Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The PTA program at South Texas College is a 2-year curriculum including general education, technical courses on physical therapy procedures, and clinical experience offered in cooperation with area medical facilities. The faculty consists of three full-time instructors, 1 part-time adjunct, and 1 part-time lab assistant. The program admits a new class of students every year and classes begin in late August. All PTA classes are currently offered at the Ramiro R. Casso Nursing and Allied Health Center in McAllen. The technical component includes lecture and laboratory courses in physical therapy science and procedures. Students generally attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the first and second semesters, as well as during part of the fourth and fifth semesters. Clinical experiences are completed during the fourth and fifth semesters, averaging 40 hours a week. Students must pass all required coursework with at least a “C” in order to remain in the program. The program graduation date is in May. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the national licensure examination. To date, 100% of STCC PTA program graduates have passed the PTA licensure exam, and all program graduates who desire to work in the field have successfully gained employment. Program faculty is very supportive of students and work closely with them to facilitate student success.
The STC PTA program includes three practicum experiences, totaling 704 hours of clinical education. Practicum I is an introductory level 5-week clinical experience completed at the beginning of the second year, in which students practice the application of basic patient care skills and physical agents in acute or outpatient settings. Practicum II is an intermediate level 6- week clinical experience, designed to enhance skills and integrate knowledge of orthopedic, neurological, or general medical management in rehabilitation or inpatient settings. Practicum III is an advanced level 6-week clinical experience, typically completed in an outpatient or rehabilitation setting. This final clinical experience provides practical work experience for the application of theoretical knowledge and basic skills is neurological, sports medicine, geriatric, or pediatric management. Each Practicum represents a full-time 40-hour per week experience. Clinical experiences require that students have transportation to and from assigned area facilities, as well as professional dress including a lab coat.
STC employs three full-time faculty members, one part-time adjunct, and one part-time lab assistant. The faculty to student ratio in lecture is 1:18, and 1:9 in most skills labs.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program enrolls a new cohort of up to 19 students each fall semester; 17 are typically new students.
Admission to the PTA Program is based on a point system score. To be considered, PTA Program applicants must meet the following requirements: A. Meet general admission requirements to STC. B. Have a High School diploma or GED. C. Be TSI complete. D. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all transfer courses if applicable. E. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses completed at STC. F. Complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “B” as listed in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program degree plan. A&P Courses must be completed within the last 5 years. A&P courses completed more than 5 years prior to the application date will not be accepted. Introduction to Physical Therapy must be completed within the last 2 years. G. Submit a completed Program application by stated deadline. For more information contact the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at 956-872-3161 or access the information online at www.southtexascollege.edu. H. Participate in student advisement per program requirements. For more information contact the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at 956-872-3161 or access the information online at www.southtexascollege.edu. I. Take the ACT plus Writing component Exam. Achieve an ACT composite of 19 or above and a minimum of 16 in all individual areas (English, Math, Reading, and Science). ACT Writing score must be a 6 or above. Scores must be current within the last 5 years. J. Present documentation of a minimum of twenty-five (25) hours of volunteer or work experience under the supervision of a PT or PTA in two different settings, for a total of fifty (50) hours. One experience should be completed in an inpatient setting (hospital or nursing facility), and the other should be completed in a different type of setting such as an outpatient clinic or pediatric center. Home Health hours are not accepted. Therapists who supervise volunteer experiences cannot be a relative or personal friend of the student applicant. K. Pass a background check and drug screen through approved providers. Students with criminal histories must provide proof of licensure eligibility from the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE). For more information contact the NAH Clinical Affairs Specialist. L.Meet technical standards as stated by the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. The student may also complete the following additional support and general education requirements (not considered pre-requisites) prior to program entry: BIOL 2402 Anatomy & Physiology II; a Humanities Elective (Ethics, Intro to Humanities, Intro to Philosophy, or Intro to Logic); and PSYC 2314 Lifespan Growth & Development. Applications will be available to students meeting admission requirements. Selection of students is made one time a year at the end of the spring semester. The deadline for applying to the PTA Program is the last Friday in May of the current year. The PTA Program selection process includes two phases. Criteria for the initial phase is based on a point system (number of support courses completed times grade point average of degree plan courses), Experience Form scores, and eligible bonus points. The top scoring 30 applicants then complete the second phase, which may include a Health Occupations Aptitude Examination (psbtest.com) and a brief interview. Applicants with the highest total scores are admitted. Admission is typically limited to a maximum of 17 new students. The number of slots may be reduced based on available resources. For specific information on the point system utilized for candidate selection, please contact the PTA Program at 956-872-3161 or access the inforamtion online at www.southtexascollege.edu/nah.
•Graduation Rate: 65% of students graduate from the Program (3 year average). •Licensure Examination Pass Rate: 100% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3 year average). •Employment Rate: 100% of program graduates have obtained positions as PTAs within 6 months of passing the licensure exam (3 year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The current in-district estimated program cost is $7540 for tuition and fees, textbooks, professional liability insurance, uniforms, clinical supplies, medical physical exam and immunizations. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For more information contact the office of Financial Aid at (956) 872-8311.
The South Texas College Office of Student Life promotes lifelong individual excellence through leadership, educational, cultural, recreational and civic programs, as well as opportunities, and services designed to support and enhance students and their education outside the classroom. STCC offers student organizations and clubs, a Student Government Association, both men’s and women’s intramural teams and recreational sports activities, and a variety of activities and special events such as guest speakers, picnics, music concerts, movies, plays, workshops, and many other student led events.
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