Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The program is a 2-year, integrated format consisting of 68 credit hours, of which 18 are general education credit hours and 50 are program-specific credit hours. These credit hours are earned over 5 semesters of full-time instruction and associated clinical education experiences. The semester progression is as follows: Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring. The first semester of the program consists of 5 credit hours of physical therapist assistant program courses and is intended to allow entering students the opportunity to complete most general education corequisites. All remaining semesters emphasize professional courses. The program is offered on a full-time basis during the daytime hours with students attending classes and labs or clinical education experiences for 21 – 40 hours per week throughout the duration of the program.
Applicants are required to seek a minimum of 12 hours shadowing in a physical therapy practice. Realistic information regarding the nature of physical therapy practice and physical therapist assistant job skill expectations is given during a mandatory informational session during the admissions process and again during new student orientation prior to enrollment. Second-year clinical rotations take place during the summer session for 2 days each week for 10 weeks, and twice in the spring prior to graduation. Spring clincial rotations are as follows: 40 hours per week for 5 weeks in January-February and 40 hours per week for 6 weeks in mid-March – May. Students are expected to complete at least one in-patient and at least one out-patient clinical education rotation.
The program employs 2 full-time faculty members and enrolls an average of 32 total students for a 1:16 ratio of faculty to students.
The 2014-2015 total enrollment for Wytheville Community College was 3084 students (1791 FTEs) with 1961 female students and 1123 male students (64%/36%). The 2014-2015 enrollment of the PTA program is 32 students, 21 female and 11 male (65%/35%). The average age of students enrolled in the 2014- 2015 academic year is 26, and the ethnic and racial composition of the class mirrors that of the college’s service region.
Applicants are accepted for admission from throughout western Virginia and surrounding states. Tuition rates are calculated according to in-state/out-of-state eligibility. The program employs a selective admissions process in which applications are accepted until February 15 of the year of desired admission. Applicants must meet prerequisite requirements prior to being allowed to participate in the admissions process. Prerequisites include: minimum overall GPA of 2.0 (college overall GPA is used if applicant has completed 12 or more college credits); High School Biology passed with a minimum of a C; High school Chemistry passed with a minimum of a C; competency in Algebra I as indicated by college placement testing; readiness for enrollment in college English as indicated by college placement testing; completion of a minimum of 12 shadowing hours in a physical therapy practice; and completion of a pre-admissions screening examination. If there are more applicants that available positions for entering students, applications meeting prerequisite criteria undergo a preliminary screening which assesses overall GPA, Sciences GPA, and Pre-admissions screening exam scores. Top applicants from the preliminary screen are invited to an interview with program faculty. Upon completion of the admissions process, each application is scored based on the above criteria and admission offers are extended to the top 16 applicants. Applicants failing to meet the February 15 deadline or who do not meet prerequisite criteria are not considered for admission until these requirements are satisfied.
Graduation rate: 86.02% of admitted students graduated within 3 years of beginning the program (for the classes of 2011- 2013). Licensure Examination Pass Rate: 3-year average (2011 – 2013): 88.75% Employment Rate: 100% of licensed graduates are employed within 6 months of licensure
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition rates and fees for the 2014 – 15 academic year are set at $139.00 per credit hour for in-state students and at $333.60 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Based upon these tuition rates and estimated program costs, the estimated total cost of the program for a student entering in fall 2014 and graduating on time in May 2016 is $13,525.00 for in-state students and $26,757.00 for out-of-state students. Students are eligible to apply for financial aid, grants, scholarships, work-study positions through the college’s Financial Aid office and through the Wytheville Community College Foundation.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is located on the main campus of Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Virginia at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 77 in southwestern Virginia. The college is non-residential, but there are several apartment complexes nearby. The college offers intercollegiate athletics through the NJCAA in Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball. Intercollegiate co-ed soccer is offered as a club sport. There are multiple special-interest club opportunities on-campus that meet regularly. The southwestern Virginia area offers many outdoor recreation opportunities including camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking. We are located minutes from the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail. There is also a rich tradition of Appalachian heritage in the area including arts, crafts, and music.
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