Physical Therapist Assistant

Move Mountains – Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

...Graduates of PTA programs in public institutions have a 92% overall national boards pass rate compared to 76% for graduates of PTA programs at private institutions...Journal of Physical Therapy Education, Spring 2009

A Physical Therapist Assistant is:

  • A health care provider working under the direction of a physical therapist.
  • Involved in the treatment of individuals with a variety of diagnoses whose ages can range from infants to the elderly.
  • Able to provide physical therapy services as specified in a care plan developed by a physical therapist.
  • Involved in modification of treatment programs, patient/family education and discharge planning.

As the field of physical therapy grows, so do the roles and responsibilities of the PTA. This growth and new knowledge is obtained through continuing education throughout the career of the PTA. The field's future is both exciting and challenging. Visit the American Physical Therapy Association for more information about Physical Therapy and being a Physical Therapist Assistant.

ACC has a two-year, Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant degree that includes 59 credit hours of PTA courses and 16 hours of transferable general education courses. You can start the PTA program every fall, but you can begin taking general education courses in any semester. See our Program Information and Program Application for complete details. Acceptance into the PTA program is enhanced by work-related or volunteer/observation time in a PT clinic.

Program and Application Changes

2016 Changes

  1. The 2016 PTA program application will be completed online.
  2. The Community College Placement Test has replaced Accuplacer exam in all Colorado community colleges.

2015 Changes:

  1. Physical Therapy Visitations must now include at least 30 hours and at least 2 different PT settings.
  2. The Letter of Recommendation form has been revised. Please be sure that all recommendations are submitted on the revised form.

Other Recent Changes:

  1. Applicants must highlight completed general education courses on the transcripts attached to the application as well as completed grades and dates on the application.
  2. Physical Therapy Setting Visitation Reports now have a second page of reflection questions to be completed by the applicant and returned as part of the application packet.
  3. Information sessions will be held during spring semester. Dates and times are listed in the information packet.
  4. Applicants should use the various carriers' delivery confirmation options to confirm the program has received an application or letters of recommendation. The program is no longer able to make individual confirmations.

Course Descriptions

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ACC is the perfect place to begin your PTA studies

  • Cost effective, affordable tuition
  • General education courses that will transfer to Colorado public four-year schools
  • Experienced faculty including Physical Therapists and PTAs
  • ACC Board pass rates are consistently higher than the national or state average
  • Long-standing relationships with many clinical affiliation sites in Denver, Colorado and other states
  • Nearly 20 years with an excellent graduate placement record
  • Lab equipment and teaching technology continually updated

The PTA program at Arapahoe Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-706-3245; email:; website:

ACC Graduation rates:

2008 - 75%
2009 - 77.8%
2010 - 75%
2011 - 46.4%
2012 - 80%
2013 - 88.2%
2014 - 83.3%

Ultimate 3 year Board Pass rate:

2006-2008 = 96.30%
2007-2009 = 96.97%
2008-2010 = 97.22%
2009-2011 = 100%
2010-2012 = 100%
2011-2013 = 100%

Job Placement Rate (Graduates employed as PTAs within six months of passing licensure exam) = 100%