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Physical Therapist Assistant

If you're looking for a career that's physically active and allows you to help improve the quality of life for patients, the Physical Therapist Assistant program is an outstanding option. As a physical therapist assistant (PTA) you help people who have limited use of their bodies regain strength, balance, flexibility and mobility. Working under the supervision of a physical therapist, you perform various assessments, exercises and treatments. Your training will cover topics such as:

  • range of motion
  • ambulation and coordination
  • ultra sound and electrical stimulation
  • massage

You'll need to complete 23 hours of general education coursework prior to admission to the program. PTA preparation itself consists of 43 hours of technical and clinical education courses. You'll also learn to collect data, assess a patient's safety and responses to intervention.

Employment for PTAs is expected to grow 45% through 2020, much faster than the average for other occupations. PTAs find employment in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, nursing homes and home health agencies as well as sports and fitness facilities.*

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

Earn your Heartland degree and transition directly into the workforce:

Associate in Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Heartland Community College leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. This degree contains general education courses, PTA technical courses and practical clinical experience.

Physical Therapist Assistant program at Heartland Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314; telephone 703-706-3245; email:  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 309-268-8673 or email

Accredited by CAPTE Verify Status


Program Outcomes

View the Physical Therapist Assistant's Program Statistics (PDF).

View the Physical Therapist Assistant's PTA Outcomes (PDF) summary data.

View the Physical Therapist Assistant's Assessment of Mission and Goals (PDF).

Public Comment Policy (PDF)

CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education programs (PT or PTA). Please refer to the CAPTE website:

Physical Therapist Assistant Department

Visit the PTA Department

Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Heartland Community College