Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Oregon — Mt Hood Community College

The listing of physical therapy assistant schools in Oregon in the directory maintained by CAPTE currently has only one accredited PTA program, which is offered at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. Popularly known as MHCC, it has a 212 acre campus about 15 miles east of Portland and the school as a whole admits around 26,000 students each year.

PTA training at MHCC is delivered in the form of an Associate’s degree program, which commonly takes just under two years to complete. Students successfully finishing the course graduate with an Associate of Applied Science, and are then eligible to be candidates for licensure in the state of Oregon. Candidates for a license as a physical therapist assistant in the state must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam, administered by the FSBPT, and undergo a nationwide background check.

MHCC’s PTA Program Admission

Admission to Mt. Hood’s physical therapy assistant program is by selective entry. Shortlisted candidates are called to interview, and faculty chooses 24 students for each year’s class. Unlike some schools, the college does not operate a wait list, so if you are unsuccessful in applying in one year, you may reapply for next year’s class. This policy of not maintaining a waiting list has been adopted by some other schools as well. Some colleges have been finding that their waiting lists have been extending further and further into the future, and a better solution may be to re-evaluate admissions criteria.

Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Oregon    Mt Hood Community College

It means that prospective students for MHCC needs to be as well prepared as possible in order to present a competitive profile and impress the admissions panel. The faculty looks for a good performance in prerequisite courses, with a GPA of at least 2.5. Applicants also needs to have demonstrated their knowledge of the profession and commitment to a career in physical therapy by undertaking a period of work experience or observation of no less than 20 hours. A testimonial from supervising clinician is needed to support this. These prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline.

To help students find out more about the school and the program, a series of information sessions is organized throughout the year, on specific Monday afternoons and evenings.

PTA Curriculum at Mount Hood Community College

The PTA curriculum at MHCC is delivered via lectures, lab classes, and clinical experiences over eight quarters. Topics include:

  • Medical Language
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Psychology
  • PT Interventions
  • Clinical Kinesiology
  • Clinical Practice
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Clinical Applications
  • English Composition
  • Algebra

Students must pass all courses with a minimum grade C.

If you are interested in finding out more about the program, contact Debbie VanDover ( on 503-491-7465 or Kristen Kjensrud ( on 503-491-7464. As there are no other physical therapy assistant schools in Oregon with an accredited program, it’s likely that there will be considerable interest in places on the course from aspiring PTAs.

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