Physical Therapist Assistant Program

KCC program Physical Therapy

Program Description

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) works with patients under the direction of a licensed physical therapist and implements therapeutic programs which could include the application of physical agents (such as heat, cold, water, electricity) as well as massage, exercise, and functional activities. The PTA also observes the patients during treatment and reports progress to the physical therapist.

Physical therapy patients are those who have not developed or have lost the ability to carry out everyday life skills due to disability, accident, injury, or illness. The goal of physical therapy is to assist patients in learning and improving life skills such as walking and moving about with braces, artificial limbs, and other assistive devices.

Degree and Certificate Programs

The Kapi‘olani Community College (Kapi‘olani CC) Physical Therapist Assistant program offers an associate in science (AS).

  • Associate in Science - Physical Therapist Assistant (72-73 credits)
    The purpose of this curriculum is to prepare students for licensure and employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in Hawaiʻi and the United States with the knowledge and abilities to provide care in the variety of settings requiring the rehabilitation of patients who were born with a disability or are disabled as a result of illness, injury, or accident. The Physical Therapist Assistant works under the direction and supervision of Licensed Physical Therapists (PTs). PTAs implement the plan of care developed by the PT following the standards in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, APTA Core Values, individual state practice acts, and the APTA policies. The PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

COVID-19 Advisory (relative CR/NC Policy)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be accepting CR grades from the spring 2020 semester to fulfill prerequisite courses, however, letter grades are preferred.  Supplemental information may be required if you choose to submit a CR grade. If you have any questions, please contact Health Sciences/Emergency Medical Services counselors at 808-734-9224 or

Licensure and State Authorization

Once the student has completed the program and passed the licensure requirements, s/he will be licensed to practice as a PTA in the State of Hawaii. Kapiʻolani CC may not be able to confirm whether a particular program meets the professional licensure requirements outside of the State of Hawaiʻi. Kapiʻolani CC recommends the student contact the respective professional licensing board to determine the licensure requirements in the state in which the student lives.

Qualities Needed

Aptitudes and interests that may be helpful include a desire to make a difference in people’s lives, interest in science and technology, compassion, sensitivity, problem-solving and communication skills, and the ability to follow instructions.

Contact Us

All comments on the PTA program are welcome. Please submit your comment in writing to the Kapiʻolani Community College program director with signature. 

PTA Program Director phone: (808) 734-9398 

Formal complaints may also be submitted to CAPTE:

Health Science & EMS Information Sessions

Program Information sessions are held monthly and provide potential applicants with program details and requirements, application procedures, and career outlook. Attending an information session is recommended before you start your academic journey. Attendance of a program information session within one year of the application submission is mandatory when applying to a Health Science and EMS program.

See the Information Session Schedule below for session dates and times.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Outcomes

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