Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The Laredo Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is a 2-year integrated course of study taught over five regular semesters. The program admits a new class of students annually in the fall with classes starting in late August. Courses include general education classes, technical courses on physical therapy procedures, and clinical experiences. Class work requires students to be on campus four to six hours daily during the second, third, and fourth semesters. During the fourth and fifth semesters, students complete clinical experiences that average 32 to 40 hours per week, one of which may be out of town. Students must pass all required coursework with at least a “C” to remain in the program. The program graduates students in May. The faculty consists of three full-time and two adjunct instructors. The program director has 24 years of clinical experience, and has directed the program since 2008.
The clinical experiences at Laredo Community College PTA Program include three clinical rotations, for a total of 608 hours of clinical education. The required 16 1/2 weeks of clinical practice in varied health care facilities provide the student with the opportunities to master entry-level clinical skills. Clinical I is an introductory 3 1/2 week clinical rotation completed at the onset of the second year. Clinical II is an intermediate level 7 week clinical rotation, while Clinical III is an advanced 6 week clinical rotation. Clinical I and III require 40 hours per week, while Clinical II requires 36 hours per week. It is desirable that prospective applicants be bilingual in English and Spanish as a large number of Hispanic clientele are served in the clinical facilities in Southwest Texas. One clinical experience may be completed out of town, and students are responsible for transportation, housing, and other costs related to each clinical. Graduates of the LCC PTA program will have entry-level skills as physical therapist assistants and will meet the educational requirements of the state of Texas to sit for the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination for the PTA.
The faculty consists of three full-time faculty members.
The physical therapist assistant program currently accepts a maximum of 18 students every fall semester. As of July 2013, there are 30 students (18 freshmen and 12 sophomores) in the LCC PTA program.
The student seeking admission into the PTA Program must fulfill the following requirements: 1) Meet LCC admission criteria as set forth in the college catalog; 2) Submit official scores for SAT, ACT and/or Compass Test and successfully complete required remediation courses; 3) Have a minimum degree-specific grade point average of 2.5 and achieve a grade of C or better in required academic courses; 4)Complete the following prerequisites: Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 2301); Anatomy & Physiology I Lab (BIOL 2101); Medical Terminology (MDCA 1313); The Profession of Physical Therapy (PTHA 1301); and Composition (ENGL 1301); 5) complete 40 hours of volunteer/observation in a physical therapy facility verified on the LCC PTA applicant volunteer/observation evaluation form. The hours may not be performed in a home health setting. Students who have been employed as physical therapy aides may count work experience toward this requirement. Above mentioned forms must be submitted, including a letter from the place of employment on company letterhead stating term of employment. The deadline for submission of completed applications is the second Thursday in May at the Allied Health Center, room 134. Applications can be obtained on the LCC website at www.laredo.edu/cms/pta. The PTA Program selection process includes four phases. Qualified students who submit completed applications prior to the second Thursday in May will be invited to sit for a pre-entrance exam. The student must successfully complete a pre-entrance exam by scoring a minimum of 25% on the verbal component and a 17% on the reading component in order to progress to the panel interview. Admission into the PTA Program is based on achieving a minimum of 60% of total percentage points awarded from 100% based on degree-specific grade point average (50%), pre-entrance exam (40%), personal Interview (8%), and PTA Applicant Volunteer Observation Evaluation Form (2%). The top 30 finalists who meet the required GPA, PSB scores, and the PTA Applicant Volunteer Observation Criteria will be considered for the personal interview. Students will be ranked based on the highest percentage points awarded, and a maximum of 18 students will be accepted. Applicants will be notified of their status by the 4th week of June of each year. Due to program size limitations, a number of applicants who meet the program admissions requirements may not be admitted to the program.
Over the past 3 years, the LCC PTA Program has an average of 14 graduates per year or a 76.8% graduation rate. The ultimate pass rate on the national licensure exam for the last 3 years is 97.9%.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The approximate cost of the two-year program for tuition, books, fees, uniforms, background check, physical exam, immunizations, standardized test and other miscellaneous costs is $10,058. The estimated cost of out-of-town room/travel for clinical affiliations is approximately $2,000 to $2,500 during the last year of the program. Students seeking financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Center at (956)-721-5361 for more information.
LCC is very student-oriented. The college has a complete intramural sports program and also participates in intercollegiate sports and has competitive teams in volleyball, baseball, and tennis. The college’s Student Advisory Board provides entertainment events throughout the year. The PTA program has an active Physical Therapist Assistant Club. The PTA Club’s goals are to raise monies to pay student membership in the APTA and provide a support system for students in the PTA program. The campus is immediately adjacent to the Rio Grande River, with a view overlooking old Mexico. The climate, although hot in the summer months, offers abundant sunshine with outdoor recreation year-round. The local population, numbering more than 200,000, is predominantly of Hispanic heritage.
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