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July 8, 2013 Central Penn expands PTA program to Lancaster Center

Upon approval from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPTE/APTA), Central Penn College will extend its current successful Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) associate degree program on the Summerdale campus to the college’s Lancaster Center. The competitive program is now enrolling a maximum of 15 students to start in July 2014, and will enroll a group of 30 students to start January 2015.

The degree is designed for working adults and traditional-age students, and will be offered through a mix of online and on-site evening courses at Central Penn Lancaster. Students will receive instruction in a PTA lab equipped with the tools that practicing PTAs use daily.

“The success of the current PTA program on the Summerdale campus, as well as the growth of the profession, has enabled the college the opportunity to expand the program to the Lancaster Center,” says PTA Program Director Krista Wolfe, DPT, ATC. “In fact, the majority of Central Penn College’s PTA students reside in Lancaster County. It made sense to bring our career-focused, hands-on courses directly to our students, especially given the significant employment growth for PTAs projected for Lancaster and the surrounding area.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry projects a 21.4 percent employment growth in the PTA profession in Lancaster County from 2010 to 2020.

The PTA program on Central Penn’s Summerdale campus is the college’s most popular associate degree program, and according to Central Penn’s most recent one-year graduate report, 89.5 percent of the PTA graduates are currently employed in their chosen field or continuing their education.

When students graduate, they already have 640 hours of real-world experience from two weeks of clinical practice and two internships at clinics across the United States, with the majority of clinics being housed locally. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for their national licensure exam on which a passing score must be obtained before practicing as a PTA. Currently, the first-time exam pass rate for Central Penn graduates is 95 percent, which is well above the 80 percent standard set by the accrediting body for Central Penn’s PTA program.

Central Penn’s Summerdale PTA program is accredited by CAPTE/APTA, and the Central Penn Lancaster PTA program is pending approval from CAPTE/APTA.

Physical therapist assistants aid physical therapists in providing services that help improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They may work in various environments including hospitals, nursing facilities, private practices and rehabilitation centers.

To learn more about the program, visit www.centralpenn.edu/pta or call 1-800-759-2727 to speak to a personal admissions counselor about transferrable credits and admissions requirements.

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Central Penn College has been helping students turn potential into career success since 1881, now offering associate, bachelor's and master’s degrees in the fields of accounting, business administration, criminal justice, information technology, communications, healthcare, homeland security, legal studies and organizational leadership. The college, currently serving students at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations, attributes its high rate of student success to a caring faculty and its hands-on learning approach. Based on Central Penn’s most recent One-Year Graduate Survey, 87.8 percent of graduates were employed in their chosen field or continuing their education within one year of graduation. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. www.centralpenn.edu