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Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Physical Therapist Assistant | Los Angeles, OC & Ontario, CA

In today’s thriving health care market, employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow 30.8 percent from 2016 to 2026 (California Employment Development Department).

Don’t let this dynamic career opportunity pass you by—American Career College offers a 20-month Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Occupational Science degree program. 

American Career College's Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) Degree Program offers a blend of classroom, clinical, and laboratory learning—to quickly and effectively prepare you to succeed in this challenging yet rewarding field.

Blended program: This program is taught in a blended format combining online and classroom instruction. You can start the program online and finish on campus.

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Physical Therapist Assistant Overview

The American Career College Physical Therapist Assistant program is geared toward preparing you for a challenging, rewarding career as a physical therapist assistant in exciting environments such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, clinics, medical offices, and a range of other health care settings. Your duties as a Physical Therapist Assistant may include:

  • Providing help to individuals with health conditions that limit their ability to move and perform activities
  • Teaching patients exercises designed to increase mobility, coordination and strength
  • Treating patients by using techniques such as stretching
  • Provide information to the physical therapist on the patient’s response to treatment


The PTA program is designed to help students acquire the knowledge and training to be able to complete the following tasks:

  • Promote professional and personal growth that positively impacts the profession of physical therapy.
  • Engage in thought and activities that promote professional responsibility and lifelong learning.
  • Become an advocate for the profession of physical therapy through professional and community representation.
  • Successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Examination and practice competently as an entry level PTA.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to perform the duties of a PTA as an interdisciplinary team member in environments that demonstrate broad forms of diversity in peers and patients.
  • Integrate the knowledge and skills obtained from general and technical education while performing duties as an entry level physical therapy assistant.
  • Perform duties safely in various physical therapy settings while adhering to ethical guidelines established by the APTA and legal guidelines established by the State Practice Act.
  • Communicate with each patient demonstrating empathy and optimism while maintaining ethical considerations.
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities while practicing under the direction of a physical therapist understanding the limitations as defined within the California Physical Therapy Practice Act.

Effective, Efficient Career Preparation

ACC's dynamic curriculum enables you to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified, competent, confident Physical Therapist Assistant --quickly and efficiently.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is available at the Orange County Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Accreditation Statement:

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Orange County is accredited by The Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Orange County is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)  of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

APTA Headquarters
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085
Phone: 703-706-3245 / Email:

The program encourages and solicits ongoing feedback from enrolled students, faculty members, patients, clinical faculty, and employers of ACC graduates. Every individual has the right to file a grievance. If an individual believes a College official, faculty member, administrator or student has acted improperly or inconsistently with ACC policies and/or procedures, the individual may file a grievance. This may include, but is not limited to, misapplication or misinterpretation of policy, procedures, practices, unfair treatment or conduct, etc. All grievances must be filed within 30 days of the incident. If you have feedback or wish to file a grievance, please contact the PTA Program Director, Dr. Janice Lwin at

The Grievance Policy and Procedures found in the Catalog is designed to support and foster a fair, objective, respectful and ethical set of policies and procedures for resolution of disputes. The policies and procedures are designed to provide students with a process in which to protect the College and its students.

Students, faculty or administrators who submit or support a filed grievance may not be subjected to retaliation. Incidents of retaliation should be immediately reported to the Campus Director of Education or Campus Executive Director.

Frivolous or malicious grievances and matters that have been or are in litigation will not be reviewed/considered. Any person(s) submitting a frivolous or malicious grievance will be referred to the appropriate committee for possible disciplinary action. These policies and procedures are internal to ACC.

If a student does have a complaint or concern about the program they should contact the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Contact information for CAPTE can be accessed through the APTA website at or by calling the Department of Accreditation of APTA at 703-706-3245.

CAPTE can only respond to specifically PTA accreditation criterion violations. If a student chooses to file a complaint with CAPTE they should address the complaint to CAPTE. In order for CAPTE to address a complaint, they require that the student sign the letter of complaint. Complaints that are not related to accreditation issues should be addressed by following the procedures outlined in the Catalog.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085

CAPTE Physical Therapist Assistant Student Achievement Measures
(Rates rounded to the nearest whole number)




Two-Year Average

Graduation Rate




First-Time Exam Pass Rate*




Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate*




Employment Rate




*Obtained from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Careers After I Graduate

Physical Therapist Assistants can work in a physical therapy clinic, hospital, or other health care facility. Moreover, there is a growing demand for professionals who demonstrate the ability to relieve physical therapists of routine administrative and clinic duties.

Upon successful completion of the American Career College Physical Therapist Assistant program, you may qualify for an entry-level position in:

  • Physical therapy clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly
  • School systems
  • Medical home/home health care services

A Career That Grows with You

Employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow 30.8 percent from 2016 to 2026  (California Employment Development Department).

*American Career College cannot guarantee employment.

What Will I Learn

The goal of the school's program is to help you graduate with the confidence, knowledge, and qualifications to be a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Physical Therapy Assistants play critical roles in helping physical therapists with the rehabilitation of patients—including accident victims, injured athletes, those suffering from burns, strokes, arthritis, and more.

American Career College's Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Occupational Science degree program encompasses:

  • Two clinical courses at the conclusion of the classroom and laboratory portion of the program.
  • A total of 600 clinical hours is required for program completion.

Clinical Practicum I

This clinical practicum experience provides each student with the opportunity to observe and apply basic skills performed within the classroom while under constant supervision in the clinical setting. The aim of this experience includes observation of departmental activities including familiarization in delegation while applying basic intervention skills, safety awareness, documentation, communication, and modality application.

Clinical Practicum II

This clinical practicum experience is a full time 10 week clinical affiliation where students will have the opportunity to experience clinical practice in a minimum of two rehabilitation settings. Upon completion, the student is expected to achieve knowledge and skills that are required to implement a plan of care under the direction of a licensed physical therapist to improve mobility and function of patients of varying diagnoses and impairments. Students are expected to perform clinical skills with increasing efficiency as well as implement knowledge learned through ongoing coursework including cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and therapeutic interventions related to prosthetics and orthotics. Attention will be paid to developing proficiency in the communication and interaction between a PT/PTA as well as demonstrating appropriate PT/PTA clinical relationship. The student will attain the ability to provide patient care with quality, efficiency, complexity, and consistency under the supervision and guidance of a physical therapist and reflective of a PTA student progressing toward competency consistent with an entry level physical therapist assistant.

Didactic and Laboratory Courses

Various delivery methods are employed within the didactic portion of the school's program. Self-discovery methods and problem – based learning supplement standard lecture delivery platforms. In combination, these delivery methods will maximize exchange of information and encourage student initiative in and out of the clinical setting.

Throughout the class curriculum, documentation skills will be developed, with emphasis placed on accurate documentation and its relationship to patient safety, practitioner communication, interdisciplinary plans of care, denied reimbursement, and practice acts and laws.

Interdisciplinary instruction personnel from inside the college are incorporated into some classes, using the expertise of other program instructors (e.g., respiratory). Interdisciplinary instruction personnel from outside the college are incorporated into some classes, using the expertise of other clinical professionals (e.g., pharmacy).

Exposure to advanced equipment will be available to students in a newly constructed facility.

What Will I Do as a Physical Therapist Assistant

Once you receive your American Career College Associate’s degree, qualify to sit for the PTA license exam and pass it, you can begin pursuing career opportunities as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

As such, you may be responsible for providing physical therapy services under the direction of a physical therapist. You may help patients who are in the process of recovering from injuries, adapting to and improving lifestyle changes as they are recovering from illness, along with those who need help regaining movement and managing pain.

Your day-to-day responsibilities may include:

  • Implementing a plan of care developed by the Physical Therapist
  • Helping patients recover from mobility issues
  • Performing soft tissue mobilization
  • Using modalities such as ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and neuromuscular and electrical stimulation to assist patients in restoring important functions such as walking or returning to the sports field
  • Education and treatment of patients through strengthening activities and programs
  • Educating on health and wellness
  • Facilitation of patients walking with new prosthesis
  • Wheelchair training
  • Transfer training
  • Working with all spectrum of ages from infants to the elderly
  • Educating and training patients on how to conduct daily activities essential to their quality of life

*American Career College cannot guarantee employment 

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