Coeur d’Alene, ID – On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) voted to approve the start-up of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Consortium Program delivered by the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), College of Western Idaho (CWI), Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC), and North Idaho College (NIC). This approval will allow the four colleges to move forward with enrolling students for classes starting in January.
The program will be delivered to each of the four college campuses utilizing interactive video conferencing that allows students from each institution to participate in the lectures as a larger cohort group, and then have lab time at their own campuses. Clinical experiences are also integrated throughout the curriculum to offer students the opportunity to practice techniques they have learned each semester.
The program is designed to be completed in two years, including the integrated clinical affiliations. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national physical therapist assistant exam and apply for state licensure once initial accreditation is achieved. The program is on track to be evaluated for initial accreditation in November 2015 with graduation of the first class of students occurring shortly thereafter. According to Occupational Employment Statistics, Idaho’s job market for physical therapist assistants shows growth of more than 27 percent in the next 10 years.
“Joint efforts like the Physical Therapist Assistant program between Idaho’s public institutions help ensure accessibility to everyone throughout the state,” noted Todd Schwarz, State Administrator at the Division of Professional-Technical Education. “The institutions in our state are working together to provide consistency in the quality of education and making sure that the tax payers support of the programs are invested wisely. This is why our higher education system continues to gain strength in meeting workforce demand.”