DES MOINES, IOWA, February 17, 2022 — Starting in the fall of 2022, Mercy College of Health Sciences will offer a one-year, Accelerated Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. This three-semester associate degree requires students to complete all general education requirements before starting the program and enables a more seamless transition and accelerated pathway for students with existing college credits.

“Our one-year PTA program enables students to complete their education sooner with the necessary skills to become a successful physical therapist assistant,” said PTA Program Chair Sue Bravard, PT, MS.

Since 2008, Mercy College has offered a two-year associate degree PTA program. “After evaluating our prior program, we learned that many incoming students already satisfied a number of our general education requirements. As a result, we decided it was important to revise our existing program to meet the evolving needs of our students and to recognize their transferable credit and experiences,” said Bravard.

PTA students learn to use a variety of exercises and equipment to help people with conditions that limit their ability to move and perform activities and work. Upon completion of the one-year program, students are eligible to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Exam. Photo of physical therapist assistant students

“Physical therapist assistants are critical members of the team and implement a plan of care under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. We are excited to help students fill the need for PTAs through our new accelerated program,” commented Bravard.

Mercy College’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Ready to Chart Your Course as a Physical Therapist Assistant? Visit to learn more!

About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Located in downtown Des Moines, Mercy College prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community with a wide range of bachelor, associate, and certificate programs. Visit or call (515) 635-1133 to learn how you can Chart Your Course.