Physical Therapist Assistant




Next cycle closes on April 30, 2024.

*In preparation for the upcoming application cycle, please see the 2023-24 Application Checklist (also found at bottom of the page under the heading "Links:").

All application components will be submitted to PTA Central Application System (CAS) 


Application OPENS:

September 15, 2023

Application CLOSES:

April 30, 2024

Application Website:

 # of students accepted:



Physical Therapist Assistant

Looking for a way to help people daily, establish relationships, and feel the satisfaction of seeing individuals achieve a better quality of life? Then consider training as a Physical Therapist Assistant and deliver treatment plans and procedures in a variety of in-patient, out-patient, and home settings. You will provide hands-on skilled treatments to all ages and abilities of patients.

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are technically educated health care providers who are licensed in Texas and most other states.  PTA’s work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT) and help to manage conditions such as back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, birth defects, injuries related to work and sports, and others.  PTAs implement the plan of care developed by the PT by training patients in exercises and activities of daily living and administering treatments utilizing special equipment, physical agents, and/or therapeutic massage.  PTAs must communicate regularly with the PT regarding patient progress and must be prepared to respond to acute changes in the patient’s physiologic status.  They may not perform definitive evaluative and assessment procedures, alter a plan of care or goals, or recommend assistive devices or architectural barrier alterations.

Employment Opportunities:

Opportunities exist in a wide variety of practice settings.  PTAs may work in hospitals; rehabilitation facilities; out-patient clinics; skilled nursing, extended care or sub-acute facilities; homes; schools; hospices; education or research centers; industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments; and fitness centers and sports training facilities.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of PTAs is expected to grow by 33%  (much faster than average) from 2019 through 2029, and is listed as the eight fastest growing occupation for this same time frame.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports PTAs in 2018 had an average annual earnings in the United States of $48,990 and the 2018 average annual earnings in Texas was $69,680.  Average starting salaries for new graduates in the local area are between $43,000 - $53,000 a year.  Salaries vary considerably based on geographic locations and settings.

Application Deadline:

April 30 is the application deadline.  All testing must be completed and submitted prior to this date. 

Number of Students Admitted to the Program:

14-15 – The number admitted each year depends on the availability of clinical placements.

Program Length:

The program begins each fall semester and students graduate 20 months/5 semesters later in May (i.e. if one begins in Fall 2023, the soonest he or she can graduate is May 2025, with national testing for state licensure to follow in July 2025).

Licensure, Certification or Registry:

PTAs in the State of Texas are licensed by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.  Some events, such as having a history of substance abuse, being adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction or having a felony or misdemeanor conviction that directly relates to the practice of physical therapy MAY disqualify a candidate for licensure.

Crimes which the board considers to be directly related to the duties and responsibilities of a physical therapist assistant include, but are not limited to:  1) any felony which involves an act of fraud, dishonesty, or deceit; 2) any criminal violation of the Physical Therapy Practice Act or other statutes regulating or pertaining to physical therapy or the medical profession; 3) any crime involving moral turpitude; 4) murder; 5) assault; 6) burglary; 7) robbery; 8) theft; 9) rape or sexual abuse; 10) patient/client abuse; 11) injury to an elderly person; 12) child molestation, abuse, endangerment, or neglect; 13) felony conviction for driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving while ability is impaired; 14) sale, distribution, or illegal possession of narcotics, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs; 15) tampering with a governmental record; 16) animal cruelty or 17) offenses which include attempting or conspiring to commit any of the above offenses.

The Board has established a procedure for initiating the review of criminal history for potential licensees.  PTA program students or applicants with criminal histories must complete the Request a Criminal History Evaluation Form available on the Board’s website at (see the black box with a red text link) and submit the form to the Board for review.  There is no need to call the office and speak with an investigator.  As mandated by the Legislature, it will cost the individual with the criminal history $50.00 for this review.

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Accreditation Statement

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Odessa 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 432.335.6842 or email

Regarding Code of Federal Regulation 34CFR 668.43 (a)(5)(v)

The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following:

CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at


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What is Physical Therapy?

Patients and physicians are turning to physical therapy for conservative management of a wide variety of conditions. In many cases, patients are being sent to physical therapy instead of surgery.

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are the eleventh Fastest Growing Occupation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

PTs and PTAs help people with orthopedic conditions such as low back pain or osteoporosis; joint and soft tissue injuries such as fractures and dislocations; neurologic conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, or Parkinson's disease; connective tissue injuries such as burns or wounds; cardiopulmonary and circulatory conditions such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and workplace injuries including repetitive stress disorders and sports injuries.

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy outlines Physical Therapy Basics including differences between PTs and PTAs.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Odessa College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to provide our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become gainfully employed as physical therapist assistants and to become responsible, productive members of the health care community and society at large.


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is committed to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. We exist to provide the finest education possible to our students but as part of our commitment to our profession, we also maintain the patient as our primary focus. To this end, we are committed to preparing the students to become as proficient in respecting and preserving each patient's personal dignity as in providing the technical skills of physical therapy.


In accordance with its mission and philosophy, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program strives to achieve the following goals:

  • to provide a curriculum that includes effective theoretical, didactic, laboratory, and clinical instruction;
  • to ensure that program content is consistent with prevailing standards in the profession of physical therapy;
  • to graduate physical therapist assistants who competently, safely, effectively, and efficiently function within the scope of practice as defined by the profession and licensure requirements;
  • to graduate physical therapist assistants who are sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of each individual patient.



For email inquiries:

Dr. Jennifer Hodgens, PT, DPT 
Program Director 
Office: Health Sciences Building (HSB) 104A 
Phone: 432-335-6842 
Rosaura Gonzales 
Secretary to Health Sciences Programs 
Office: Health Sciences Building (HSB)  100 
Phone: 432-335-6831 
Mandi Burleson, PTA 
Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education 
Office: Health Sciences Building (HSB)  103A 
Phone: 432-335-6830