Adult learners looking to continue their education, reenter the workforce, or start a new career will find ample opportunities at Penn State Hazleton, as its physical therapist assistant, medical laboratory technology and allied health programs offer a flexible pathway to well-paying careers in growing fields.

Roughly half of the students admitted to each cohort in the physical therapist assistant associate degree program are adult learners, including students transferring credits from another college or university or re-enrolling after being unable to find jobs in their field, said Rosemarie Petrilla, teaching professor of physical therapy and coordinator of the program.

The fully accredited program has been offered for more than 30 years and boasts state-of-the-art facilities. After completing the curriculum of general education, applied physical therapy sciences and full-time clinical learning experiences, students have several options. They can pursue a four-year degree or apply to Misericordia University’s doctor of physical therapy program through an articulation agreement. Moreover, many graduates, after taking and passing the national exam to get licensed, go on to earn jobs in the field, Petrilla said. Information is available at hazleton.psu.edu/pta.

Similarly, the medical laboratory technology associate degree program has a track record of supplying regional medical facilities with qualified graduates committed to quality health care. Adult learners who’ve earned credits at another college or university are eligible to enroll in this program as well. If a graduate chooses to continue their education, the first year’s courses can transfer to a major in microbiology, medical laboratory science, biology or related disciplines. Details are available at hazleton.psu.edu/mlt.

The continuing education office, meanwhile, offers flexible courses to meet the needs of anyone who wants to pursue a healthcare career while juggling jobs and/or family responsibilities. The practical nursing, nurse aide, clinical medical assisting, and phlebotomy technician programs feature courses offered during the day, evenings and weekends. Coursework is a mix of classroom and hands-on clinical learning. With programs that can be completed in as little as four months, graduates can be on their way to new and rewarding careers. To enroll or learn more, visit hazleton.psu.edu/ce or contact the Continuing Education Office at 570-450-3110.

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