Physical Therapist Assistant


Committed to investing, through quality education and skills training, in culturally competent, entry-level practitioners who are dedicated to advancing the movement and health of diverse communities as represented by the eleven-county district and beyond served by Northwest Mississippi Community College. 


  • Beginning with a vision in 2016, Northwest Mississippi Community College sought to expand its current health science offerings to better serve the students in the territories served by the college.  Over a time period of 2.5 years, Northwest Mississippi Community College has committed time and efforts with the anticipation of developing the Physical Therapist Assistant program. 
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national data for the years of 2016-2026, Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant jobs are numbered at 239,800 and 140,300 and are expected to increase by 28% (67,100 jobs) and 30% (42,700 jobs), respectively.  This growth trend is much faster than the average for all occupations in the BLS database (2018). 
  • In accordance to the bylaws in the State of Mississippi, a Physical Therapist can supervise four Assistants at a time (MSBPT, 2017). 
  • PTA is listed as #8 on the list of fastest growing occupations, nationally (BLS, 2018).  Northwest Mississippi has invested significant time and efforts in planning/developing of a Physical Therapy Assistant Program at the college, with the process still ongoing.  With the steadily increasing numbers of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, it is expected that the need for physical therapy services will continue to rise.


Accountability is active acceptance of the responsibility for the diverse roles, obligations, and actions of the physical therapist including self‐regulation and other behaviors that positively influence patient and client outcomes, the profession, and the health needs of society.

Altruism is the primary regard for or devotion to the interest of patients and clients, thus assuming the fiduciary responsibility of placing the needs of patients and clients ahead of the physical therapist’s self‐interest.

Compassion and Caring
Compassion is the desire to identify with or sense something of another’s experience; a precursor of caring. Caring is the concern, empathy, and consideration for the needs and values of others.

Excellence is physical therapist practice for which the physical therapist consistently uses current knowledge and theory while understanding personal limits, integrates judgment and the patient or client perspective, embraces advancement, challenges mediocrity, and works toward development of new knowledge.

Integrity is steadfast adherence to high ethical principles and professional standards, being truthful, ensuring fairness, following through on commitments, and verbalizing to others the rationale for actions.

Professional Duty
Professional duty is the commitment to meeting one’s obligations to provide effective physical therapist services to patients and clients, to serve the profession, and to positively influence the health of society.

Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is the promotion of a mutual trust between the profession and the larger public that necessitates responding to societal needs for health and wellness. 


  • NWCC Application
  • PTA Application
  • ACT Score of 18, must also qualify to take or have taken College Algebra
  • HESI A2 Entrance Exam
  • 2.0 or higher in all academic courses with the exception of 3.0 or higher in Anatomy & Physiology I/II Lecture and Lab is REQUIRED to remain in the program
  • At least 20 Volunteer/Observation Hours
  • Background Check
  • Drug Screen
  • An objective scoring tool will be utilized for student applications
  • Must be 18 years or older at start of course
  • Applicants who have been enrolled in another PTA program must be eligible to return to that program and must provide a letter of good standing from the PTA program attended in order to be considered for the NWCC PTA Program
  • Applicants with two withdrawals or failures from any other PTA program/course are not eligible for admission to the NWCC PTA Program for three years from the date of the last nursing course taken.


DEVELOPING PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION                                                                             

Program Director
Name           Barton Allen, PT, DPT
Title:             Director of Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Address:      4975 Highway 51 North, Senatobia, MS 38668
Phone:         662-562-3247
Office:          Gary Lee Spears Health Science Building, Office 435

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. 

Northwest Mississippi Community College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE.  The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation state, on December 01, 2021.  Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status.  Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the Technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in Technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved.  Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.


The developing physical therapy assistant program at Northwest Mississippi Community College is planning for a charter class graduation in July/August, 2023.  Initial accreditation decisions are acted upon at the next regularly scheduled Fall Meeting of the Commission following the on-site visit, which must occur during the penultimate term when the charter class is enrolled.  CAPTE will not make exceptions to its Rules to accommodate graduation dates that precede regularly scheduled CAPTE meeting dates, e.g., graduation in the summer.  A summer graduation does not allow the initial accreditation decision to occur prior to the graduation date.  The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) sets the dates for licensing exams.  The first sitting for which student with a July/August graduation date would be in January.  Therefore, the timing of the planned graduation date increases the likelihood of a significant financial disadvantage for students due to an approximate six-month delay in possible employment as a physical therapist assistant.