Physical Therapist Assistant

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 PTA Program Outcomes

 Graduation Year 2017  2018 2019 2020
 Graduation Rate  100%  100%  100% 92%
 Licensure Pass Rate  100%   100%  100%  92%
 Employment Rate  100%  100%  100% 100%

Program Overview

  • 60-credit Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Competitive, annual selection process for full-major program.
  • The PTA program selects students each fall semester to start PTA courses the next spring semester (January).
  • Can be completed in five (5) academic semesters in full-time enrollment.
  • Full-time enrollment on the UAA Anchorage campus required for full-major program.
  • Graduates are eligible for the NPTE exam.

What is a PTA?

PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.  Some of the care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients or clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, using manual therapy, physical agents and electrotherapy.  PTAs also observe the patient's abilities and report their observations to the physical therapist. 

Message from the Director

Welcome to the UAA Physical Therapist Assistant Program! We are excited that you are interested in the program. The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is an integral part of the health care team that implements physical therapy treatment plans under the supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT). We are happy to offer this program at UAA.

The program is a combination of didactic and hands-on lab experiences. It is rigorous and very time consuming. However, it is set up for students to be successful in the clinical environment as entry-level Physical Therapist Assistants. PTA students are taught skills such as therapeutic exercise, orthopedic and neurological interventions, therapeutic modalities, clinical thinking, and the art of patient care. In addition to patient treatment courses, students study the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, clinical pathology, and kinesiology. Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum in a variety of clinical settings under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant, offering students opportunities to practice their skills and critical-thinking processes. 

The goal of physical therapy is to aid patients and clients in their return to maximal function.  Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant exam through the Federation of State Boards in Physical Therapy upon successful completion of the program. State licensure is required to practice as a PTA.

Jodi Pfeiffer, PTA, MHA
Program Director
jlpfeiffer@alaska.edu
907-786-4769