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Program Coordinator: Randy Leighton, MS PT, Ph.D. 816.604.4808
MCC Campus(es): MCC-Penn Valley, Health Science Institute

Degree Offered

The link below redirects to academic catalog

Dear PTA Program applicants

There continues to be a great deal of uncertainty right now in health care and the community. We continue to believe that becoming a PTA is an excellent decision and will bring many years of very rewarding work. As the government, local health care agencies and the MCC administration continue to wrestle with decisions regarding the best plans moving forward, the PTA program will be making some adjustments to this year's application process.

  1. The application deadline for the traditional program beginning each August is June 10 and the application for the web based program beginning each January is October 1. Applications must be post marked no later than the application deadline date. Mail applications to:
    MCC-PTA Application
    3444 Broadway Ste 410
    KCMO 64111
  2. Mailed applications need to be post marked June 10th or October 1 or earlier, depending on the program you choose to apply for.
  3. We understand that many prospective students will not be able to complete observation hours in the near future. If you are able complete your observation hours, please submit your observation forms and essay as outlined in the application. If you are unable to complete observation hours due to limited access to health care providers, please watch the following videos:
  4. After watching all four videos type a single, one-page report (not one for each) about the videos. Include what you saw, discuss how these videos align with what you expected the career of PT to be, if your impression of PT has changed and if the experience has influenced your decision to become a PTA. Do not put your name on this one page paper. Rather, staple it to a cover page on which you have written your name and include it in your application packet.

  5. We are excited to announce that ACCUPLACER placement remote testing via Zoom is now available. If you have a student interested in taking the placement test, please have them email the MCC-Penn Valley Testing Center at or call 816.604.1000 to schedule a testing appointment. Please see attached flyer for more details. ​If you do not have an ACT, Compass or ACCUPLACER score that is less than 3 years-old for the reading comprehension section, you should sign up to take this prior to June 10th. Remember, you only need to take the “Reading Comprehension” section of any of these tests, you do not need to take the entire battery of test.
  6. Currently interviews for applicants are being planned for the week of June 14th. A determination regarding whether interviews will be conducted face to face or through Zoom will be made closer to the application deadline in accordance with MCC and the state of Missouri policy. Be sure to include a valid email address in your application so we can send an invite. If you have not used Zoom, it is a free app that can be downloaded to your home computer or phone. If you do not have access to a device (computer or phone) that allows video conferencing please indicate that on your application.
  7. Be aware there are models that show a resurgence of this virus that could cause "stay at home" orders at any time. The faculty works hard to prevent significant disruption of learning, but since this is a "hands on" profession there is the possibility of course disruption and incompletes.

If you have additional questions about the application process please email the PTA Program Coordinator Randy Leighton at

Thank you and stay safe.

The Penn Valley PTA Faculty.


Physical therapist assistants (PTA) provide direct client care under the supervision of a physical therapist.  Physical therapist assistants help improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities due to injury or disease.  PTAs work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports clinics, rehabilitation centers, extended-care facilities and schools.  The program includes interactive classroom experiences along with 720 hours of supervised clinical rotations.

Professional Certification/Licensure

Upon successful completion of the PTA program graduates are eligible to sit for the state licensure examination through the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.

Personal Qualities

PTAs interact directly with the clients to provide direct client care so they need to be personable, empathetic, motivators and educators.

Essential Functions

Physical strength, agility, quick reactions, strong verbal and written communication skills

Program Options

The PTA Program offers a traditional classroom lecture program with labs beginning each Fall semester. Once admitted the program is 4 semesters with the first 3 semesters typically meeting Monday through Thursday. We also offer a web based program where "lecture" materials are learned in a distance education format and the student spends each Friday in the lab for learning and examinations. Both programs have identical clinical experiences in local facilities.  Web based learning is an excellent option for many students but it not for everyone and careful consideration should be taken before pursuing this program option. 

If you wonder if web based learning is right for you please visit this link to MCC's Distance Education Frequently Asked Questions page. 


The PTA program at Penn Valley Community College is accredited by:

The Penn Valley Community College PTA Program at Metropolitan Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703.706.3245; email:; website:

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Randy Leighton at 816.604>4808 or email

Program Admission

Additional steps are required for acceptance into this program beyond the standard MCC admissions application.  This is a four semester program (additional semesters of prerequisites) that accepts approximately 22 students in the on ground program and 15 students in the web based program annually. 

Steps to Apply:

  1. Complete all required prerequisite courses
  2. Download the program application packet and student information packet; PTA Program Application, PTA Prospective Student Information Packet and follow the directions carefully.  Be sure to note all of the program requirements.
  3. Apply for financial aid.  The federal financial aid application (FAFSA) is also available online.

Program Application Deadline:  June 10th is the deadline for the on-ground program; October 1st is the application deadline for the web-based program.

Program Acceptance

Students accepted into the program will work directly with the program coordinator to determine next steps.  Students not accepted into the program should contact the Student Advising Department or the Health Science Institute ( to determine next steps.

Student Handbook
Download the student handbook for more information.


Students with instructional feedback or concerns should follow the feedback process outlined in the course syllabus. For other feedback please contact Tarana Chapple the Associate Dean of Instruction at 816.604.4344.