October 24, 2023

San Diego Mesa College Approved to Offer Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program

By Jennifer N. Kearns, Cassandra Storey and Amanda Johnston

Physical Therapy Assistant Program

October 24, 2023



Acting Dean Cassandra Storey:

Amanda Johnston:


San Diego - On October 13, 2023, San Diego Mesa College was granted provisional approval by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to offer a Bachelor's Degree in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program. Mesa College’s innovative PTA program, which currently offers an Associate of Science (AS) degree, will be able to offer licensed physical therapist assistants the ability to enhance their clinical and leadership skills with the addition of a Baccalaureate degree program, leading to improved patient care within our community. Mesa’s first Bachelor’s degree program, Health Information Management (HIM), was fully approved in 2016.


“We know that access to affordable and quality education closes equity gaps for our students and community,” stated Dr. Ashanti T. Hands, President of San Diego Mesa College. “Being able to offer this Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapist Assistant will not only provide greater access for our students, but provide the community with quality graduates in the physical therapy field where health professionals are needed.”


The pending Mesa College PTA Bachelors Program will provide students with advanced knowledge and skills to excel in the field, with an emphasis on healthcare leadership training and progressive clinical skill development, including in topics such as pharmacology, biomechanics, evidence-based practice, and rehabilitation techniques. Graduates will be uniquely positioned to make a meaningful impact on patient care in the local community. Once the Program has completed Duplication Review and receives Board of Governors approval, Mesa is planning to start Bachelors level classes in the fall of 2025.


With the addition of the Bachelor's Degree, San Diego Mesa College will provide an equitable education opportunity for licensed physical therapist assistants that will progress their clinical and leadership skills while improving the quality of patient care, and furthering San Diego Mesa College's commitment to equitable healthcare access. Similar to the current Bachelor’s degree offered in Health Information Management, the second two years of the PTA Program will build upon the courses offered during the first two years.


San Diego Mesa College’s Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant Program will empower licensed physical therapist assistants to build upon their existing knowledge and skills, propelling their careers to new heights. Students will also receive hand on learning and practice through participating in the Mesa College Community Clinic. The current PTA Program is approved by the Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) and accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and offers and an Associate of Science degree.

Mesa College will be accepting applications into the 2024 Associate of Science (AS) PTA Program in April of 2024. Information sessions on how to apply and enroll in the Associate of Science (AS) degree PTA Program are scheduled for December 2023 and February 2024.

Learn more about the San Diego Mesa College Physical Therapist Assistant Program and the Mesa College Community Clinic.

Photos: Mesa College Physical Therapy Assistant Classroom photo album.


About San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college committed to access, success, and equity. We honor those commitments as a diverse community of students, faculty, professional staff, and administrators who collaborate to foster scholarship, leadership, innovation, and excellence in an inclusive learning environment. By promoting student learning and achievement that leads to degrees and certificates, transfer, workforce training, and lifelong learning, we empower our students to reach their educational goals and shape their future.  Among the largest community colleges in California, Mesa College serves 30,000 students per year, 25% of whom are full-time. Mesa offers nearly 200 associate degree and certificate programs and is one of 15 California community colleges offering a four-year baccalaureate degree. Mesa ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution, is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution and a Military Friendly School, serving more than 3,500 veterans and their families.


Follow San Diego Mesa College on Social Media: sandiegomesacollege sdmesacollege sdmesacollege

Youtube: sdmesacollege

Snapchat: sdmesacollege

LinkedIn: San Diego Mesa College


Tags: Bachelor's Degree, PTA Program, Physical Therapy Assistant Program