LC and Harrisburg Announce Physical Therapist Pathway Partnership

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Lackawanna College and Harrisburg University Announce Physical Therapist Pathway Partnership

Lackawanna College (LC) and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology have teamed up to create an exciting pathway for aspiring physical therapists. LC students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) associate degree program have the opportunity seamlessly transfer into the Harrisburg University Exercise Science bachelor’s degree program (BS) upon graduation.

Under the collaborative dual admissions transfer agreement, LC students can transfer up to 56 credits into Harrisburg University’s Exercise Science program. This agreement guarantees admission to Harrisburg University (HU) for qualifying LC students, if they meet specific criteria, including holding a PTA license and graduating from LC within the past year.

Dr. Meegan Murray, the Lead of Lackawanna College’s Health Sciences division and the Program Director for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, is excited to have this opportunity open to LC students and alumni stating, “students can complete their PTA degrees at Lackawanna College, and after licensure, those wishing to further their education in Exercise Science or pursue a physical therapist degree will have a direct path and plan to do so affordably. This program addresses the prohibitive cost of higher education and allows PTAs to pursue advanced degrees while working in the field.”

This initiative addresses financial challenges in higher education, allowing PTAs to pursue advanced degrees while actively working in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the national average for other occupations. This need is especially urgent in rural communities and the hybrid program offered at HU is an opportunity to begin to meet this need in areas of Pennsylvania without sufficient physical therapy practitioners.

Dr. Lori Portzer, Program Director for Exercise Science at HU states, “the PTA Pathway at HU further opens doors through the opportunity to make a seamless transition for licensed PTAs to transition to Exercise Science, with the next step being admission to HU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.”

The DPT program at HU is set to enroll its first class of graduate students in Fall 2025. The Harrisburg University PTA Pathway is a majority-online, asynchronous curriculum designed to meet the needs of a diverse student population utilizing a cost-effective approach. This cost-effective program allows students to pursue the Harrisburg degree remotely as they work in their field as PTAs, following a work-earn-learn model.

About Harrisburg University

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For additional information about the University’s affordable, demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, please call 717-901-5146 or email

About Lackawanna College’s PTA Program

The Lackawanna College Physical Therapist Assistant program’s mission is to prepare individuals, regardless of their socio-economic status, past achievements, gender, national origin, age, race, color or creed, as entry-level, associate in science degree-earning physical therapist assistants. These individuals will be compassionate and caring lifelong learners who will provide evidence-based ethical treatment to assist the physical therapist in the rehabilitation of all individuals in their care. The program objectives are consistent with curriculum content and expectations set forth by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) related to expectations for an entry-level PTA.