Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant students help each other stretch during class in the PTA Lab.

Ready to apply to the PTA Program? Applications are due April 4! Click here for application materials.

Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs work with patients with health-related conditions to help them live fuller and more productive lives. PTAs help rehabilitate patients of all ages and medical diagnoses ranging from strokes and sports injuries to cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. They work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, nursing homes, pools and patient homes, teaching and carrying out programs to improve quality of life and to enhance independence. Treatments include therapeutic exercise, functional retraining, manual therapy and applications of heat, cold, light, sound, water and electrotherapy.

Kellogg Community College’s PTA Program education provides students with a working knowledge of and thorough testing regarding the theories behind treatment protocols and pathological conditions being treated and provides understanding of the modalities and machinery which are used to treat those conditions. In addition, hands-on clinical affiliations are completed under the supervision of professional physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to help students apply learned knowledge and skills.

KCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in PTA and prepares students to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination required for licensure in most states. The five-semester sequence of classes recommended for full-time students seeking the degree follows.

For more information about KCC’s PTA Program, see:

Associate in Applied Science: Physical Therapist Assistant

Fall I Spring I Summer Fall II Spring II
BIOL 201: Human Anatomy** BIOL 202: Human Physiology** PTA 119: Orthopedics COMM 110: Interpersonal Communication** PTA 223: Seminar in Physical Therapist Assisting
ENGL 151: Freshman Composition** FYS 101: First Year Seminar PTA 120: Neurological Concepts SOCI 201: Intro to Sociology** PTA 227: Coordinated Clinical Experience 1
NURS 105: Nursing Assistant Training Program PSYC 220:
Developmental Psychology**
PTA 121: Functional Techniques PTA 218: Focused Neurology PTA 228: Coordinated Clinical Experience 2
PSYC 201: Intro to Psychology** PTA 114: Physical Therapy Modalities PTA 122: Pediatrics PTA 219: Advanced Interventions PTA 229: Clinical Exploration
PTA 110: Fundamentals of Physical Therapist Assisting PTA 116: Kinesiology 2 PTA 220: Concepts in Physical Therapist Assisting
PTA 112: Kinesiology 1 PTA 118: Pathology 2 PTA 221: Clinical Experience
PTA 117: Pathology 1

*For class options that fulfill the elective requirements indicated here, see the Degree and Certificate Requirements section of KCC’s Academic Catalog.

**Courses indicated fulfill requirements for the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA), which provides for the transferability of up to 30 credit hours to meet General Education Requirements at participating Michigan colleges and universities. For more information about the MTA, visit

Transfer Opportunities

KCC PTA graduates will have the education and qualifications making them eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam and eventually enter the job market. Earning a degree as a PTA is not typically part of a career ladder to become a physical therapist, which requires a doctoral degree. However, a significant number of KCC’s PTA Program graduates have been accepted into and completed their PT degree with substantial additional time and study. There is at least one doctoral program in the United States that is designed specifically to transition physical therapist assistants to physical therapists.

Click here to view Transfer Guides outlining opportunities for students looking to transfer their KCC credits to a four-year institution. Contact our Academic Advising team at 269-965-4124 or [email protected] to schedule an appointment to plot a personal transfer plan.

PTA Careers

There are many reasons to consider a career in physical therapy. Working as a physical therapist assistant is a rewarding experience that allows one to be directly involved in improving the quality of life of others while working as part of a team under the supervision of the physical therapist.

As a movement expert, a PTA often provides daily hands-on treatment to patients and clients. Some PTAs may expand their skills and advance their career by specializing in an area of physical therapy, supervising students, developing and marketing new physical therapy approaches, conducting quality assurance programs and managing or supervising a rehabilitation department.

The employment opportunities for physical therapist assistants are abundant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 40 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Projected Job Outlook & Salary Info

For the latest employment and wage estimates for physical therapist assistant careers in Michigan, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website at

Why Study PTA at KCC?

KCC’s PTA Program was the first program in the state of Michigan and the sixth program in the nation, with the first class graduating in 1973. With a dedicated faculty, KCC’s PTA Program has a long history of academic and clinical excellence and has earned a high level of respect in the physical therapy community.

CAPTE Accredited Program

The PTA Program at Kellogg Community College, 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: [email protected]; website: http://www.capteonline.orgIf needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call PTA Program Coordinator Julie Dawes at  269-565-7957 or email [email protected].

Accreditation is a process used to assure the quality of the education that students receive. Program accreditation also allows program graduates to be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination. Most states, including the state of Michigan, require successful passage of this examination to earn licensure and be able to practice as a physical therapist assistant. For more information on licensure, regulations and the field of physical therapy in the state of Michigan, please visit the Michigan Physical Therapy Association at

Outstanding Program Outcomes

KCC’s PTA Program focuses on content and educational experiences to prepare students to be employed as PTAs. The curriculum and clinical rotations allow students to explore career options as a student PTA, achieve success on the licensure exam and secure employment in a satisfying environment.

Graduation Rate
(2019 & 2020)
Licensure Exam Pass Rates
(2019 & 2020)
Employment Rate
(2019 & 2020)
94% 97% Ultimate pass rate

87% First time pass rate

100% of those looking for a position

PTA Club

The Physical Therapist Assistant Club at Kellogg Community College is interested in education, community service and promoting awareness of physical therapy.

The PTA Club has sponsored many events in the past to support its mission, including sponsoring a room makeover at SAFE Place, a local domestic violence shelter; organizing donations to a Greyhound Awareness group; collecting items for donation to the local Charitable Union; and annually supporting Santa’s Helper, an organization that supplies Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and Christmas gifts to local families that need assistance during the holiday season.

For more information about PTA Club, contact PTA Club Advisor Tracy Wood at [email protected].

Department Contacts

Department Contacts

Julie Dawes : Faculty/Coordinator, PTA
Julie Dawes
Faculty/Coordinator, PTA
Jason Wiersema : Faculty, PTA
Jason Wiersema
Faculty, PTA
Tracy Wood : Faculty/ACCE, PTA
Tracy Wood
Faculty/ACCE, PTA
Email Tracy Wood