Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Florida Gateway College is divided into two phases, a prerequisite phase and a technical phase. The prerequisite education phase consists of 29 credit hours of general education course work. The technical education phase consists of 45 credit hours of physical therapist assistant courses. Upon acceptance to the PTA program, students enroll in courses directly associated with the practice and procedures of the physical therapy profession. Courses include functional anatomy/kinesiology, patient care skills, clinical orthopedics, therapeutic modalities, clinical neurology, and advanced therapeutic exercises. Upon successful completion of the didactic and clinical components of the program, students are eligible to apply to take the national licensing examination in order to qualify to practice as PTAs.
Two clinical experiences are provided in the program. One clinical rotation is six weeks in length, is integrated and one rotation, eight weeks in length, occurs upon completion of all didactic coursework in a culminating terminal clinical experience. Students are required to complete a variety of clinical experiences including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation agencies, and private outpatient practices. These clinical affiliation educational experiences consist of 560 clinical contact hours.
There are two full-time faculty members and one adjunct faculty member. Faculty has expertise in kinesiology application, lymphedema, geriatric rehabilitation, wound care, spinal cord injury, and neurologic rehabilitation with a combined experience of over 30 years. Currently the faculty to student ratio is 1:13.
Florida Gateway College has a total enrollment of approximately 5,000 students. The physical therapist assistant program admits 25 students each August.
An admission booklet is available in program lobby and online. Applicants are evaluated and admitted on a “selective enrollment basis.” Minimum requirements for consideration in the prerequisite phase of the PTA program include ACT, SAT, or PERT test scores and a high school transcript and diploma or GED. Minimum requirements for consideration in the technical phase of the PTA program consist of college (or university) transcripts of all prerequisite phase course work. The prerequisite courses include: English; college-level math; oral communications (or public speaking); essentials of physics; human growth and development; anatomy and physiology 1 & 2 (8 semester hours including lab); one humanities course such as ethics, music appreciation, philosophy and religion, or art and music; and medical terminology. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 must be maintained in prerequisite phase course work, and all courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. The program application, the documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of clinical exposure to a physical therapy department, and the summary of the acquired clinical experience must also be submitted during the year the student seeks admission. Final acceptance in the PTA program is contingent upon applicant’s academic record (GPA), completion with a grade of C or higher of all the prerequisite courses, and score placement in the top 25.
77% of admitted students graduated from the program (3-year average); 88% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3-year average); and 94.7% of those program graduates are employed (3-year average) as recorded through the Florida Gateway College Student Exam/Employment Tracking Report.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition and fees for the academic year 2013-2014 are $103.32 per credit hour for in-state students and $391.57 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Estimated total expenses for the two-year PTA Program including tuition, laboratory fees, books, materials, uniforms, test, background checks, insurance, APTA/FPTA membership, and screening are $11,100.00. This approximation applies to the 2013-2014 academic year. Financial assistance is available to students who need help in meeting college expense. The College participates in four broad categories of financial aid to help support student needs: federal, state, institutional, and local. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from all categories. A comprehensive program of employment, grants, and scholarships is available through federal, state, and institutional funds. This information is available upon request from the Office of Financial Aid.
The PTA program is housed in the Barney McRae Medical Technology Building, a 30,000-square foot teaching facility with state-of-the-art equipment. The general education requirements for associate degrees at Florida Gateway College are consistent with the College’s philosophy which states that the College is committed to providing the highest quality education and training to the citizens of its unique, rural service area. In addition, the college, the students, and the communities it serves are partners. All students have equal opportunities to pursue educational goals and are encouraged to participate fully in all phases of campus life. The Student Activities Office located in the Charles W. Hall Student Center provides a diversified program of both social and cultural activities to enhance a student’s college education. Students are given encouragement to develop their leadership abilities through club and organizational activities. On-campus activities may include cookouts, bands, choirs, entertainers, socials, receptions and trips. For the outdoors minded, canoes, backpacks, and tents may be available. Off-campus activities may also include trips around Florida and the southeastern United States. Additionally, the College offers counseling, tutoring and services for students with disabilities. Student Government at the College operates through elected representatives and club representatives. The Student Government Association serves as a liaison between the student body and the College administration. Students are represented on campus committees that have the duty to propose policies that affect curriculum, programs, student activities and conduct; make policy decisions on such matters; and implement policy. Intramural activities provide opportunities for all students to participate in various athletic endeavors. Florida Gateway College is situated midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The campus is an attractive site, nestled in one hundred acres of southern pines, with 25 modern buildings surrounded by crepe myrtle and azalea shrubbery. Lake City, a small rural town with a city population of approximately 15,000 and a county population of approximately 67,000, is considered the “Gateway” to Florida. Larger cities, such as Jacksonville or Gainesville, are within an hour’s drive, and Florida’s beaches are within a two-hour drive.
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