MIDLOTHIAN — Navarro College’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program was recently awarded a five-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) — which is the longest a new program can be awarded.

The PTA program helps prepare students to enter the field as physical therapy assistants through a rigorous program of academic and clinical studies. The PTA curriculum includes both classroom education at Navarro College — Midlothian and clinical training in traditional and non-traditional physical therapy practice settings. Upon successful completion of academic and clinical studies, students are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree. Graduates are then eligible to sit for the national certification exam for physical therapy assistants provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA).

Navarro College also announced its first cohort class under this accreditation graduated in December 2016. The students began the program in the Spring of 2015, and served as the inaugural class, beginning their studies even before the program was assured accreditation.

“I am so proud of this program," said Guy Featherston, Dean of Health Professions. "The extraordinary effort of the faculty in developing the courses, mentoring the students and gaining accreditation is a testament to your professionalism and dedication to the field of physical therapy. They put in many countless hours and sleepless nights working on the curriculum and the self-study, and they were rewarded with an outstanding site visit and accreditation result. They truly represent the student-first culture of what Navarro College represents.”

Faculty for the program includes Sarah Austin, PT, MPT, Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director; Lisa Rigsby, PT, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education; Lisa Machuga, BS, PTA, Assistant Professor. Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17. For more information on the program, contact the Health Professions Office at (903) 875-7581.