UAA will offer an Associate Applied Sciences Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant beginning in the Spring 2015 semester.  The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in a healthcare setting as a licensed physical therapist assistant (PTA). The PTA program is three consecutive semesters (one full year) in addition to prerequisite requirements. For the first two semesters, classes are held on the Anchorage campus.  During the third semester classes are on campus in addition to participating in two full-time off site clinical affiliations. Some affiliations may require students to travel to clinical sites in other communities.

To work as a PTA, an individual must graduate with an Associate's degree from a PTA program at a college, university, technical or community college that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).  Graduates must pass the national examination for licensing/certification/regulation in most states to be eligible to work.

Generally, physical therapist assistants are employed wherever physical therapists work. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home and public health agencies, schools, private physical therapy practices and the armed forces are major employers.

Accreditation

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

The University of Alaska, Anchorage is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage.  Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status.  Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program, therefore no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved.  Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.