Physical Therapist Assistant PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistants are a valued component of physical therapy practice. You'll work with your supervising physical therapist to help patients meet their functional goals. Through exercises, symptom management, functional movement training, and self-care techniques, you'll help patients gain the skills and confidence to move confidently and comfortably and prevent injury. Through Lane’s Physical Therapist Assistant program, you’ll develop the skills you need to be an asset in any setting where people come for physical therapy

Is the Physical Therapist Assistant program for you?

Do you find the human body fascinating? Do you like helping people live full, active lives? Do you enjoy working in a team that helps others improve their health and recover from injury or surgery? Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are licensed healthcare providers that help prevent, restore, and optimize movement. Whether you’re interested in working with athletes, amputees, injured workers, the elderly, or in general practice, Lane’s PTA program can help you achieve your dreams.

Through online lectures, lab practice, and realistic simulations with faculty and peers, you’ll learn the skills you need to thrive as a PTA. During the first year of the program, you’ll need to be on campus at least one full day per week. In the second year, you’ll continue with online lecture and in-person lab classes and complete three, full-time six-week supervised internships in an assigned physical therapy setting. View our detailed essential abilities.

When you’re ready to get started, just apply! Our Admissions office staff will guide you through the steps to enroll to get you started right. You can also contact Admissions with any questions you have about the college, to schedule a tour of the campus, or just to say hello. If you’re not ready to apply today, you can request more information on the program and we’ll get in touch to make a plan that works for you.

What will you learn in the Physical Therapist Assistant program?

Through our classes both in-person and online, you’ll learn to work safely and effectively under the direction of a physical therapist. This includes:

  • Teaching appropriate exercises for improving strength, flexibility, coordination, agility, and performance
  • Instructing and progressing mobility skills, such as bed mobility, sitting, standing, walking, and higher level mobility skills depending on the condition and plan
  • Using ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, and other tools to help reduce pain, improve strength, and assist tissue healing
  • Using rehabilitation equipment and aids to optimize patient safety and function
  • Performing selected tests and measures that inform clinical decision making when implementing the physical therapy plan of care
  • Collecting and reporting relevant data, such as aerobic capacity, pain, cognition, joint motion, muscle performance, neuromuscular development and performance, posture, self-care, circulation, respiration, ventilation, and home/community management
  • Communicating effectively with a variety of healthcare providers, such as nurses, doctors, and other rehabilitation professionals
  • Advocating for patients, the public, and health care through engagement with the American Physical Therapy Association, Oregon Physical Therapy Association, and providing at least 10 hours of community service for a non-profit organization.
  • Practicing responsibly in accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association Standards of Ethical Practice for the Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants are an integral part of rehabilitation teams. With the skills you’ve learned at Lane, you’ll be prepared to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant examination and earn your license and support physical therapists to help people improve the way they move! View our detailed program of study.

Applying to the Physical Therapist Assistant program

In order to provide individual instruction and support, admission to Lane’s PTA program is selective. Applications are typically due following winter term and admission decisions are made in the spring and/or summer. Admitted students begin their two-year program in the fall. Learn more about the application process. In order to apply, you'll need to complete several prerequisites. Contact an advisor to learn more!

What can you do next?

You can work in a wide variety of settings such as outpatient physical therapy clinics, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and in-home care! Do you like exploring new places and meeting new people? You can work as a traveling PTA and go wherever you’re needed! Lane PTA graduates are successful in finding employment both in Oregon and beyond.

Some Physical Therapist Assistant courses transfer to Pacific University and Oregon Institute of Technology. PTA’s that earn four-year or advanced degrees may choose to become educators, researchers, and administrators.

Personal attention from engaging faculty

As a student in the PTA program, you'll work closely with faculty. Your courses will consist of a mixture of classroom and laboratory instruction. In the classroom, you'll learn the theory and skills you need to be a successful professional, and you'll never have a PTA class with more than 28 students. You'll have ample opportunity and practice and hone the skills you've learned in labs.

With one faculty member for every ten students in lab classes, you'll receive personalized attention and feedback throughout the program. Because our faculty have real world experience, they bring those experiences to the classroom to help inform what you learn! Because of our small class sizes, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know your faculty on a first name basis.

Get to know the Physical Therapist Assistant faculty and advisors

The faculty and advisors for the program can help you meet your career goals. They can answer any program specific questions you might have, and help you find opportunities outside of the classroom. Advisors will help you schedule your classes and plan for the future. You’ll work with them to create a term by term planner that meets your needs and goals to ensure you complete your degree. And if you’re planning on transferring to a four-year school they can help you take the classes you need to count towards your bachelor's degree.

Get real world work experience

Employers are interested in knowing you have real world experience. Throughout your studies, you'll receive practical instruction through lab courses. You'll also complete three clinical internships! During these internships, you'll put the skills you've learned into practice, earning the experience you need to stand out. Our program partners with physical therapy providers throughout Oregon and beyond, and many students even continue to paid employment at their former internship site.

Program Accreditation and Disclosures

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lane Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 541-463-5617 or email

Financial Aid Consumer Information

Three-Year Acceptance and Matriculation Rates

Admission Year Applications Students Admitted
2019 78 20 Eugene, 8 So. OR
2020 85 20 Eugene, 9 So. OR
2021 69 20 Eugene, 8 So. OR

Two-Year Program Outcomes (2020-2021)

Location Graduation Rate NPTA Exam Ultimate Pass Rate Employment Rate*
Eugene Campus 94.6% 97% 100%
Southern Oregon Campus 84.6% 100% 100%

 *Employment rate data is for 2020. Employment data will be updated by May 2022 

State of the art facilities

Whether you’re completing your degree at Lane’s main campus in Eugene or at our partner campus at Rogue Community College in White City, you’ll have access to well equipped, state of the art classrooms. Equipment and materials including a Shuttle Balance, standing frames, biophysical agents, and more allow for authentic practice and skill building that meets the needs of today’s physical therapy provider.

An Award Winning Program

Our students have been recognized by the Oregon Physical Therapy Association, the American Physical Therapy Association, and more for their leadership and contributions to the community! In 2018, one of our students won the prestigious American Physical Therapy Association Minority Scholarship Award for Student Physical Therapist Assistants and was honored at their national conference. Program coordinator Christina Howard was recognized in the "Top Docs" guide published in the winter 2018-19 issue of Eugene Magazine!

Attending classes at Lane

Lane’s main campus is tucked into the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, providing a stunning landscape for your education. With incredible resources on campus like advising, tutoring services, the library, and so many more, you have the opportunity to make the most out of your degree. Lane also offers student housing at Titan Court in downtown Eugene, next to our Mary Spilde Center. Ready to learn more? Schedule a campus tour to explore our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.