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Physical Therapy Assistant students post high certification pass rate

July 29, 2021

The Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program at Heartland Community College (HCC) is celebrating another year with a high success rate of students passing the national certification exam. 

Heartland’s PTA Class of 2021 has an impressive 93.3 percent first-time pass rate for the national licensure exam. 

“We continue to see tremendous success for this young program,” said Daryl Menke, Physical Therapy Assistant program coordinator and instructor. “Taking the national examination is a requirement to becoming licensed, and all of our students passed on the first attempt. This exceeded the national rate of around 87 percent of students who pass the national examination on the first attempt.” 

Heartland’s PTA program became fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) on April 26, 2017. 

“This group is definitive of the term persevere,” Menke said. “They handled the full brunt of COVID with a can-do attitude and resilient work ethic, and now we celebrate their efforts, success, and progression into their careers.” 

In order to become a licensed PTA, students must graduate from an accredited program to become eligible to sit for the national licensure exam. 

About the PTA program

A PTA provides physical therapy treatments under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to help people recover from injuries, illnesses and surgeries. 

The program is now accepting students into its next cohort. The application process closes on August 1 of each year. More information can be found at

Written by: Steve Fast