Iowa Western Community College

Physical Therapist Assistant

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 4 Semesters, 2 Summers
Award: A.A.S.
*Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

Completed Online: Full-Time Only
Completed in the Evenings: Day
Pathway: Career Path
Career Cluster: Health and Sciences
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) curriculum prepares graduates to perform physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist (PT). Students benefit from a small class size and faculty team of PTs and PTAs with diverse experience in orthopedics, geriatrics, wound care and pediatrics. Students will take advantage of leading-edge equipment, apartment and hospital room labs and have the ability to complete 13 weeks of hands-on clinical practice.  As part of our service to the community, PTA program students have worked under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to teach fall prevention to assisted living residents, backpack safety to preschoolers and cooking skills to young adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. 

Articulations are in place and students have great opportunities to transfer to four-year schools to complete a bachelor’s degree in Health Science or Health Care Services/Business.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Iowa Western Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:[email protected]; website:  The program’s current status is probationary accreditation; for more information see .  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Todd Nierman at (712) 388-7697 or email [email protected] .

Accreditation Assistant

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; [email protected] is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Career Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. Physical therapist assistants are employed in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, schools and long-term care facilities. The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 41% increase in this exciting field through 2022, due in part to a growing population and expansion of home health and skilled nursing services. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate competent, entry-level physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Demonstrate safe, ethical, and legal behaviors to minimize risk of patients, self, and others.
  • Communicate in an effective and culturally competent manner.
  • Display caring and compassionate behaviors as a member of the physical therapy profession and community at large.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional development through life-long learning and self-assessment.

Average: $17.59
Entry Level: $11.19
Experienced: $24.30

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.