Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapist Assistant Programs
General Program Description
The physical therapist assistant program involves 70 credits over five semesters. The program is a combination of lecture, lab and clinical experiences. The program employs three faculty members and maintains a 1:12 ratio of instructor-to-student in lab components of classes. The program is housed in a 25 million dollar building that is part of a consortium of two local hospitals, Western Technical College, Viterbo University, and the University of WI-La Crosse. Students in the program have opportunity to collaborate with students in the University’s Physical Therapy program.
Concurrent theoretical and clinical experiences enhance the application of new material to the practice setting. Clinical experience is provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and private practice. Students enter the clinical experience during the fall semester of their second year. The clinical experience ends with two, full-time rotations (6 weeks each) during the spring semester of the final year. Some travel is expected during the final internships with some students traveling up to 200 miles from La Crosse.
There are three full-time faculty members, two Physical Therapists (original BS and Masters degree) who also have their transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and one Physical Therapist Assistant.
Western Technical College serves over 11,000 full and part-time students. The physical therapist assistant program admits 24 students each fall.
Admission to the PTA program is on a first-come, first-served basis. Minimum entry requirements include graduation from high school (or high school equivalency exam), 2 years of math, 3 years of science (including 1 year of biology and 1 year of chemistry) and 3 years of English. Students are also required to take ASSET or COMPASS admission tests or submit ACT scores. Students are strongly encouraged to do volunteer work in physical therapy prior to admission. Once admitted to Western, many students elect to begin taking general education courses prior to beginning course work in the PTA program.
70% of students admitted to the program graduate from the program (3-year average); 98% of program graduates who completed the licensure exam achieved licensure (3-year average); 93% of program graduates responding to surveys are employed in a related field (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
The estimated tuition and book costs for students entering fall of 2014 is $9500.00 to complete the entire program. A comprehensive financial assistance program is offered through the use of federal, state, and institutional funds. Many of these funds are targeted at students who would be unable to attend college without this assistance. For further information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (608) 785-9579 or online at http://www.westerntc.edu/financialaid/ Graduates should be aware that there is a cost associated with taking the national licensure exam after graduation from any accredited program (achieving licensure is recommended for all; required for employment in many states).
Western Technical College offers a variety of social, academic, and professional organizations. Students may choose to enjoy the benefits of the Wellness Center on campus or take advantage of activities on the Mississippi river or beautiful bluffs surrounding the La Crosse river valley. Students also have access to activities and library resources available at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.Western also has a residence hall on campus for students who desire on- campus housing.
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