Press Release

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program coming to Atlanta Tech

The Southern Association of College and Schools has approved a new Associate of Applied Science degree for Physical Therapist Assistants at Atlanta Technical College. The new degree will prepare students to work in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics; hospitals; inpatient rehabilitation facilities; skilled nursing, extended care or sub-acute facilities; home health care, education or research centers; schools;hospices; industrial, workplace, or other occupational environment; fitness centers and sports training facilities. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) help people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Working under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, PTAs aid patients in the medical recovery process. They administer electrical stimulation, ultrasounds, gait and balance training, mechanical traction and other therapeutic methods. While workers in this field must have good people skills, keen observation skills are equally critical to their success as PTAs often serve as medical historians, recording the patients’ responses to exercises and treatments. 

This field is projected to surge as baby boomers advance in age and require heightened rehabilitative services. The Georgia Department of Labor predicts a 36.7 percent increase in the physical therapy field in the state of Georgia between 2008 and 2018, exceeding the projected state average employment growth rate of 14 percent. “The allied health industry is in dire need of qualified Physical Therapist Assistants,” says program coordinator Dr. Queenston Thorpe. “The program at Atlanta Technical College will use cutting-edge technology and industry-grade equipment to ensure that our graduates not only meet but also exceed the expectations of employers and the regional allied health community.”

“We take pride in providing a world-class education at Atlanta Technical College,” explains President Alvetta Peterman Thomas. “Our high ideals and rigorous standards have been built into the fabric of this program. Students in the PTA program will have an unrivaled pedagogical experience that will be paired with in-depth and probing clinical involvements. The result will be a cohort of exceptional allied health professionals who are ready and willing to meet the demands of the industry on day one.”

The program will begin in fall 2012 with limited competitively selected students who have completed most support courses. However, anyone interested in starting on the pathway to a career in allied health and considering pursuing an education in physical therapy assisting, radiologic technology, surgical technology, dental hygiene or nursing can enroll in the Health Care Science Technical Certificate of Credit in October 2011 or January 2012.

Atlanta Technical College will host two information sessions on the physical therapist assistant program on November 15 and November 29.  Both sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Brenda Watts Jones Allied Health and Technology Complex at Atlanta Technical College.  For more information on the Physical Therapist Assistant program, contact Dr. Queenston Thorpe at 404-225-4557 or

Atlanta Technical College is seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: (703) 706-3245; The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status nor does it assure that the program will be granted Accreditation.