Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA Program is structured as a full-time day program. There are four full-time faculty members. Students spend between 5 and 16 hours per week in physical therapy classes, depending on the semester. Encompassed within skill laboratory courses are opportunities for hands-on experience with patients under close faculty supervision. Additionally, three clinical courses are required. After successful completion of the first clinical course, students may take Cooperative Work Experience courses in clinical settings to enhance their skill/knowledge. Students graduate in May.
In the first year of the program, students have one 40-hour per week, full-time clinical experience in May or June that lasts 4.5 weeks. During the spring of the second year, students have two 40-hour per week, full-time clinical experiences lasting 4.5 weeks each. Students generally have at least one experience in an acute care setting, one in a long-term care or rehabilitation setting and, if preferred and available, one experience in a specialized setting. Clinical agencies are located in the local community and other parts of Florida.
There are four full-time faculty members. All faculty are actively involved in clinical practice The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:19 and in laboratory courses 1:9
The college has a total enrollment of approximately 43,864 students. The physical therapist assistant program accepts 40 students into the fall class at the Health Education Center. The total applicant pool has averaged over 120 the past 3 years and has been steadily increasing.
Students are accepted in their freshman year. Prerequisite courses are required. To meet admission requirements, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for a minimum of 9 college credit hours in physical therapist assistant general education and support courses, including Anatomy and Physiology I (lecture and lab) with grades of C or better. Applicants must complete a minimum of 24 hours observation, volunteer service, or work in a physical therapy department in two different types of clinical agencies (e.g. hospital and skilled nursing center). Applications are accepted between March 1st and May15th for admittance into the program the following fall. Prior to acceptance and enrollment into the PTA program, applicants must pass a background check and drug screening.
59% of admitted students graduate from the program (2012 – 2014, 3-year average); 100% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3-year average); and 100% of the graduates were employed within 6 months (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Estimated current tuition and fees for the two-year program are $9,257 for in state students and $32,246 for out of state students. The average cost for PTA textbooks is $850. Forty percent of all full time students receive some form of financial aid. The college participates in a wide range of grant, loan, scholarship, and student employment programs. For information, contact: Financial Aid, St Petersburg College, PO Box 13489, St Petersburg, FL 33733.
The college does not have housing on campus. Information on private, reasonable off-campus housing may be obtained from the Student Activities Office at 727/341-4627. Intercollegiate athletics include women’s varsity teams and men’s varsity teams. There are active student scholastic, special interest, service, social, and religious organizations. St Petersburg College has four campuses: St Petersburg, Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs. Physical therapy courses are taught at the Health Education Center, Pinellas Park.
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