Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

About Physical Therapist Assistant

Prepare for success in one of the fastest growing healthcare careers.

Demand for physical therapy services is increasing. The rigorous physical therapist assistant (PTA) associate degree program at California University of Pennsylvania trains you to assist a physical therapist (PT) in providing much-needed rehabilitation services that improve patients' quality of life.

This two-year undergraduate program prepares you for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and PTA licensure.

High expectations help you achieve more.

High expectations help you achieve more.

  • Our competitive program ensures top training. A maximum of 26 students will be admitted based upon GPA in the first-semester pre-technical courses. Additional benchmarks assure the rigor needed for success.
  • Clinical internships give you the experience you need to excel in your career.
  • Professors offer open lab hours to review physical therapy techniques and give one-to-one instruction.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT

Top Accreditation: Cal U's PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

In-Demand Career: Pennsylvania Workforce Development classifies PTA as a high-priority career. This means it is an in-demand job that requires top skills and provides family-sustaining wages.

Learn more about applying

90 %
In 2016-2017, 90% of Cal U PTA graduates passed the National Physical Therapy Examination and received PTA licensing.
94 %
Employment rates for the classes of 2016 and 2017 were 95% and 93%, for a two-year average of 94%. 
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Degree Benefits

Learn how to work with PTs to implement and monitor comprehensive physical therapy treatment plans.

  • Perform physical therapy data collection according to the PT's plan of care.
  • Implement patient interventions.
  • Make appropriate clinical judgments.
  • Participate in discharge planning and follow-up care according the PT's plan of care.
  • Educate and interact with PT and PTA students, aides, volunteers, patients, families and caregivers.
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Graduate Outcomes

PTA employment opportunities in Pennsylvania are expected to grow 41% through 2022 - a much faster rate than the average for all jobs. Cal U alumni have gone on to physical therapist assistant careers at:

 
  • Pennsylvania hospitals
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Keystone Rehabilitation
  • Bradley Physical Therapy
  • MediCorp Health Systems
  • Greene County Memorial Hospital
Physical Therapist Assistant Associate's Degree
Portrait of Aimee Bosley.

PTA Alumni Faculty Spotlight

Meet Professor Aimee Bosley, a clinical instructor at Cal U. A 2006 graduate of Cal U's PTA program, Aimee has worked as an outpatient PTA, a treating PTA and a director of rehabilitation. In addition to teaching, she currently manages a 61-bed facility about 30 minutes from campus that serves as a clinical site for PTA students.

PTA students listen to instruction.

PTA Club

Make connections and open doors by joining the PTA Club. This student-run organization helps you get the most out of your Cal U experience. Gain access to networking opportunities, local and national physical therapy conferences, continuing education, lectures, study groups and more.

A student in the PTA lab.

Cadaver Lab

Learn real-life lessons that textbooks can't teach. PTA students gain insight into human anatomy and physiology through lab work with cadavers - an exceptional learning opportunity. The cadaver lab is used in courses such as Interventions in Cardiopulmonary Impairments and Human Anatomy and Physiology II.

Associate Degree Courses

This professional associate degree program combines comprehensive courses, hands-on lab work and clinical internships. Students gain applied physical therapy knowledge and techniques, so they are prepared to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs.

Example Courses
  • Human A&P I
  • General Psychology
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • PT Intervent. Across Lifespan
  • PT Clinical Internship
  • Functional Kinesiology
  • Inter. Cardiopulmonary Imp.
  • Inter. Orthopedic Imp.
  • PTA Special Topics
  • Pharmacology and Imaging

View full course sequence

View Admissions Requirements

Physical Therapy Assistant Faculty

Aimee Bosley
Assistant Professor; Academic Clinical Coordinator of Education, PTA Program

bosley_a@calu.edu

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Dr. Jodi Dusi
Associate Professor/Director, Physical Therapist Assistant Program

dusi@calu.edu

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Dr. Scott Hargraves
Associate Professor

hargraves@calu.edu

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CAPTE Logo

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 724-938-4562 or email dusi@calu.edu.

For the classes of 2017-2018, 67% of students admitted to the Technical Phase of the PTA program at Cal U graduated from the program. Graduation rates for the class of 2017 was 71.4% and 62.9% for the class of 2018. Graduates are required to pass a licensing examination in order to practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The licensing examination (National Physical Therapy Examination or NPTE for PTAs) passing rates for the classes of 2016 and 2017 were 95.5% and 84.2% respectively for an average two-year passing rate of 90.2%. Employment rates for the classes of 2016 and 2017 were 95.2% and 93.3% respectively for a two-year average of 94.2%.

For any program concerns, please click on the following link: Procedure for Program Concerns.