Central Penn College - New PTA lab to open at Lancaster Center

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April 18, 2014 New PTA lab to open at Lancaster Center

On Tuesday, April 22, Central Penn College’s Lancaster Center will unveil its new Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) lab and classroom to accepted students, the allied health community, faculty and staff during an open house celebration.

In July, the Lancaster Center will welcome its first group of students to study the PTA associate degree program, which is awaiting approval at the end of April from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPTE/APTA). The competitive program is enrolling qualified students for the July start, and will enroll a maximum of 30 students to start in January 2015.

“Central Penn Lancaster is offering a whole new approach to PTA education by offering courses through a mix of online and on-site evening courses,” says Dr. Lori Eberly, lead PTA faculty at Central Penn Lancaster. I don’t know of any other colleges or universities in the area that offer evening courses for working adults or traditional-age students.”

In fact, according to the CAPTE/APTA website, Central Penn Lancaster is the only college or university in the state of Pennsylvania that offers evening courses for this in-demand degree program.  Students will take two four-hour classes per week on-site, and complete their other classes online.

The new lab not only offers the modalities offered in a typical PTA lab, such as electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, paraffin baths, a traction table and ambulation devices, but it also includes a Hoyer Lift ® —a patient lift unit that most students do not have the opportunity to work with until they are actually working in a clinic.

The Hoyer Lift, and many other units, were sold to Central Penn at a reduced price from Therapies Unlimited, when owner Melanie Gagnon decided to close and become a traveling physical therapist. Central Penn’s lab also includes: sensory education equipment for stroke rehabilitation; manipulative devices for dexterity; a stairs unit; a stepper/ergometer unit for cardiac rehab education; units to take vital signs; a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels; exercise stations; a TheraBand ® wall station; dumb bells and weights.

The new classroom offers the latest in SMART board technology and has a magnifying camera for anatomy and physiology classes, used mainly for dissections.

Central Penn’s PTA program is the most popular associate degree program at its Summerdale campus, and according to the College’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 90.8 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. 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.


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