Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program, which admits 20 new students annually in the fall term, is an integrated two-year program requiring 21 hours of general education credit combined with 53 hours of PTA technical education credit for the Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. Technical courses include anatomy & kinesiology, patient care skills, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercises for orthopedic and neurological patients; with most courses utilizing both lecture and laboratory components. The technical phase consists of four full-time semesters over a two year span. Upon successful completion of the program students are eligible to apply to take a national licensing examination in order to qualify to practice as a PTA. A Laws and Rules exam must also be successfully passed prior to licensure in the state of Florida. 93% of graduates from the program at Pensacola State College pass the national licensing exam (3-year average). An information packet listing prerequisite courses and observation hours requirements is available at the Pensacola State College website.
There are 13 credit hours of clinical education embedded in the program. Clinical education is conducted under the supervision of licensed physical therapists in various sites near the college. Clinical education consists of one part-time and two full-time clinical courses. These courses entail 580 clinic hours.
There are two full-time faculty members. The director and clinical coordinator is a PTA that has a MS. There are several adjunct faculty available for special topics presentation and specialized course instruction. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:24 for lectures and 1:8 for labs.
Total Pensacola State College enrollment is more than 30,000 students from diverse cultures and of a wide range of ages. 20 new students are admitted to the program annually.
Admission to the PTA program is limited to 20 a year through a first-qualified/first-served rolling admissions process. Only 32% of qualfied candidates are admitted to the program (3-year average) due to the high demand for the program. An updated information packet outlining requirements, procedures and other pertinent information is available on the Pensacola State College website. For clarification of additional questions call the Health Admissions Office on the Warrington Campus at (850) 484-2210; or Teena Carroll, the PTA program director at (850) 484-2373.
Approximately 70% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). 93% of our graduates over the last three-year period have passed the national licensing exam. In the past three years, we also have seen 100% of our graduates obtain successful employment as PTAs. However, beginning in 2012 there was evidence of “underemployment” of program graduates; with many who wished to work full-time holding PRN positions. This trend has continued into 2014 and is being monitored closely by program faculty.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The cost of in-state tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is $104.58/credit hour; increasing to $419.76 per credit hour for out-of-state residents (An exemption is made for “local” Alabama students.) Tuition and other expenses estimated at $2,470.00 include the application fee, criminal background and drug screening fees, lab fees, books, supplies, and the physical examination and titers, bring the cost of the program to approximately $10,200.00. A variety of financial aid packages are offered, and the majority of PTA students are recipients. For information, contact Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs at (850) 484-1680 or (850) 484-2349.
The PTA program at Pensacola State College is housed on the Warrington Campus, “the Health Campus”, on the western side of Pensacola. There is no housing available for students on campus, so off-campus housing is the responsibility of the student. Cars are necessary and admitted without restriction. Pensacola is located on the beautiful Gulf Coast near Pensacola Naval Air Station, the home of the Blue Angels. A wide variety of water-related activities and cultural events are available, and a local airport serves the area.
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