The goal of the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Finlandia University is to enable the graduate to function effectively as a physical therapist assistant in any practice setting.
Finlandia is proud to offer the only PTA program in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our fully equipped PTA lab focuses on hands-on learning and allows students the opportunity work with modalities they would see in a clinic setting. Even with the distinction, Finlandia’s PTA program boasts a 6 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio ensuring our students are taught using proper techniques and form when working with patients.
The healthcare industry in the U.P. is growing. Home health agencies are proliferating due to the large elderly population. Acute-care hospitals are changing to “systems,” which provide physical therapy at all levels. Nursing homes are seeking (often through contracts) skilled rehabilitation services.
Physical therapy is a profession within the healthcare industry which promotes optimal human health and function. The licensed physical therapist assistant applies scientific principles to prevent, identify, alleviate, correct, or reduce acute or prolonged movement dysfunction.
In addition to academic coursework, clinical education is a significant part of the physical therapist assistant’s education, helping the student apply the learned skills, professional behaviors and academic knowledge to the practice of physical therapy.
The Finlandia University PTA program has a strong clinical education component with an emphasis on rural healthcare experiences and flexible clinical locations. During clinical education, PTA students complete 14 weeks of full-time clinical experience at three different clinical affiliation sites, totaling 560 hours of on-site clinical experience before they graduate. Students are required to gain exposure to diverse physical therapy settings and patient populations as well as multiple pathological conditions.
Students interested in advancing their associates degree into a bachelor’s degree, like Catlin, have the opportunity to enroll in Finlandia’s 2+2 completion degrees. Tailored for students who have completed an associate degree in the physical therapist assistant program, the two-year BBA in either Healthcare Management or Sports Management builds a solid business background. This is a great option for student-athletes looking to compete in a sport while furthering their education.
Other PTA programs place students on a waitlist. Currently, the physical therapist assistant program does not have a waitlist. Once the January 1st application deadline has passed, we accept students on a space available basis for the upcoming year. Students interested will then be placed on a one-year or two-year track provided all admission requirements have been met.
Another great benefit of a physical therapist assistant degree is the range of patient interaction experienced in the workforce. Unlike athletic trainers who work closely with athletes, physical therapist assistants tend to work with athletes and individuals of all ages with varying injuries and illnesses. Athletic trainers must also pursue a higher degree than a physical therapist assistant, which means a PTA degree can be completed in a shorter amount of time.
July 12, 2019
It’s often said that less is more, and when it comes to homes one Finlandia University student found no exception. Justin Woolever, senior physical therapist assistant (PTA) major, took his future into his own hands and chose to build himself a home while attending Finlandia.
“My house is originally a 1973 Dodge Sportsman motorhome,” said Woolever. “A buddy of mine actually had the idea to turn it into a tiny house, instead of just a motorhome.”
Woolever, a transfer student from […] Read More
July 03, 2019
Leading the Pride is back and talking with Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Upper Peninsula Health Plan, Brigitte LaPointe (’07). LaPointe is originally from Baraga where she grew up in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. She ultimately came to Finlandia to study in the Physical Therapist Assistant program and play for the women’s basketball team.
Following her passion for health and wellness, LaPointe also serves on the Read More
May 28, 2019
The annual Portage Health Foundation Scholarship opportunity for Finlandia University students studying healthcare and coming from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties is now accepting applications.
“Partnerships like this are part of what makes the Copper Country such an incredible place to live, learn and grow up in,” said Sandra Turnquist, Director of Student Financial Services, and herself a graduate of Calumet High School. “We will have at least two open scholarships in this program, which is unique in that […] Read More
Upon successful completion of the PTA program at Finlandia University, the PTA graduate will demonstrate the values and behaviors recognized by the APTA that most influence the PTA in providing safe, effective patient care as a member of the physical therapy team for the following:
We make the application process as easy as possible. The entire process is completely free.
Step One: Your first step is to apply for admission by filling out the free application at finlandia.edu/apply.
Step Two: Once accepted, you must fill out this PTA Program application (PDF) and submit it to Anne Halgren.
– Achieved a grade of 2.0 (C) (or above) in all prerequisite courses (listed below) completed to date (excluding BIO 171 & 172 or equivalent).
– Achieved a grade of 2.7 (B-) (or above) in BIO171 or equivalent I have achieved a grade of 2.7 (B-) (or above) in BIO172 or equivalent.
– Achieved a cumulative 2.5 GPA in the required prerequisite courses completed to date.
– Most incoming freshmen will do complete the PTA application during their time as a student. Some transfer students complete this prior to starting at FinnU, please work with your admissions officer / PTA staff to determine the right timing for you.
– You must meet the minimum requirements (listed above), or be in the process of completing the minimum requirements, for admission. Your application will be considered only if you have completed all the minimum requirements or have completed BIO 171 (Anatomy & Physiology I) or an equivalent course and are registered in the remaining courses.
– The deadline for this application is January 1 of the year that you intend to enter the technical phase of the PTA program, not before a student begins at Finlandia. Those interested should apply early as there are a limited number of positions available in the PTA Program.
– Prerequisite courses include BIO171 Anat. / Physiology I (4 credits), BIO172 Anat. / Physiology II (4), ENG103 College English I (3), ENG104 College English II (3) Religion/Finnish Elective (3), MAT140 Intermediate Algebra (4) (or above), PHL212 Ethics: Theory & Practice (3), PSY101 Introductory Psychology (3), HSC112 Medical Terminology (1) and *PTA101 Intro to P.T. (1)
– *PTA 101 Introduction to Physical Therapy may be taken concurrently with first semester PTA classes. However, because of the demands of the PTA program, it is highly recommended it be taken as a prerequisite.
|Class||Graduation Rates||Employment Rates of graduates, who sought employment, that were employed (full-time or part-time) as PTAs within 1 year of graduation (2 year averages)
The Physical Therapist Assistant degree program at Finlandia University is accredited through 2023 by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE):
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CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. CAPTE is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Specialized accreditation is a system for recognizing professional education programs for a level of performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public they serve. Accreditation status signifies that the program meets established and nationally accepted standards of scope, quality, and relevance. Once awarded accreditation status, a program must submit reports regularly to the Commission ensuring continuing compliance with the evaluative criteria. Each program is formally reviewed every five to 10 years.
National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam
Based on information received from The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
PTA Program graduate passing rate: (2 year average 2017-18): 79%
To file a complaint with the Finlandia University PTA program, please refer to procedures outlined in the document found here.
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