Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program requires 2 full academic years and the intervening summer. Of the 68 credits required in the program, 31 credits are general education courses, 27 credits are in didactic PTA courses and 10 credits are in clinical courses. Students will take general education and related science courses in the first year; in the fall of that year, they will also take the first PTA course. Students who have already completed the related courses may not need to be full-time students the first year. However, the second year of the program is a full academic concentration of PTA courses, some of which involve full-time clinical work. The program has two full-time faculty members and several adjunct faculty, lab instructors, and numerous guest speakers from the St Louis community.
The program involves 15 weeks of full-time clinical work. The first clinical experience is 3 weeks in duration and takes place at the end of the final fall semester. At the end of the final spring semester, students participate in two, 6 week clinicals. Most clinical sites are in the greater St Louis area.
There are two full-time faculty members, one part-time faculty member and numerous guest lecturers. The majority of faculty members are engaged in clinical practice part-time or full-time. All PTA courses with a laboratory component have a laboratory assistant who is a physical therapist assistant. The average faculty to student ratio during laboratory experiences is 1:15.
St. Louis Community College is the largest single community college campus in Missouri – almost 10,000 college-credit students of all ages and backgrounds are enrolled in college transfer and career education courses at St Louis Community College at Meramec. Their needs and interests are as diverse as the programs offered. Meramec faculty and staff meet those needs with a variety of teaching methods, resources, and services. The PTA program has a total student enrollment of 32 per class.
Admission to the physical therapist assistant program is on a first-come, first-served basis for those who meet the minimum requirements. The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for admission is 2.5 high school and 2.5 college. Prerequisites for admission to the program include high school biology. Students are admitted in their freshman year. The minimum requirement for admission to the college is a high school diploma or satisfactory completion of the General Equivalency Diploma. Placement tests are also required. Thirty two qualified applicants can enroll in the first PTA course in the fall semester.
Seventy-three percent of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average 2011-2013); 100% is the three year average ultimate licensure pass rate (2011-2013); and 95% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (3 year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The maintenance fee for 2014-15 is $101 per credit hour for in-district resident students. Out-of-district residents pay $147 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $202 per credit. Other program related expenses including books average $477 per semester. St. Louis Community College provides a comprehensive financial aid program funded by federal, state and private agencies. Aid awards may be in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work. A special need based loan program has been established for PTA students enrolled in their final year of study.
St. Louis Community College hosts a variety of clubs and organizations. These clubs and organizations address a wide spectrum of interests, including academic, vocational, community service, spiritual, recreational, and social. The College encourages students to participate in one or more of these clubs and organizations, or to start their own, to supplement and enhance their experience at the campus. Students can take advantage of theater performances, concerts, and gallery exhibits as well as intercollegiate sports played by nationally ranked teams in such sports as soccer, baseball, and softball.
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