Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program requires 20 credit hours of general studies and 51 credit hours of PTA courses for a total of 71 credit hours. Students may complete their general studies prior to being admitted to the PTA program, and this is strongly recommended for students who plan on working while completing the PTA program. Freshman attend fall, spring, and summer semesters with summer being four weeks of clinical experience. The fall semester of the sophomore year is devoted to 16 credit hours of PTA courses and the spring semester primarily clinical experience. Graduation is in May of each year. For more information, contact the program directly at (618)235-2700 ext 5390.
The PTA program provides a 4-week full-day clinical experience during the summer session between the student’s freshman and sophomore year. In the spring semester, sophomore students are assigned two 6-week clinical rotations. These sites are primarily in the St Louis, St Louis Metro East, and Belleville areas. A broad variety of clinical sites are available and include rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedic care, work hardening, acute care hospital, SNF, pediatrics, etc.
There are a total of four core, faculty members; two full-time and two part-time. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:20 in theory/lecture courses and 2:10 in application/lab courses.
Southwestern Illinois College has a total enrollment of approximately 16,000+ students. The physical therapist assistant program accepts 20 students annually, from a pool of qualified applicants. Accepted students enter the program in the Fall semester.
Applications are accepted between September 1 and Feb1 for potential entry into the succeeding Fall semester. Notifications are made by late March, early April. Selection of qualified applicants is based upon a numerical ranking procedure, using ACT scores or GPA, high school and/or college grades and percentage of those general education courses required for graduation completed prior to admission with a grade of B or better. In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available, those applicants residing outside Southwestern’s district, will not be eligible for consideration. Resident status is determined by address on file at time of admission. A downloadable application is available on the college’s web site for further reference; www.swic.edu. An application planning guide is also available to assist potential candidates with application questions. This planning guide is found on the PTA program pages. An on-line application is available through student’s eStorm accounts. Students must have a SWIC student email, in order to access this application.
Ninety two percent of admitted students graduated from the program (3-year calculated average; years 2012-2014). This number is inclusive of those students who drop during or after the first semester. Many students in the past several years have entered the program and dropped due to lack of interest, pursuit of a different career, or health/family issues after being enrolled for only weeks in the program; reducing the 3-year average. In addition, the program is in close proximity to Scott Air Force Base and several students in the past few years have dropped due to deployment or relocation. Three year averages for licensure pass rates are published and updated on a continual basis on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s web site; www.fsbpt.org and can be accessed by prospective students. 3 year average for years 2012-2014 is 97.22%. Ninety seven percent of program graduates looking for positions & responding to surveys are employed (3 year average; years 2012-2014). Ninety one percent was reported in 2013, after which the program started accepting 20 students vs 24. Employment for 2014 graduates was 100%.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The total in-district cost of the program for the 2014-2015 academic year is $12,673. A detailed cost sheet can be found on the program web site. Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college. For information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 618/235-2700 x5288 or visit the college’s web site at www.swic.edu. Scholarship information can be referenced on the web site, found under “Foundation” – Scholarships. A Specific scholarship exists for PTA program students. This scholarships is: the Brenda Smith Memorial. Numerous other allied health scholarships are also available and can be applied for by PTA program students.
Southwestern Illinois College provides various social, cultural, educational and recreational activities at sites throughout the college district. For a calendar of events and information; visit the College Activities web site at www.swic.edu/activities. The PTA program has its own club and students are encouraged to participate. Also the campus proximity to St. Louis permits an array of cultural activities such as museums and theater which are easily accessible through the Metro-link rail system that stops at the college.
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