Physical Therapist Assistant

Delta's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program was first developed in 1976 and has a history of student success. The PTA program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Delta's PTA program is a leader in the State of Michigan and beyond.


Admission to the PTA program

When you've completed the the required observation hours and the validation courses listed in the catalog (see notations at the bottom of the page), you will apply to the PTA program through a process called validation. The registration office will certify that you've completed the required prerequisite courses and qualifications. You are guaranteed a spot to begin the clinical portion of your program once you've been validated, as long as you complete the clinical registration steps annually.

The PTA program has limited enrollment

    • 20 students per year enter the PTA program. 
    • Up to 8 of the 20 students are accepted by scholarly admission. 

Scholar Admission 

All validated PTA students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply. The criteria that is reviewed for scholar admission is as follows:

    • Overall GPA
    • Number of credits at Delta College
    • Average BIO 140 or 152/153 grade
    • Previously earned degrees or certifications
    • Paid work experience
    • Unpaid/volunteer work experience
    • Presidential Honors Scholar
    • Honors Classes
    • Graduate of BAISD PT/OT/Sports Med program or equivalent

Frequently Asked Questions

The technical phase of the program is four semesters long.

Each semester in the (PTA) program is 12+ credits and requires a full-time commitment to be successful. Students spend many hours outside of class studying and practicing skills.

Most PTA courses are offered during the day; however, students may occasionally be asked to be available on nights or weekends for special events.

Yes, there are some fully online courses and blended courses in the PTA program. 

Yes. Delta’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

We accept a new cohort of students every year in the fall.

Students must complete the pre-requisite courses and required observation hours before they can be considered for admission into the program and complete the validation process.

20 hours of observation are required. These hours will be split between 2 different clinical sites. Students are responsible for setting up their observations on their own. Students must take the observation hours form with them and have it filled out on-site as verification of their experience. There is no required window of time to complete the observation hours – you can start at any time.

All students interested in applying to the program at Delta should review the Validation for Health Programs page.

Please contact the program coordinator for an up-to-date answer to this question.

Many students take business or health classes, complete a dual degree, pursue a certification, work or volunteer in the field.


Technical Standards of the PTA Program

Technical standards are based upon and include the following entry-level duties and activities of a Physical Therapist Assistant as defined by program outcomes, input from our advisory committee and national accreditation.

Technical Tasks

The Physical Therapist Assistant will be able to safely perform quality physical therapy treatments to the patient including implementation of tests, measurements, modalities, exercise programs, gait, balance and transfer training. Technical tasks will include patient and room preparation, manipulation of physical therapy equipment, performing technical and ancillary tasks necessary to provide patient services per institutional policy.

    1. Effectively and promptly communicate with multiple internal and external individuals including patients, families, physical therapists, physicians, other healthcare professionals, etc.
    2. Safely lift/push/pull medical equipment in excess of fifty (50) pounds with or without assistance
    3. Safely transfer patients with or without assistance and without restrictions
    4. Successfully complete all required program clinical experiences and required program courses
    5. Safely guard patients during transfers, gait training, or balance exercises with or without an assistive device, orthotic, prosthetic, or exercise equipment
    6. Perform manipulative tasks such as:
      1. safely utilize and set parameters on electric/thermal equipment
      2. complete sterile and/or clean dressing changes
      3. assist patient in donning/doffing prosthetics/orthotics
      4. safely transfer patient to/from bed, floor, cart, toilet, mat table, treatment table (plinth), wheelchair, chair or whirlpool
    7. Safely perform physical therapy treatments, such as:
      1. prepare cold/hot packs with covering and position it on patient
      2. position and reposition patient supine, prone, side-lying, and sitting according to their health condition on a hospital bed, mat table, plinth, or wheelchair
      3. move a patient's appendage to perform or assist them with exercises
      4. perform a massage on a patient
      5. position patient in, around or with exercise equipment, set parameters and monitor treatment
      6. position patients while performing tests and/or measurements on patients' body
    8. Respond appropriately and promptly to emergency situation
    9. Assess a patient's condition through interaction with patient and caregivers, observation of conditions and behaviors, and review of charts
    10. Document patient treatment sessions and complete insurance billing appropriately and accurately

Contact us
Make an appointment with student services departments.

1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710
989–686–9000
info@delta.edu