Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Tarrant County College is five consecutive semesters in length. It is composed of 71 total semester credit hours and is considered a two-year program by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The student’s first year is three semesters in length and begins in the Fall (16 weeks)l and continues on through Spring (16 weeks) and into the summer session (12 weeks). The second year of the program is two semesters in length and includes both Fall and Spring semesters (16 weeks each). Graduation is held once a year in mid-May.
Students begin their clinical experiences during the second half of the summer session in their first year of the program. Students are placed in a total of four clinical rotations giving the student a firm foundation in inpatient and outpatient therapy techniques. Each clinical varies in length with a total number of clinical hours being 720. The student’s final clinical is considered the capstone course and is full-time (40 hours per week for seven weeks). Overnight stays are not required as all of the clinical locations are in and around the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex.
There are experienced three experienced full-time faculty (two PTs and one PTA) and numerous experienced adjunct faculty (number varies by semester). All faculty are engaged in clinical practice on an as needed basis. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:32 (max) for lecture classes and 1:16 (max) for lab classes.
Tarrant County College District student enrollment for Fall 2012 surpassed the 50,000 mark. The program itself is located on the Trinity River East Campus in downtown Fort Worth, TX with a total Fall 2012 enrollment of over 3000 students. A limited number of students are accepted each year into the program. Traditionally, 24 students are asked to join the program; however, beginning in Fall 2012, the number of students accepted into the program per year increased to 32.
Students must have their application packet completed by April 1 to be considered as a candidate for the next program class. Thirty-two students are selected using a point system based on GPA (four-point scale) combined with bonus points awarded for completed general education courses, recent experience as a PT tech (and certain other health fields), and a previous baccalaureate degree. No prerequisite course work or volunteer hours are required; however, all applicants must show evidence of successful minimal competency in math, reading, and writing either by having previous coursework completed or by taking a placement exam. Students must also submit an essay on specific topics related to physical therapy. Students currently enrolled in another Texas PTA program who seek to transfer into TCC’s program must meet admissions criteria of the class into which they seek to enter; students should be aware that course schedules vary between Programs. In addition, students seeking transfer must contact Dr. Cody Atchley, interim program coordinator, to receive a Transfer Request Form; this form must be complegted by the student’s current program director/coordinator and submitted to Dr. Atchley ([email protected]). All inquiries about general admissions must go to the following email address: [email protected] Prospective students may request a face-to-face meeting with the Allied Health advisor using this email address or simply request information about the program. The program admission form is online at www.tccd.edu/pta; instructions are found on the form. A comprehensive PTA Program Admissions Information Booklet is also available for downloading at www.tccd.edu/pta.
Licensure pass rates for TCC graduates far surpass the state’s average. For the last three years of graduates (2010-2012), the mean licensure pass rate was 100% (of the students who attempted the licensure exam). In addition, the graduates enjoy a broad job market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex – 100% employment rate within 6 months of obtaining a license. The graduation rate from the program for cohort graduating in 2010 was 62%; in 2011 was 76%; in 2012 was 83%.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The average cost for the 2011-2012 academic year for the 2-year PTA program for Tarrant County students was approximately $7550.00. This number includes tuition, liability insurance fees, lab fees, required books, miscellaneous supplies, and clinical uniforms. Tuition costs for residents of other Texas counties, other states, and aliens are higher depending upon residence status. The cost of traveling to and from clinical sites varies depending upon the student’s location in the metroplex. For financial aid assistance , please contact the Office of Financial Aid – 817/515-6697. There are no special funds available from the college specifically for physical therapist assistant students; however, the Financial Aid department has a listing of available grants and scholarships for all students posted on the web at www.tccd.edu (search for “financial aid”).
Off-campus housing rentals are plentiful within a 30 minute drive time of the campus. The average price range is from $600-1000 per month. There are no intercollegiate athletic programs; however, the college has a proactive Student Activities department that hosts numerous on-campus activities and provides a variety of services for all students. The physical therapist assistant program is located in downtown Fort Worth, Texas just across the street from the historic Fort Worth courthouse. It is within walking distance of all the downtown offerings such as restaurants, theaters, clubs, and museums. There is public transportation near the campus but not directly to it.
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