Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program, when enrolled full time, is 5 semesters long, and integrates liberal arts, technical courses and clinical education. Students spend approximately 20-24 hours each week in scheduled classroom or lab activities and additional 15 or more hours per week in lab practice of class preparation and study. Graduation occurs in May. Two full-time faculty and three adjunct faculty serve the program. Additionally, numerous PT’s and PTA’s from the community serve the program as guest speakers in their areas of expertise.
Clinical education is integrated within the curriculum with each student completing three separate clinical courses. The courses combine on-campus activities with off-campus clinical experiences where the student has the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge that they have learned. There is a total of 18 weeks (720 hours) of off campus clinical experiences. In order to provide exposure to a variety of patients and learning activities, each PTA student will participate in clinical experiences at a number of different sites and settings. Settings include acute care hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, skilled nursing facilities, home health and outpatient private practices. Clinical sites are located in Iowa and the surrounding states. Students who desire clinical experience at more distant sites must satisfy specific criteria. The structure and sequencing of the clinical education portion of the PTA program helps to provide students with hands on application of material learned on campus to enhance understanding and learning. In addition, clinical courses/ experiences assist with attainment of entry level PTA skills.
There are two full-time faculty members. Collectively the faculty has 49 years of physical therapy experience working with varied patient populations. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:28 for lecture and 1:14 for PTA labs.
Total enrollment at the college is approximately 20,000 students. The physical therapist assistant program admits 24 new students each fall and allows 4 spots for returning students, for a maximum class size of 28.
Students must complete the admission process in order to be accepted to the PTA program at Kirkwood. The admission process includes: 1) Submit an application to Kirkwood listing PTA as your major. 2) Attend a program conference to learn about the profession, the role of the PTA and expectatios of the PTA program. 3) meet minimum cutoff scores on the HOBET 4) If the student does not have previous background in high school or college science and math, they must complete 3 preparatory courses: Basic Biological Concepts, Intro to Physics and Survey of Math. When the admission process is completed, the student is admitted to the program or to a numbered waiting list. Graduates who wish to be employed in most states, including Iowa, must pass the state licensure examination. 100% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
Outcomes are reported using a 3 year average from 2008- 2010: • 91% of the program graduates who sought employment were working in the profession within 6 months after graduation • 97% of the program graduates passed the licensure exam • 55% of admitted students graduated from the program.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 academic year is $4,454.50 for in-state students and $ 5,398.25 for out-of-state students. Textbook costs and other related expenses are approximately $1500.00 per academic year. The student arranges housing and the cost varies. Financial assistance is provided to students with demonstrated need. Individualized financial assistance might include employment, grants and scholarships through federal, state, and institutional funds. For further information, contact the Kirkwood Financial Aid Office at 800/398- 5485.
Kirkwood Community College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the rolling hills of eastern Iowa and serves a seven-county area. Cedar Rapids is a metropolitan area of 250,000, just 30 minutes north of Iowa City and the University of Iowa. Additionally there are multiple 4 year universities in the area. The community of Cedar Rapids supports college students with multiple opportunities for employment and affordable recreation. Kirkwood is located in Iowa’s thriving cultural corridor with opportunities for our diverse student population from 90 different countries, 35 states, and 96 Iowa counties. Kirkwood admits over 20,000 students each fall. The PTA program is located on the 680 acre main campus in Linn Hall. The college does not have on campus housing but provides assistance with finding housing through the student life department. Kirkwood also provides support for the students for any issues related to housing. Several apartments, restaurants, laundry and other services are within walking distance or a short driving distance of the main campus. The college has an on campus recreation center that is free to students, as well as an on campus restaurant and hotel. Additional on campus conveniences include campus wide wireless internet, a centrally located convenience store and Starbucks coffee shop, and a large, state of the art computer lab. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City offer a variety of social and cultural activities. At Kirkwood, a wide variety of social, academic and professional organizations are available through the student life department. Student membership in the APTA is required, and student involvement in the PTA student club and the Iowa Physical Therapy Association is strongly encouraged.
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