LaGuardia Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Students Pass National Exam with Flying Colors

Long Island City, NY—LaGuardia Community College’s 2011 physical therapist assistant graduates received a 90.3% pass rate on the national licensure exam.  Twenty graduates passed the National Physical Therapy Examination, which tests the basic knowledge and skills necessary for safe and effective entry-level physical therapist assistants (PTA), and all are now employed.

“LaGuardia has a nationally-respected program and our students deserve all of our applause for a job well done,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia.  “And we salute our faculty for preparing our students to provide the highest quality care to their patients.” 

LaGuardia’s program prepares students for a field that is in demand for well-qualified professionals.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 46 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Professor Clarence Chan, the department’s interim director, attributes the students’ high pass rate to  a strong core curriculum that consists of classroom and laboratory courses, and three required clinic experiences that take place in different physical therapy settings.  When the students complete the program they are prepared to perform therapeutic exercise, aerobic conditioning, gait training, pain management, heat and cold treatment, massage, electrotherapy and muscle re-education.

Along with a strong academic background, Professor Chan said that the program also places an emphasis on developing a student’s professionalism and l ethics.  “We are committed to graduating a well rounded individual who has the necessary academic and professional skills needed to be a competent therapy assistant,” he said.

Professor Chan said that all the graduates who received their licenses are now working in a variety of facilities, including private clinics, rehabilitation centers and hospitals.  And with their certification, they are eligible to practice in all 50 states.

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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.