The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is the focus of this month’s edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.” Our guest is Dr. Cyndy Warner who is PTA Program Coordinator.
For the third year in a row each PTA student who completed the coursework and took the boards, known as the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam, earned a passing grade. That perfect rate is well above the national average of 84.6 percent.
Every student in OCC’s PTA program who has wanted to go directly into the workforce has done so within six months of earning their degree or passing the exam. They have found employment in nursing homes, hospitals or private practices. PTA’s always work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. They help patients regain range of motion, strength, and above all, confidence in their body to take them where they need to go.
The future job market for graduates of OCC’s program is strong. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the overall employment of pta’s and aides is projected to grow 30 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an older population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.
The learning environment within the program is outstanding. Students range in age from right out of high school to in their 50s.