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The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Green River Community College awards an Associate in Applied Science degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Students are prepared for employment as PTAs in a variety of physical therapy practice settings. Upon completion of the program graduates are eligible to apply for licensure and sit for the licensing examination.

Physical Therapist Assistants, under the supervision of Physical Therapists, utilize therapeutic exercise, functional training, adaptive devices (including prosthetics), and physical agents (water, electricity, sound, light, heat and cold) to restore, maintain, and promote optimal physical function. They work with a diverse range of individuals who have physical limitations or disabilities resulting from injury, disease, or surgery.

The PTA degree includes related instruction requirements in anatomy and physiology, communication, English composition and math. These may be completed at any accredited college or university. Program studies include coursework specific to physical therapy theory, skills and behavior as well as practical clinical experiences in area health care facilities. PTA courses must be taken in sequence.

Physical therapist assistant courses begin fall quarter of each year and must be taken in sequence.

Students must:

  1. Complete required supporting courses prior to entering the program;
  2. Complete and submit a General Admissions application to Green River Community College (if you have not previously attended Green River Community College);
  3. Complete and submit a separate Physical Therapist Assistant application;
  4. Be admitted into the program.

Thirty-two (32) students will be accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant program each year. Application forms are available online in late fall quarter or by calling the Career & Advising Office at (253) 833-9111 ext. 2641.

The classes for the PTA program are not designed to transfer. Students who seek physical therapist degrees should pursue a bachelor’s degree and then attend a physical therapy program.

PTAs are employed in a wide variety of settings including hospitals and rehabilitation facilities; outpatient clinics and offices; skilled nursing, extended care or convalescent facilities; home health agencies; hospices; schools and other pediatric facilities; sports therapy clinics and athletic facilities.

The demand for physical therapist assistants is strong in the Puget Sound area and nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 44 percent increase in the need for PTAs this decade. In the Seattle-Tacoma area the average pay range is $18-24 per hour, plus benefits.

All of Green River’s PTA program graduates who have sought employment in physical therapy have been employed. Many students have obtained jobs prior to graduation.

Essentially 100% of program graduates are consistently employed within 6 months of passing the licensure examination. This has been true since 2008 when licensure was first required in Washington State. Many students have job offers prior to graduation. The college maintains a web-based job board that is accessible to all graduates and includes positions appropriate for PTAs. Additionally, the college hosts a health careers job fair each January or February

Feel free to call or e-mail the instructors of our programs with questions or concerns you may have. If you are an employer seeking to post a physical therapist assistant or physical therapy aide position at Green River Community College, please e-mail Karen Brasch with the specific information.

Career and Advising Center
Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2641
E-mail address: Beadvised@greenriver.edu

Donette Parry, PTA, M.B.A.
Program Director/ACCE
Physical Therapy Instructor
Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 4489
E-mail address: dparry@greenriver.edu

Pam Kikillus, PT, DHSc
PTA Instructor/Full time faculty
Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 4343
E-mail address: pkikillus@greenriver.edu

The Green River Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is committed to ongoing program assessment and improvement. Comments and feedback about the program are welcomed. Graduates, clinical instructors and students are routinely surveyed. There are Grievance/Due Process policies in place for individuals associated with the program. Concerns that fall within the Grievance/Due Process (Green River Community College Catalog, Student Handbook and the College Policies & Procedures Manual; Academic Standards and Progress, SS-01 and Rules of Student Conduct, GA-20 at www.greenriver.edu/Policies/policies) should be addressed using those identified processes.

Individuals who do not have a formal affiliation with the college and/or those whose concern falls outside of the Grievance/Due Process procedures are welcome to provide comments as outlined in the following policy:

  1. This process is only for comments and concerns that cannot be addressed through procedures outlined in the Green River Community College Catalog, Green River Community College Student Handbook, and PTA Program Student Handbook.
  2. Comments are to be provided in writing and signed. Unsigned comments will not be acknowledged or processed.
  3. Comments are to be submitted to:
    PTA Program Director – Science Learning Center (SC)
    Green River Community College
    12401 SE 320th St. Auburn, WA 98092-3622
  4. The PTA Program Director shall respond to comments within seven days in order to further discuss and resolve the concern as indicated. If it is not possible to achieve a satisfactory resolution, appeal may be made to the Health Science and Family Studies Division Chair. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the appeal may be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Professional Technical and Workforce Education within seven days. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the appeal may then be submitted to the Executive Vice President within seven days. The decision of the Executive Vice President is final and not subject to further appeal.

All records will be maintained confidentially by the PTA Program Director for five years and are not open to the public unless a Records Request is submitted.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs.

CAPTE currently accredits over 200 physical therapist education programs and over 250 physical therapist assistant education programs in the US and three physical therapist education programs in other countries (Canada and Scotland).

CAPTE considers complaints about programs that are accredited, or are seeking accreditation by CAPTE, and complaints about CAPTE itself.

Formal Complaints: CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education programs (PT or PTA) that allege a program is not in compliance with one or more of CAPTE's Evaluative Criteria or has violated any of CAPTE's expectations related to academic integrity. CAPTE will consider two types of complaints: those that involve situations subject to institutional due process policies and procedures and those that involve situations not subject to due process procedures:

Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488

Phone: (703) 706-3245
E-mail: accreditation@apta.org