Walters State PTA Program Has 100% Placement, Pass Rates

If you or your family receive physical therapy while in a healthcare facility or as an outpatient in this area, a Walters State graduate is likely involved. The college’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program boasts a 100% pass rate on the National Physical Therapist Assistant exam and a 100% job placement rate for the 2022-23 academic year.

“A PTA works under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide treatment,” said Marissa Miller, physical therapist and director of the PTA program. “A physical therapist evaluates the patient and develops a treatment plan and works with PTA in implanting the care plan.”

Miller said graduates work in many areas, including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient clinics. Some work in home health. Patients range from infants to those nearing the end of life. Most patients are in between and often recovering from physical damaged caused by an accident or illness. For example, a patient could be working to regain movement range lost due to a car accident or a stroke.

“Our graduates are prepared academically and clinically to handle those challenges,” Miller said.

Before applying to the program, students are required to complete 30 hours of observation with a physical therapist or a licensed PTA.

“This way, students know what the job will be and can see that it’s a good fit,” she added.

Prior to graduation, students must complete 15 weeks of full-time clinical education, working closely with providers in various settings. Many students get job offers during clinical rotations.

“Clinical rotations expose students to a variety of settings,” Miller said. “This helps students determine what career path they want to take. One may discover a love of working with young children while another may find assisting athletes more rewarding.”

Applications for the fall 2024 class are due by April 15 for those who have met the prerequisites. Miller encourages those just now considering a career to visit the website for more details.

Prospective PTAs are required to complete two semesters of biology and a semester of mathematics. Miller recommends that students complete all general education courses prior to enrolling in the PTA program.

“Completing all of the outside courses allows the student to concentrate on the PTA courses,” Miller said.

Many PTA students receive financial aid, including Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, Hope Lottery and Pell grants.

For more information or to apply, students should visit