Associate in Applied Science
This program offers students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree as a physical therapist assistant. 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. Students will learn how to:
- Assist physical therapists in providing services that help improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent disabilities for people of all ages.
- Assist physical therapists in implementing treatment programs and providing interventions.
- Communicate with the physical therapist and other members of the health care team regarding the patient's response to treatment and interventions.
- Properly document patient care.
Students will learn by practicing on fellow students and by applying theory and technical skills in clinic settings. Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to apply for Michigan licensure and take the National Physical Therapy Examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
This is a high demand, high skill and high wage program as defined by the Michigan Community College Network.
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.
If needing to contact the program directly, please call 734-477-8775 or email [email protected].
View the Program Financial Fact Sheet for the Physical Therapist Assistant program.
Learn more about Financial Aid at Washtenaw Community College.
Career Outlook in Michigan
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2024-2025 Academic Requirements
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).
This is a high demand, high skill and high wage program, as defined by the Michigan Community College Network.
Eastern Michigan University, BS degree
Copies can be obtained from the Counseling Office, a program advisor, or from the Curriculum and Assessment Office Web site: https://www.wccnet.edu/learn/transfer-wcc-credits/articulation-agreements.php.
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 https://www.wccnet.edu/learn/departments/alhd/ .
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: https://www.wccnet.edu/trustees/policies/2005/. Details regarding WCC's point scales that are used to calculate points are on WCC's Student Welcome Center, Health and Second Tier Program, information page: https://www.wccnet.edu/start-now/degree/2nd-tier/ .
Requirements for application are:
1. Admission to WCC.
2. All applicants are required to have a mandatory meeting with an advisor prior to applying to the program.
3. Program prerequisite courses:
a. Academic Math Level 3 or higher or MTH 160 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. Technical Standards (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.
6. 12 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting with a minimum of three (3) hours in at least two (2) different types of physical therapy settings (refer to the Clinical Observation website for guidelines https://www.wccnet.edu/learn/departments/alhd/physical-therapist/clinical-observation.php)
7. Residency verification.
A formal application and acceptance to the program is required. Application packets may be downloaded from WCC's Student Welcome Center, Health and Second Tier Program, information page https://www.wccnet.edu/start-now/degree/2nd-tier/. 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 Welcome Center, 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. Students who have not completed a class using an online Learning Management System (LMS) through their high school or at WCC must familiarize themselves with WCC's LMS system. WCC offers LMS help and students can find information on the website of the LMS system. The student must sign a statement confirming fluency using WCC's online Learning Management System.
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
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.
Semester 1 (Fall)
Semester 2 (Winter)
Semester 3 (Fall)
Semester 4 (Winter)
- 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