Associate in Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant
Fall (application due winter quarter prior)
Spokane Falls Community College
Financial Aid Eligible
Yes. Read more about Financial Aid.
If you want to work in health care and enjoy helping people of all ages, a career as a physical therapist assistant could be for you.
This accredited program prepares you to work under physical therapists to help patients reduce pain, regain motion and prevent disability after an injury or illness. You’ll study anatomy, physiology and social science. You’ll also learn the special techniques, equipment and exercises used to treat patients. The program includes a clinical experience in a local health care setting, where you will practice your skills with real patients.
Whether you want to work in a hospital, rehabilitation center, school, physical therapy clinic or other health care agency, this program will prepare you for a rewarding career in physical therapy.
Each quarter we hold an informational meeting for prospective students. If you are considering this program, please join us to learn more about the program and the application process, and to get your questions answered. Contact program coordinator Rita.Hansard@sfcc.spokane.edu for the Zoom link. Our next meeting is:
Wednesday, February 16, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Māpuana Carey, Allied Health Curriculum Advisor
The Spokane Falls Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program and faculty are committed to developing lifelong learning through excellence in educational and clinical experiences to enable the student to possess skills necessary for successful employment within varied scope of physical therapy practice. The program will strive to admit and graduate students who demonstrate professional behaviors which includes effective communication, commitment to learning, critical thinking, responsibility and therapeutic presence and who will provide physical therapy services ethically within the standards of practice under the guidance and supervision of physical therapists.
Please contact the PTA Program Director for any Concerns regarding the program: Renee.Compton@sfcc.spokane.edu or 509-279-6245.
Code 668.43 (a)(5)(v):
The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education based on the following: Accreditation of a Physical therapist assistant program by CAPTE satisfies state education requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website @ www.fsbpt.org.
1. Performs in a safe manner that minimizes the risk to patient, self, and others.
2. Demonstrates expected clinical behaviors in a professional manner in all situations.
3. Performs in a manner consistent with established legal standards, standards of the profession, and ethical guidelines.
4. Adapts delivery of physical therapy services with consideration for patients’ differences, values, preferences, and needs.
5. Communicates in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
6. Participates in self-assessment and develops plans to improve knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
7. Demonstrates clinical problem solving.
8. Performs selected therapeutic exercises and associated data collection in a competent manner.
9. Applies selected manual therapy, airway clearance, and integumentary repair and protection techniques, and performs associated data collection in a competent manner.
10. Applies selected physical agents and mechanical modalities and performs associated data collection in a competent manner
11. Applies selected electrotherapeutic modalities, and performs associated data collection in a competent manner.
12. Performs functional training in self-care and home management, applies and adjust devices and equipment, and performs associated data collection in a competent manner.
13. Produces quality documentation in a timely manner to support the delivery of physical therapy services.
14. Participates in the efficient delivery of physical therapy services.
“Adapted from http://www.apta.org/PTACPI, with permission of the American Physical Therapy Association. Copyright ©2008 American Physical Therapy Association. All rights reserved.”
You and your advisor will use this program map as a starting point in creating your own personal education plan, customized to your needs. We meet you where you are and help you reach your goals.
Choose program map:
Physical Therapist Assistant AAS map
Total Credits: 103
You and your advisor will use the Program Map located on this page to create a personal education plan customized to your interests and goals, your start quarter, full- or part-time status, any prior credits you have, and the classes available each quarter.
For an up-to-date list of all classes that satisfy the requirements for your degree or certificate, click here, then select the specific degree or certificate you are pursuing.
Mpuana is excited to take on the role of Curriculum Advisor. She previously worked in Title III at Spokane Falls Community College, which gave her time to learn about the community through engagement with students and staff. Through her studies, she has finished her A.A. at North Idaho College and is close to finishing her B.A. in English and Cultural Communication at the University of Hawaii.
Mpuana is happy to help serve as the Curriculum Advisor and point of contact for students in the Allied Health programs, Addiction Studies, and Social Behavioral Sciences.
Lance Best has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2015 where he worked at St-Luke's Rehabilitation Institute inpatient Brain Injury, Stroke and as a Primary therapist on the Spinal Cord Injury Unit. He has an AA in teaching, Human Resource Management and a BA in Business Leadership and Management. Prior to becoming a PTA he retired from the United States Air Force where he served various roles to include Avionics Technician on RC-135 aircraft, Master Instructor, First Sergeant, Production Supervisor and Flight Chief.
Renee Compton has been a physical therapist assistant since 1997, primarily in outpatient orthopedic and home healthcare, and athletic trainer since 1986. She has taught since 1998. She holds a master’s degree in adult education, bachelor’s in athletic training and education and an AAS from the physical therapist assistant program. She was named Physical Therapist Assistant of the year in 2017 by the Physical Therapy Association of Washington and is the current chair of the Washington State Board of Physical Therapy.
Megan has been a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 2014 and a Certified Athletic Trainer since 2000. She is a graduate of the Spokane Falls Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program and received her BS in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training from the University of West Florida. She has experience working in many different settings including acute care, outpatient and professional hockey. She has worked at the Physical Therapist Assistant program at SFCC as both adjunct faculty and as a lab assistant. Megan enjoys hiking, camping, travelling and spending time with her family.
Thea has been a pediatric physical therapist since 2010. She has worked in outpatient pediatrics and the public school setting. Prior to physical therapy, she taught health sciences at the high school and community college level. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Master’s in Education, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, a Certificate of Public Health, and is a Pediatric Certified Specialist.
Dana McPhee has been a physical therapist since 1993 and a neurologic certified specialist since 2004. She has practiced in rehabilitation, inpatient acute care and long-term acute care. Her specialty is traumatic brain injury and stroke. In addition to teaching at SFCC, McPhee is an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University in the physical therapy program. She holds an MS in physical therapy and a BS in biology.
Donelle Odren is the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education. She is primarily responsible for students’ clinical affiliations and internships. Her classes include Clinical coursework and Issues in Physical Therapy. She holds a BA in education, a BS in physical therapy, and a Doctorate in physical therapy.
Amy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Montana State University in 1990 and her Physical therapy degree from Eastern Washington University in 1983. Amy has worked for Apex PT since 1994. She is board certified in Orthopedics and has built a successful Pelvic Floor program at Apex Physical Therapy. Amy is actively involved with PTWA where she holds an office position for the Private Practice SIG. She was also the Treasurer for the PTWA Political Action Committee and has served on multiple APTA committees as well. Amy was born and raised in Montana and enjoys every chance she gets to return to the Big Sky in Montana for hunting, hiking, camping, and riding dirt bikes in the woods.
PT, DPT, NCS
Megan has been a physical therapist since 2014 and a Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) since July 2020. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Montana and also has a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Linfield University. Megan has practiced mostly in acute care, but also has experience in long term acute care. She specializes in vestibular rehabilitation as well as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She has been a guest lecturer for SFCC PTA program as well as an adjunct professor for Eastern Washington University's PT program for a semester in 2019. Megan enjoys hiking, music, traveling, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Spokane Falls Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Spokane Falls Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Address: 3030 Potomac Ave., Suit 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085
If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call the Program Director at 509-279-6245 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of Initial Accreditation: May 1997
Accredited: November 2, 2021 - November 2, 2031
Year of Graduation
Number of Applications Received
Number of Students Matriculated (1)
First time Licensure Exam Pass Rate (2)
Percent of Graduates Employed Within 1 Year
Applicants who were offered a place in the class who enrolled and began the program.
Pass rate is based on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy data.
Graduate survey data.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Spokane Falls Community College engages in continuous and systematic evaluation and improvement. We welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and constructive criticism as part of that process. The Grievance/Due Process policies (PTA program Student Handbook, Community Colleges of Spokane website https://ccs.spokane.edu/About-Us/Public-Disclosures/Right-to-Know and https://ccs.spokane.edu/About-Us/Leadership/Board-of-Trustees/Policies-Procedures/Chapter2 ) provide a voice for current and prospective students, employees, and other affiliated persons. However, individuals in the community who do not have a formal affiliation with this institution or program are also welcome to provide comments according to the following policy:
Complaints regarding accreditation of this program should be addressed to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085
Clinical education experiences play an important role in physical therapy education. Through clinical experiences, students are given the opportunity to develop and refine skills learned in the classroom by giving actual patient care in the clinic under structured supervision. For more information, see the Clinical Instructor Handbook.
Pre-requisites: BIOL 241
Number of students each start: 16 or 24; alternates every year.
Applications deadline: April 8, 2022
Notes: Information booklet and application booklet (must download and print)
Apply for admission to SFCC.
Prior to application to the program, complete one quarter anatomy and physiology lab course (BIOL 241 or equivalent), completed within the last five years with a 2.0 grade or better. Also, even though BIOL& 160 is not a prerequisite for BIOL& 241 for PTA students, it is recommended. (May be waived by counseling center or program director.)
Complete the physical therapist assistant program application booklet, also available at the SFCC counseling center. Applications are due by the deadline noted in the program application booklet.
Since the selection process is based on points (please see the application), it is beneficial to meet the admission recommendations prior to applying to the program.
Appropriate placement test scores for English and math (unless you already have received a 2.0 in a college level English and Math course). If you have not taken college level math, after receiving your Student Identification Number (SID), call to schedule your placement exam at the SFCC testing center at 509-533-3401.
General Psychology (PSYC 100)
Documentation of either paid work or volunteer experience in a medical setting (preferably at least 40 hrs in a physical therapy setting)
Satisfactory TOEFL scores for students where English is their second language (contact the program for acceptable scores). Please refer to www.ets.org/toefl for more information.
Each successful PTA applicant may be required to complete a background check, drug testing and submit proof of immunization. Clinical facilities may deny access to a student for any of the following:
Lack of current immunizations required by the site
A "discrepancy" on the criminal background check
A positive drug test
While entrance to the PTA Program may not be denied because of such a rating, without access to the clinical facilities a student may not be able to satisfactorily complete the PTA program and will be so advised.
Essential requirements needed for the profession which include communication skills, cognitive demands, physical skills and behavioral, social and professional skills are discussed in greater detail in the program information booklet.
The PTA program incorporates a selective process for admission. This process uses a point system based on coursework and experience as outlined in the application. Please be aware that the completion of all prerequisites does not ensure admission to the program.
Interested PTA program applicants do not need to take BIOL 160 (Biology) as a prerequisite for BIOL 241 (Anatomy and Physiology). With questions regarding this prerequisite please contact Laura Woods at 509-533-3530 or Laura.Woods@sfcc.spokane.edu.
The technical courses for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program are not designed to transfer to four-year schools.
A national licensing examination is required for most states in order to practice as a physical therapist assistant.
Have a question? Let's hear it.
Building 19, Office 106