Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The CCC PTA program follows an integrated curriculum plan incorporating 5 consecutive semesters with 30 credit hours of general education course work and 42 hours of physical therapist assistant courses. Students are encouraged to complete general education requirements prior to entering the PTA program and transfer credit is accepted. PTA technical courses must be taken in sequence and are only offered to students accepted into the program. The curriculum is demanding and students should expect to attend classes Monday through Friday 8 AM – 4 PM. Graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible to apply for the National Physical Therapy Assistant Examination.
PTA students are assigned to 3 full-time (40 hours/week) clinical experiences totaling 18 weeks in the last 2 semesters of the program. Each student receives experience in acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings following preparatory didactic and laboratory coursework. Clinical education is provided at a variety of sites including hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing and rehabilitative facilities. Clinical agencies are located throughout the northern half of Alabama, southern Tennessee, and eastern Mississippi and students must be prepared to travel. A background check and drug screening are required prior to clinical assignment.
The core faculty includes two full-time and one part-time instructor. Adjunct faculty with specialty areas of clinical expertise is involved in instruction. The faculty to student ratio is 1:12.
Total enrollment for Calhoun Community College is approximately 12,000. The PTA program accepts a new cohort of 24 students each year to begin the program fall semester.
Applications are accepted January through March and available on the CCC PTA program website and by request. Minimal eligibility requirements include: 1. Unconditional admission to the College, 2. an ACT or COMPASS reading score from the past three years, 3. documentation of 24 hours of physical therapy observation, 4. a 2-3 page typed essay discussing the PT observation experience, and 5. two letters of professional recommendation. Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Due to limited enrollment, the selection process is competitive. Complete applications are reviewed by the PTA Admissions Committee and ranked on a published 100 point scale which awards applicant points for academic achievement and professional behaviors. Top ranking individuals are offered enrollment in the program.
91% of those admitted to the first cohort of students completed the program with a 94% licensure examination pass and employment rate. 100% of graduates responding to surveys were satisfied with their educational preparation for entry-level practice.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Current tuition and fees at Calhoun Community College for the 2013-14 academic year are $138 per semester credit hour for Alabama residents and $247 per credit hour for non-Alabama residents. Books and additional expenses including a background check and drug screening required by clinical affiliates total approximately $2500. The Office of Student Financial Services (1-888-501-0860) offers financial counseling and assistance to help individuals pursue their educational goals. Financial aid is available in a variety of forms.
CCC is a commuting college and student housing is not available on campus. The moderate-sized city of Decatur as well as the nearby Huntsville-Madison metropolitan area offer apartment rentals and varied recreational and cultural activities. There are numerous clubs and organizations on campus for social interaction and the opportunity to share and develop special interests and talents. All PTA classrooms and laboratories are located in the Health Sciences Center on the Decatur campus. CCC is tobacco-free and there is a uniform policy for health science students.
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