Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
Students who are accepted into the Anoka Ramsey Community College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program start PTA courses in the Fall semester. The first year is two semesters and one summer session (six weeks). The first clinical experience is performed during that first summer session. The second year is two semesters in length. Graduation is in May. An Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded upon successful completion of the program, which consists of 47 credits of technical courses and 22 credits (including four biology prerequisite credits) of general education courses. In addition to class work in psychology, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, composition, speech communications, neuroanatomy and physiology, modalities and kinesiology for physical therapy, and advanced physical therapy techniques, students gain hands-on experience through three clinical practice courses at area health care facilities. Students must provide their own transportation to and from the clinical sites. Students pay credit-based fees for their clinicals.
The students participate in three clinical experiences during the 2-year PTA program. The first is six weeks in length and occurs during the summer session after their first year. The second occurs during the last five weeks of the Fall semester of the second year. The third occurs during the last five weeks of the Spring semester of the second year. The Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) works closely with the students to ensure they have clinical experiences in a variety of settings including outpatient orthopedic, skilled nursing facility and hospital settings. The third clinical experience is sometimes allows students to work in a specialty area of physical therapy such as pediatrics, sports medicine setting, pool therapy, neurological rehab or other specialized setting. Students also have the opportunity to participate in part-time clinical experiences through a campus Physical Therapy clinic during their two years in the program. Most of the clinical sites are in Minnesota and Wisconsin but we have established contracts with clinical sites in many other states upon students’ request to travel outside of Minnesota.
There are two full-time faculty members in the PTA program who are licensed physical therapists. Both teach the PTA courses, with one acting as the PTA Program Director and the other acting as the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE). Currently, the PTA Program has a vacant full time faculty position and an open position for a full time lab assitant. We hope to fill these positions by Spring semester 2015. Both faculty are engaged in clinical practice during the summer and on semester breaks. Faculty to student ratio is 1:32 for lecture and 1-2:16 for labs.
Total ARCC enrollment as of October 2014 is 7,880 with enrollment of 6,829 on the Coon Rapids Campus. The current physical therapist assistant program total enrollment is 60 students. There is no preference given to in-state residents, and transfer students are accepted. The PTA program accepts 32 students each fall semester. On average, the PTA Program cohorts consist of a diverse group of females and males, of various age ranges and ethnic backgrounds.
Specific PTA program admission requirements are available upon request or at http://www.anokaramsey.edu/career_programs/CareerPTA.cfm. Applications are accepted January 1st – January 31st for the following fall semester start date. All applications are reviewed by the registrar’s office and the PTA faculty. Students are scored on a rubric with points given for GPA, ACT or TEAS for Allied Health score, the number of general education courses the student has completed and the grade received in the general education courses. An orientation session is held in April for those students who have been accepted. Once students are accepted, they must complete eight observation hours in two different physical therapy clinical settings (4 hours each setting) before PTA classes begin in the fall. The academic skills assessment program is required for general admission into the college.
Eighty-six percent of admitted students graduate from the ARCC PTA Program (4-year average from 2011-2014). One hundred percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates who returned the graduate surveys were working in a PT setting within six months of graduation. For the class of 2012, 85% of graduates were employed 6 months after taking the licensing exam based on student reporting through email. Ultimate pass rate of the NPTE from 2012-2014 is 98.6%, with an average first time mean score of 674.89. A total of 80 graduates from those three cohorts have taken the exam. For 2012 the ultimate pass rate was 100%, with all 27 students taking the exam. In 2013 the ultimate pass rate is 96% with all students taking the exam and 24 out of 25 students passing. In 2014 the ultimate pass rate is 100%, 27 out of 28 students passed on the first attempt and one student passed on their second attempt.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
For the 2014-15 academic year, the total tuition for in-state residents is approximately $144.96 per credit and $166.27 with student fees. Tuition for out-of-state students is the same except for residents from South Dakota who pay approximately $189.46 per credit. Tuition for online courses is $182.77 per credit. Tuition rate is set each August. Loans, grants, financial aid and scholarships are available from a variety of funding agencies. There are two scholarships that are specifically offered for PTA students.
Housing is not available on campus. Intercollegiate athletic programs in volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball and baseball are available at the college. Students also have the opportunity to play intramural sports. There are many student organizations such as Student Senate, Phi Theta Kappa, academic clubs, civic and social clubs, as well as band, choir, theatre and the campus newspaper. There is a new fitness center and work out facility that offers a wide variety of cardiovascualr and strength training equipment. Daily fitness classes such as yoga, functional fitness and Tabata are offered for students, faculty and staff.
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