Physical Therapist Assistant

Contact Information

If you have questions about this website or need additional information about the Physical Therapist Assistant program, contact Zach Frank at 785-670-1406, or Jean Sanchez at 785-670-1408. Or you can contact the Allied Health Department at 785-670-2170 or 785-670-2176.

Email the Program DirectorEmail the Clinical CoordinatorEmail the Allied Health Department

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is the only individual who assists the Physical Therapist in accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association’s policies and positions in the delivery of selected physical therapy interventions.  Interventions include therapeutic exercise, myofascial release, massage, range of motion, facilitation techniques, coordination, balance, motor learning, assistive device training, brace and supportive device training, and application of physical agents such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat, cold, and light based therapies.

 

What does it take to become a certified PTA (CPTA) in the state of Kansas?

The Physical therapist Assistant student must successfully graduate with an Associate of Science degree from an accredited PTA program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) from the Federation of State Boards in Physical Therapy.   Graduates may apply for the Physical Therapist Assistant Certification from the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts upon graduation and successful completion of the NPTE.

 

Why attend Washburn University’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

Washburn University is a metropolitan university located on a beautiful campus within the heartland of Topeka, Kansas. The PTA program at Washburn University offers a high quality, career oriented program, with three year national pass rate average on the NPTE of 95%. Eighty eight percent of students who are accepted into the PTA Program graduate within two academic years. The PTA program faculty are highly qualified and enjoy engaging students in interactive learning. The student to faculty ratio is 24:1 for lectures and 12:1 for laboratory sessions. Washburn's PTA program has a 2,500 square foot facility with high tech physical therapy equipment, computer stations within the classroom, and a variety of high quality clinical sites.

 

How do I apply to the PTA program at Washburn?

A student interested in the PTA program at Washburn must follow the instructions printed on the application, which can be found on the PTA website .  Students are required to apply to Washburn University and the PTA program, provide official transcripts, maintain a 2.5 GPA or greater, provide a resume’ , letter of intent, clinical observation responses (2), letters of recommendation (2), past work and/or volunteer experience, previous/current relevant college course work, 8 observation hours and clinician recommendations (4 hours at 2 different clinical sites), sign the technical standards agreement, successfully complete a background check, and submit all materials by the FEBRUARY 1 deadline for the incoming fall coursework.

 

What are the characteristics of the successful PTA student?

Students within the PTA program must be dedicated to studies, carry a professional demeanor into the classroom and clinic, and be ready to collaborate on projects and case scenarios.  The PTA program requires students to dress professionally and present with professional behaviors during all classroom and laboratory/clinical activities. 

 

Are non-traditional students encouraged to apply?

Yes, we encourage all non-traditional students to apply to the program.  We encourage students of all diverse backgrounds to apply to the PTA program to improve the overall diversity of Physical Therapist Assistants across the nation.

 

What if I have a learning disability? 

There is help for students who wish to pursue the PTA program and have a learning disability.  Students will need to contact CUSP at (785) 670-1942 to set up an appointment for assistance with test taking and other classroom activities special arrangements.

 

How many semesters is the PTA program at Washburn?

The PTA program is 5 total semesters and begins only in the fall semester every year.  Students begin in the fall and graduate after completion of the fifth semester in the spring of the second year.

 

How many applicants are accepted into the PTA program every year?

We have up to 24 open positions in the PTA program every year. 

 

What is the deadline for application? 

All applications must be complete and turned in by February 1 of the year a student is planning to be considered for admission.

 

Are PTA program classes difficult?

While PTA program classes require a lot of study, hard work, and determination to succeed through practice of clinical and theoretical interventions, Washburn University’s PTA program is dedicated to the success of students.  Students are expected to read substantial textbook and journal article information, be on time and attend all lectures and labs, and pass all material with a 76% or greater in each of the PTA program courses.  A comprehensive examination is given at the end of all coursework, in the beginning of the fifth semester.

 

What is the job outlook for PTAs in the next 10 years?

Approximately 107,000 persons were employed as PTAs in the USA in 2006.  Employment opportunities are expected to increase through the year 2016.  Demand is expected to grow due to increases in the elderly population.   (America’s Career InfoNet)

 

Is Washburn University’s PTA program accredited?

Yes, Washburn University’s PTA program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education. 

 

How can I learn more about physical therapy?

Please go to the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.

What if I want to go on to get a Bachelor’s Degree?

78% of the PTA student graduates at Washburn University go on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree.  Washburn offers a variety of related degrees compatible with the Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant such as the Bachelor of Health Services Administration, Bachelor of Arts in PE, Exercise Physiology, Athletic Training, Biology, and Chemistry degrees.