Physical Therapist Assistant

Are you a caring individual with strong communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills? Then consider the rewarding field of Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA).

PTAs use academic training, clinical education, critical thinking and problem solving skills to implement and adjust therapeutic interventions based on a plan of care developed by the physical therapist. This program will teach you the communication skills for patient and family interactions, the proper documentation of patient care, and techniques to interact with members of the health care team.

Working under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist, physical therapist assistants work in a variety of physical therapy settings. Employment opportunities are excellent. Opportunities for continuing education are also available.

View our program:

What professional qualifications does this program provide?

Our program provides you with academic, technical, and clinical opportunities and experiences, so that upon graduation, you will be:

  • Employed as competent PTAs; and
  • Knowledgeable, active, and responsible members of the physical therapy community, the healthcare community, and the community at large.

Students who successfully complete the program graduate with an Associate Degree in Applied Science and are eligible to apply for a state license, and take the licensure exam. The application for licensure also includes a criminal background check.

What are the physical requirements for the program?

Physical therapist assistant is a physically demanding occupation. You will spend most of the day on your feet and will be lifting and moving patients/clients as well as equipment. Walking requirements vary depending on the setting, but usually involve walking throughout a facility treating patients.

The physical therapist assistant program itself also involves lifting and moving people and equipment. Students will learn by doing and by practicing on fellow students. All students are required to read and sign a statement of physical abilities, declaring that they have the physical and cognitive abilities necessary to be successful in the program and in the workplace.

How is the program structured?

This is a full-time program designed to take 2 years to complete. Since PTA program classes must be taken in sequence, the program takes the full 2 years, even for students who have completed all of my general education courses.

Students will not be excused from classes or clinical experiences for work. The clinical education experiences are for full days. The student will be assigned to a clinical instructor and will be on the site for the same hours that the clinical instructor works.

Faculty philosophy

Reflecting both WCC and program missions, the WCC PTA faculty believe that:

  • Meaningful learning is possible when both the faculty and student interact in an atmosphere of mutual respect, commitment to excellence, and recognition of the legal and ethical responsibilities of members of the health care team.
  • Learning is a lifelong process and includes personal and professional development, self-assessment, reflection, and feed-back as well as service to the profession and community. Our responsibility to PTA education does not end with graduation. We encourage continued faculty and graduate development.
  • The development of innovative, appropriate and challenging learning experiences is the responsibility of the faculty.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Washtenaw Community College 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: [email protected];
If needing to contact the program directly, please call 734-477-8775 or email
[email protected].

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