Our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is as rigorous as it is rewarding. As a PTA, your goal will be to use your knowledge and skills to help patients regain movement after an injury, illness, or other medical condition. You’ll work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to provide physical therapy services in a variety of settings. To be successful, you must have good technical skills as well as the ability to work closely with a variety of people. You’ll also need to be organized and detail-oriented as you document your patients’ progress.
Our classes are generally a combination of lecture and lab, with several clinical experiences required. Graduates may work in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, schools, long-term care facilities, and in rehabilitation centers.
Program-specific courses are held in the Health Science Center, a shared facility located a few blocks from the La Crosse main campus. Check our maps page for specific location information.
View Western’s Physical Therapist Assistant program’s Student Outcomes and Financial Fact Sheet.
To view the Physical Therapist Assistant program’s required disclosure on professional licensure, please click here.
Estimated Program Cost
Physical Therapist Assistant
This program will cost about $10,300* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
Physical Therapist Assistant 2020-2021 Graduation Employment Stats
|Employed in Related Occupation||6|
|Employed in Non-related Occupations||1|
|Not in Labor Market||0|
Salary Data - Related Employment
|Part Time||Full Time|
|Average Hours Per Week||40|
|Median Hourly Wage||$22.00|
|Hourly Wage Range||$21.80-$22.60|
|Median Annual Salary||$47,000|
Respondents in Related Occupations
- Personal Shopper, Physical Therapist Assistant, Self Employed
- Living responsibly
- Refining professionalism
- Cultivating passion
- Demonstrate clear and collaborative communication with patients, families, and health care team
- Exhibit behaviors and conduct that reflect respect and sensitivity according to physical therapy practice standards
- Function under the supervision of a physical therapist in a safe, legal, ethical manner to ensure the safety of patients, self, and others throughout the clinical interaction
- Produce documentation to support the delivery of physical therapy services
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills to implement and modify treatment within a plan of care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist
- Perform data collection essential for carrying out the plan of care under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist
- Perform technically competent, evidence-based physical therapy interventions under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist
- Educate patients, families, and other health providers
- Integrate components of operational and fiscal practices of physical therapy service in a variety of settings
- Implement a self-directed plan for career development, credentialing, and lifelong learning
To enroll in the Physical Therapist Assistant program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions and complete a background check. You can find links to these documents below. The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.
- Physical Therapist Assistant Essential Functions
- Background Check
- Students who have successfully completed General Anatomy and Physiology (10806177) or its equivalent at another school are given priority admission to the program.
- Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment to complete your Intent to Enroll Form. Prospective or returning students should meet with an Admissions Coach. Current students should meet with a Health and Public Safety College Advisor.
COVID-19 Vaccination Status
COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend classes at Western Technical College, however some clinical sites who contract with Western for student rotations now have COVID-19 vaccination requirements. To prevent any potential interruption in your clinical/practicum/field classes, we are now requiring you to provide us with your COVID-19 vaccination status in order to plan for clinical rotations.
Software and Technology
Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.
If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.
- Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
- Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
- Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.
- Western uses the Blackboard Learning Management System. Some courses may use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to meet and work virtually. Visit our website for guidance on how to access and use these tools.
- Office 365 (available to download for free once you have a student email)
- Recommended web browsers: Chrome or Firefox
For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.
- Western has several computer labs available. Visit our website to find open hours and locations on the La Crosse campus. Or find information on how to access resources on our Regional Locations web page.
- The Learning Commons has computers, webcams, and microphones available for in-house use. Our librarians recommend checking your local public library for computer access on the weekends. Staff members can also provide information on free, off-campus Wi-Fi spots. Contact them at LearningCommons@westerntc.edu or call 608-785-9198.
- Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Western is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 608-785-9598 or email email@example.com.
Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the documents below:
Program Chair, Physical Therapist Assistant