students are expected to meet the prerequisite and program requirements of the catalog term for the semester in which they first begin the program. Details regarding WCC's Admission to High Demand Programs policy including priority levels are on WCC's Board of Trustees policy page: www.wccnet.edu/trustees/policies/2005/. Details regarding WCC's point scales that are used to calculate points are on WCC's Student Connection, Health and Second Tier Program, information page: www.wccnet.edu/studentconnection/admissions/health-second-program/ .

Requirements for application are:
1. Admission to WCC.
2. Completed and signed mandatory advising form.
3. Program prerequisite courses:
a. Academic Math Level 3 or MTH 160 or MTH 167 or MTH 169 or any Academic Math Level 4 or higher with a minimum grade of C/2.0.
b. HSC 101 with a minimum grade of C/2.0.
c. BIO 111 with a minimum grade of B-/2.7.
d. ENG 111 with a minimum grade of C/2.0
4. Minimum cumulative program prerequisite GPA of 2.8.
5. Minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.8.
6. Signed Abilities Statement (refer to the form in the admission packet). WCC reserves the right to request, before and during the program, that students successfully demonstrate specific physical and cognitive abilities related to the program.
7. 20 hours of observations in a physical therapy setting with a minimum of three (3) hours in at least three (3) different types of physical therapy settings (refer to the Clinical Observation form in the admission packet).
8. Residency verification.

Applying for Admission to the Program

A formal application and acceptance to the program is required. Application packets may be downloaded from WCC's Student Connection, Health and Second Tier Program, information page www.wccnet.edu/studentconnection/admissions/health-second-program/. Completed and signed applications must be submitted during the dates indicated on the application to the Health and Second Tier Admissions Office in the Student Connection, located on the second floor of the Student Center Building.

Requirement After Acceptance
Upon notification of acceptance to the program students must purchase an account from a college-designated vendor to obtain a criminal background check and to track their health records. The criminal background check must be submitted to the designated vendor before attending the first program mandatory orientation session. The health requirements must be completed within the dates provided in the acceptance letter and submitted to the designated vendor by the deadline provided in the acceptance letter. Complete WCC Ready for OnLine Learning (ROLL) and provide verification of successful completion.

Continuing Eligibility

1. Additional criminal background checks may be conducted at any time during the program. Students may be required to have drug testing as well as additional criminal background checks and/or fingerprinting prior to the start of a clinical sequence as requested by specific clinical facilities. Failure to receive an acceptable drug test and/or criminal background/fingerprinting check at any time, will result in dismissal from the program.
2. Students will be required to submit health records annually while in the program and must complete any other health requirements as designated by the clinical sites.
3. Students will be required to purchase special uniforms and supplies throughout the duration of the program.
4. Students are required to demonstrate that they have maintained competency in all skills taught throughout their progression through the program. Failure to demonstrate continued competency will result in dismissal from the program.
5. Students must have reliable transportation to clinical education sites which may require a commute of up to one hour.
6. All Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) courses and support courses to the program must be completed with a minimum grade of C/2.0.
7. Students who are dismissed from the program may not be eligible to reapply to the program.

Contact Information

Health Sciences
Allied Health Department
Patricia Hill
Kathleen Cook
Susan Travis
Karolyn Lehn


(Items marked in orange are available online.)
Major/Area Requirements
Class Title Minimum Credits
BIO 111 Anatomy and Physiology - Normal Structure and Function 5
ENG 111 Composition I 4
HSC 101 Healthcare Terminology 1
MTH 160 Basic Statistics * 4
Total 14
Semester 1 (Fall)
Class Title Minimum Credits
COM 101 or Fundamentals of Speaking *
COM 102 Interpersonal Communication * 3
HSC 147 Growth and Development * 3
PTA 100 Fundamentals of Physical Therapy 2
PTA 150 Therapeutic Procedures I 3
PTA 180 Clinical Kinesiology 4
Total 15
Semester 2 (Winter)
Class Title Minimum Credits
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology * 3
PTA 160 Therapeutic Procedures II 2
PTA 195 Introduction to Disease 2
PTA 200 Therapeutic Modalities 4
PTA 220 Therapeutic Exercise I 4
PTA 230 Clinical Education I 1
Total 16
Semester 3 (Fall)
Class Title Minimum Credits
PHL 244 Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care * 3
PTA 198 Soft Tissue Management 2
PTA 225 Therapeutic Exercise II 4
PTA 240 Clinical Education II 2
Total 11
Semester 4 (Winter)
Class Title Minimum Credits
PTA 250 Clinical Education III 5
PTA 280 Clinical Concepts 1
Total 6
Total Credits Required


*These courses may be taken before admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program. (It is strongly recommended that students complete the general education courses before entering the Physical Therapist Assistant program.) Students may transfer or substitute equivalent general education courses or a healthcare terminology course required for the Physical Therapist Assistant

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