Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program is considered a full-time day program consisting of 26 credit hours of general education coursework and 39 credit hours of physical therapist assistant courses. Upon acceptance into the pre-professional phase of the PTA program, students enroll in foundation knowledge courses directly associated with the practice of the physical therapy profession. Pre-professional courses include introduction to physical therapist assisting and kinesiology. Upon acceptance into the professional phase of the PTA program, students enroll in techniques, ethics, skills, therapeutic interventions, clinical experience and interpersonal communication courses. Courses in the professional phase include: therapeutic measurement, pathology, techniques & modalities, physical agents, therapy clinic, and PTA seminars. Courses include lecture, laboratory and supervised clinical experience components. Upon successful completion of the didactic and clinical components, students are eligible to apply to take the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs and then apply for licensure in the state in which they plan to become employed. Graduates are expected to follow the guidelines established by New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners to obtain licensure as a physical therapist assistant.
The PTA program includes three full-time clinical education courses which occur during the second year of the program. These courses are 4, 5 and 6 weeks in length with one course in the second fall, spring and summer semesters. Clinical education experience encompasses a total of 600 hours; however, in each of those semesters, the course is bracketed by didactic and or skill-based course work. Clinical experiences are varied and assigned by PTA program faculty members.
There are two full-time faculty members. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:14.
The college has a total enrollment of 8,000 students among full-time and part-time learners. The PTA program admits up to 28 student/learners into the professional phase of the curriculum each summer.
Mercer County Community College (MCCC) encourages applications from prospective student/learners with good academic backgrounds and motivation to succeed. The college also welcomes applicants who need or desire preparatory work to qualify for admission. MCCC is an open-door institution servicing student/learners who possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. All applicants schedule an appointment to complete the college’s Basic Skills Placement Test (BSPT), which evaluates reading, writing, computation and elementary algebra skills. Students must demonstrate proficiency in accordance with standards established by the college or complete one or more courses in each skill area. Students who did not complete at least one year of high school laboratory science and whose background in the sciences is old or weak may be expected to complete one or more of the following courses: physical science, biological science or introductory chemistry. Provisionally accepted PTA student/learners are reviewed each March. The Admissions Office makes acceptance decisions into the professional phase of the PTA program according to published guidelines. 100% of qualified applicants have been admitted to the program (3-year average).
76% of admitted student/learners graduate from the program (3-year average). During the past 10 years the PTA program has a 100% employment rate for those who have successfully graduated from the program and passed the NPTE.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition and fees for the 2013-14 academic year are $141 per credit hour for in-county student/learners, $181.50 per credit hour for out of county student/learners, and $267.50 per credit hour for our of state student/learners. Residents of neighboring Bucks County, PA who are accepted into the PTA program will be eligible for the in-state, out of county tuition rate.
The PTA Program is housed in the MS Building along with the Nursing, Medical Laboratory, and Radiography programs. PTA classes take place in a spacious 1,400 square-foot classroom/laboratory that is a state-of-the-art physical therapy facility with teaching technology to facilitate the learning process. Ergonomic principles have been incorporated into the classroom to promote learning and an awareness of better body mechanics. Mercer’s campus hosts a public radio station, WWFM, a classical music station, Kelsey Theater, offering professional and amateur productions, a Fitness Center with an indoor pool, and hotel and restaurant management dining opportunities. On-campus counseling, tutoring and disabled student/learner services are also available. The college has a wealth of athletic opportunities available including championship soccer, men’s & women’s basketball, softball, baseball, and tennis. Many cultural and social activities are available throughout the campus, community and nearby Princeton. Several thousand acres of Mercer County Park with boating, hiking, skating, soccer, tennis and numerous other amenities surround the college.
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