Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The program has a 2-year integrated format consisting of 5 semesters. The first semester is composed of entirely general education classes with these classes taken prior to admission. Students are admitted into the program during the second semester. The program is offered on a full-time basis during daytime hours. Students can expect to spend between 20-40 hours per week in class or clinical depending on the semester. Classes begin in August with graduation in May (2 years later). There are no summer classes.
Students complete three clinical assignments; one full-time 4-week clinical rotation in the third semester; one full-time 6-week clinical rotation in the fourth semester and one full-time 6-week clinical rotation in the fifth semester. Every attempt is made to give students clinical experience in acute care, outpatient and neurological rehabilitation.
There are two full-time and two part-time adjunct faculty members. All faculty are engaged in clinical practice. The faculty to student ratio is 1:15.
The physical therapist assistant program accepts 25-32 new students each fall semester. The average age of students in 2013 is 28.
The physical therapist assistant program admits a new class of students during the fall semester each year. To apply to the program, students must submit both a general college application and a program application to the Admissions Office by April 15. Positions in the program are limited, and applicants who apply early, meet the program’s prerequisites and are Virginia residents are given priority. Application requirements include high school graduation or equivalent, successful completion of one semester of college-level human anatomy and physiology, college composition, developmental psychology, orientation to healthcare and nutrition and diet therapy. Applicants who wish to transfer credits must have official transcripts from any colleges attended on file in the Admissions Office. Additionally, students must complete twenty hours of work/observation hours in each of two different practice settings (ie. Acute care & outpatient, outpatient & rehab, etc) for a total of forty hours. Developmental courses are available for students who do not meet the above requirements; however, applicants must complete all required developmental studies before being accepted into the program. Students who have been accepted must submit documentation of a current physical examination, current CPR and undergo a criminal background check.
80-85% of admitted students complete the program. The ultimate pass rate on the national licensing examination for 2007-2009 was 98%. 100% of all program graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition is determined by credit hours of enrollment and Virginia residency requirements. In 2013, the cost for the 2-year program, including pre-requisites, tuition, books, and clinical expenses, is approximately $11,200 for an in-state resident. The cost for the 2-year program is approximately $25,000 for an out-of-state resident. Information on financial assistance, such as grants, scholarships, and loans, is available in the Financial Aid Office of the college. The program has information on grants and scholarships specifically for physical therapist assistant students.
The college is a four-campus community college that offers no housing. The program is located on the Virginia Beach campus. Several apartment and townhouse communities are located nearby. Virginia Beach is a major resort area with many recreational opportunities, including beaches, fishing, and other water sports. Historic Williamsburg is about an hour’s drive away, and various cultural events and festivals are held year-round. The airport is located in Norfolk, which is 30 minutes from the campus.
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