Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of a physical therapist. Their duties include: assisting the physical therapist with treatment programs according to the plan of care; training patients in exercises and activities of daily living; conducting treatments; using special equipment; administering modalities and other treatment procedures; and reporting to the physical therapist about the patient’s responses.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you have an interest in helping others and enjoy working with people from a variety of backgrounds and abilities? Do you enjoy working independently, and are you in good physical and emotional health? If so, the Physical Therapist Assistant program may provide the opportunity you need to launch a great career.

    Students entering the Physical Therapist Assistant program should:

    • Have good reading, math, and comprehension skills.
    • Be in good physical and emotional health.
    • Be flexible, adaptable, and enjoy working with people.
    • Be self-confident, independent, and a self-directed learner.
    • Meet Wisconsin Caregiver Law requirements.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree
    • Day, evening/weekend and online classes may be available.
    • Financial aid is available to those that qualify.
    • August program start date; however, some classes will be available in January.
    • Qualified students may take some courses immediately upon program acceptance.
    • Students must achieve a grade of a C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
    • Current Healthcare Provider CPR certification must be maintained throughout the program. (Courses must include CPR, and a hands-on exam must be taken.)
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 23-24

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,713
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,614
    Books and Supplies $2,061
    Personal Expenses $2,245
    Transportation $2,007
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $83
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $21,323
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $10,662

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Acceptance to the program is based on a petition process. Students will be accepted as prepetition by completing the requirements below. As a prepetition student you will work on petition requirements to be completed by June 1st.

    Admission Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech (email, or mail to Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809)
    • Successful completion of Chemistry Coursework
      • Two semesters of High School Chemistry with a 'C' or higher
      • One semester of College Chemistry with a 'C' or higher
    • Schedule an Admissions Meeting - If you need assistance, call Student Services at 608.822.2354
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until January 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Petition Requirements

    Preferential Deadline: June 1st

    Program Requirements

    • Attendance of two mandatory orientation meetings: third Wednesday of July and the Thursday before classes begin
    • Prior to July 1st of your Fall semester, each student will need to complete and submit the
    • Background Information Disclosure - complete in MySWTC listed in "My Documents"
      • Attendance of two mandatory orientation meetings: third Wednesday of July, and the Thursday before classes begin
      • Prior to July 1st of your Fall semester each student will need to complete and submit the Background Information Disclosure - complete in MySWTC listed in "My Documents".
      • Prior to students' second semester in the PTA program, students will need to complete the Health Requirements listed below, to be able to participate in their clinical rotation experience:

    Credits Required for Graduation: 64

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    The graduate of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program will be able to:

    • Demonstrate clear and collaborative communication with patients, families, and health care team.
    • Exhibit behaviors and conduct that reflect respect and sensitivity according to physical therapy practice standards.
    • Function under the supervision of a physical therapist in a safe, legal, ethical manner to ensure the safety of patients, self, and others throughout the clinical interaction.
    • Produce documentation to support the delivery of physical therapy services.
    • Demonstrate critical thinking skills to implement and modify treatment within a plan of care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
    • Perform data collection essential for carrying out the plan of care under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
    • Perform technically competent, evidence-based physical therapy interventions under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
    • Educate patients, families and other health care providers.
    • Integrate components of operational and fiscal practices of physical therapy service in a variety of settings.
    • Implement a self-directed plan for career development, credentialing and lifelong learning.

    PTA Outcomes

    Professional Licensure Disclosure

    Southwest Tech’s Physical Therapist Assistant (P.T.A.) program is designed to prepare students to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants in Wisconsin. If you plan to pursue licensure in a state other than Wisconsin, please review state educational requirements for that state.

    Licensure Information

    The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to lead to a license for Physical Therapist Assistant (through NPTE) in Wisconsin. More licensure information can be found on the Program Accreditations and Licensure page.

  • Career Opportunities
  • Employment opportunities for Physical Therapist Assistant include:

    • Hospitals
    • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Outpatient Clinics
    • Sports Medicine Centers
    • Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care Facilities
    • Schools
    • Specialty Units
    • Home Health Agencies

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Physical Therapist Assistant Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-801-195Written CommunicationYes
    College Composition CLEP test would also be accepted for credit. However, the challenge exam is the preferred method.
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-809-172Introduction to Diversity StudiesYes
    10-809-188Developmental PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Human Growth and Development
    10-809-198Intro to PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Introduction to Psychology
  • Accreditation
  • Accreditation Status

    The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703.706.3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 608.822.2653 or email

If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Technical Skill Attainment Team (, 608.822.2464)