Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Mendocino College Physical Therapist Assistant Program receives full accreditation, first cohort completes coursework

The Mendocino College Physical Therapist Assistant Program class. Courtesy photo.

NORTH COAST, CAlif. — The Physical Therapist Assistant, or PTA, program at Mendocino College has been granted full accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, also called CAPTE.

“In addition to being granted full accreditation status in December, we also celebrated the very first cohort to complete the PTA program course of study. It was a trailblazing experience for all of the 16 pioneering students,” said Dean of Career Education, Dennis Aseltyne. “We are the first PTA program of this kind in California to partner with another Community College (Shasta), to share instructors regionally in a hybrid delivery model. We are now the only CAPTE accredited PTA program between San Francisco and Mt. Hood College near Portland, Oregon serving the northern California coast.”

The Mendocino College PTA Program applied for and was granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education on Oct. 29, 2019.

Candidate for accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses.

The first cohort of students began classes in January 2020 and completed in December 2021 under the fully accredited program.

"It is a great opportunity to have an accredited physical therapist assistant program at Mendocino College,” says Program Director Sara Bogner. “This program provides another avenue for education and career training at Mendocino College. As the population ages, there is a great need for physical therapist assistants not only in our area but statewide and nationally. The program recently received national accreditation and the first cohort of students has completed training. These students are preparing to take the national licensure exam this month and will be a welcome asset to the workforce."

“The Mendocino College Physical Therapist Assistant Program has been such a blessing! These past two years in the program have taught me so much”, says Matthew Arlich, one of the graduating PTA students. “I have wanted to pursue being a Physical Therapist Assistant for years, and it has been such a privilege and honor to be part of the cohort class. All of my instructors have been so supportive and have taught us all so much these past two years. I would highly recommend this program to anybody. This career is so rewarding, and has many excellent benefits. It is 110 percent worth all of the hard work that you put into it. Looking forward to seeing many more future PTAs graduate and benefit from this program at Mendocino College!”

The PTA program is a hybrid design with theory courses offered online and laboratory courses offered at the Mendocino College Ukiah campus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program directors and faculty have been able to modify face-to-face instruction in order to continue to hold labs on campus, giving students the best possible education experience. The program requires that students be on campus in Ukiah at least two days per week for laboratory courses during the spring and fall semesters.

The PTA program is a five-semester program with students earning an Associates of Science degree and eligibility to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for licensure as a PTA upon completion. Applications are accepted each year between August 15 and October 15, with a new cohort of students beginning the program each January.

For a list of prerequisites and other information about the program, please visit www.mendocino.edu/pta.

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