Physical Therapist Assistant
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree program prepares students for employment as a PTA, a health-care provider who, with the guidance of a physical therapist, performs a wide variety of functions as part of the health-care team. This field has been expanding in recent years and the employment outlook continues to be good in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home care, and outpatient facilities. In addition to classes in psychology, medical terminology, neuroanatomy and physiology, instrumentation and kinesiology for physical therapy, and advanced physical therapy techniques, students gain “hands-on” experience through clinical practice at area health-care facilities. The PTA program at Anoka-Ramsey Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
The PTA program at Anoka-Ramsey is a special admission program that accepts applications for review once a year in February. Students must complete specific eligibility requirements to be able to apply to the program.
Meeting minimum application eligibility requirements does not guarantee program admission. If applicants meet minimum requirements, they will then be given an applicant score based on how many of the program-specific biology courses and general education courses they have completed, their grades in these courses, and their score on the standardized test or proof of bachelor’s degree documentation they submit. These applicant scores are used to determine the top applicants who are then offered places in the program. To review minimum eligibility requirements needed for application and a sample of the scoring rubric used to score an applicant, refer to the PTA Information Packet
The PTA application is currently closed. The next application cycle will open Feb 1, 2024.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Anoka Ramsey 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.
If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 763-433-1293 or email Lisa.Lentner@anokaramsey.edu.
The PTA Program Core course requirements are only offered at the Coon Rapids Campus. BIOL 1102 Medical Terminology 2 PTAC 1010* Clinical Practice I 3 PTAC 1020* Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Kinesiology for the PTA 4 PTAC 1030* Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant Theory 2 PTAC 1040* Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant Lab 2 PTAC 1050* Modalities and Therapeutic Massage Theory 3 PTAC 1060* Modalities and Therapeutic Massage Lab 3 PTAC 1070* Therapeutic Exercise Theory 2 PTAC 1080* Therapeutic Exercise Lab 3 PTAC 1100* Communication and Documentation for the Physical Therapy Assistant I 1 PTAC 1110* Communication and Documentation for the Physical Therapy Assistant II 1 PTAC 2000* Musculoskeletal Disorders 3 PTAC 2010* Neuroanatomy and Functional Rehabilitation Theory 3 PTAC 2015* Neuroanatomy and Functional Rehabilitation Lab 2 PTAC 2020* Clinical Practice II 3 PTAC 2040* Special Topics I 3 PTAC 2050* Special Topics II 4 PTAC 2060* Clinical Practice II** 3
Clinical facilities require students to maintain specific requirements to ensure personal and patient health and safety. Proof that these requirements are met must be furnished by the student.
Complete at least 22 credits in courses from the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) including the following: BIOL 2113*- Human Anatomy and Physiology I** 4 BIOL 2114* Human Anatomy and Physiology II** 4 CMST 1110
OR CMST 2215
OR CMST 2220
Introduction to Communication
OR Public Speaking
OR Interpersonal Communication
3 ENGL 1120* OR ENGL 1121* Cross-Current College Writing and Critical Reading
OR College Writing and Critical Reading
4 PSYC 1110 General Psychology 4 Humanities/Fine Arts Elective (Goal Area 6) 3
PTAC 2110* Physical Therapy Research I 1 PTAC 2120* Physical Therapy Research II 1 PTAC 2130* PTA Clinic 1 PTAC 2170* Physical Therapy Seminars 1
- A minimum of 69 semester credits in courses numbered 1000 or above.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in courses numbered 1000 or above at ARCC.
- Satisfy residency requirements.
- A minimum grade of C in all program requirements and general education courses and a grade of “Pass” in clinical practices must be earned.
- All program requirements must be completed at ARCC.
- Completion of specific degree requirements.
- To complete your program, please submit the appropriate application found here.
- The requirements of this program are subject to change without notice.
PROGRAM NOTE: Students who fail to meet the sequence requirements, prerequisites, and academic achievement levels will be dropped from the program.
Effective July 1, 2020 the U.S. Department of Education is implementing a new regulation, Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), which requires all colleges with nursing or allied health programs that end in certification or licensing to provide the following:
- A list of all states/jurisdictions where the institution’s curriculum meets state educational requirements for professional licensure or certification;
- A list of all states/jurisdictions where the institution’s curriculum does not meet state educational requirements for professional licensure or certification; and
- A list of all states/jurisdictions where the institution has not made a determination on whether the curriculum meets educational requirements.
NOTE: This information only relates to initial licensure by exam requirements for the state listed. Students should contact the Board of Physical Therapy in the state they would like to be licensed for specifics.
This information DOES NOT relate to transferring licensure to another state.
Click here to read the full text of the federal regulation.
Upon successful completion of the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program, graduates must pass the National Physical Therapy Licensing Exam (NPTE).
Anoka-Ramsey graduates have been very successful on the PTA National licensing exam (NPTE).
A score of 600 is required to pass the licensing exam. As shown in the data below, the Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate for students in the Anoka-Ramsey program for the past two years has been 100%.
2-year Average for PTA Graduates in 2020 and 2021
Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate
PTA Class of 2020
Licensure Exam First-Attempt Pass Rate
Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate
PTA Class of 2021
Licensure Exam First-Attempt Pass Rate
Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate
Scale Scores of 600 and above are passing.
Successful completion of the Physical Therapy Assistant program at the Anoka-Ramsey Community College will meet the requirements for certification by the The Minnesota State Board of Physical Therapy. Certification by the Minnesota State Board of Physical Therapy is required by Minnesota as well as by some states to acquire a state license to practice the profession of Physical Therapy Assistant or for employment as a certified/licensed Physical Therapy Assistant. Anoka-Ramsey Community College highly recommends that you contact the appropriate state licensing board in the state or locality in which you wish to practice or be employed.
By completing this program, students will achieve the following learning goals:
- Demonstrate competent written and electronic documentation skills, and oral communication skills.
- Perform all treatment procedures skillfully and safely, including modalities, massage, manual skills, gait training, and data collection for the physical therapist to use for assessment purposes.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the normal structure and function of the human body and understand the physiological and psychological effects of disease and injury.
- Demonstrate understanding of their professional role as a PTA and demonstrate awareness of ethical behavior, legal responsibility, and the PT/PTA professional relationship.
- Recognize and appreciate diversity within society and the health care profession.
- Successfully pass the PTA licensure exam and begin practice as an entry-level physical therapist assistant.
Graduates will acquire the following skills, knowledge, and abilities and perform them under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist:
- Basic patient handling and physical therapy skills: Documentation, body mechanics, posture education, joint range of motion, vital signs, ambulation with assistive devices, wheelchair operations, bed mobility, transfer training, edema control, and wound care.
- Modalities and massage skills: heat and cold techniques, aquatic therapy, ultrasound, LASER, diathermy, electrical muscle stimulation, TENS, compression, traction, soft tissue mobilization and massage techniques.
- Therapeutic Exercise: Develop appropriate exercise programs based on the Plan of Care established by the physical therapist, instruct patient in exercise, and progress exercises appropriately.
- Injury and disease and pathological conditions: Performing specific treatment techniques recommended by the PT for hemiplegia, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and other neuropathic diseases of patients.
- Specialty areas of physical therapy: working with amputees, orthotics and prosthetics, pediatrics and geriatrics, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, manual techniques, burn management, pharmacology, arthritis, oncology, women’s health/pelvic floor dysfunction, chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders and industrial medicine programs.
- Tests and measures: goniometry, vital signs, manual muscle testing, circumferential, gait training, soft tissue mobilization, objective balance assessment, and special tests for specific musculoskeletal disorders to aid with treatment progression.
- Use inclusive language and provide unbiased care throughout the treatment session
Meeting each of these program goals is determined through the student’s successful completion of each required PTA technical course with a grade of “C” or better, a Pass grade for clinical courses. Specific assessment criteria and learner outcomes are found in individual course syllabi.
A complaint from an individual who has no standing within Anoka Ramsey Community College, such as a prospective student, employer of a graduate from the PTA program, a clinical education site and/or its patients, a volunteer for the ARCC physical therapy clinic, or the general public should be submitted to the PTA Program Director via email (email@example.com ). The program director will review the complaint and determine if other parties, such as college administration, need to be involved. The program director will respond to the complaint within 14 days of receiving the initial email.
- Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant