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FAQs - Physical Therapist Assistant

A Career as a Physical Therapist Assistant


 

What exactly is a Physical Therapist Assistant?

The PT Assistant (PTA) is a skilled clinician who assists the registered Physical Therapist in health service agencies with the rehabilitation and treatment of patients disabled by illness, accident, or congenital conditions. Employing knowledge of the patient's condition, the assistant will administer physical agents to alleviate the presenting symptoms or will instruct the patient in specialized therapeutic exercise programs to restore the patient's functional abilities. PT Assisting is for you if you desire a physically active occupation and interact well with others.
Please visit the following American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) websites for more information about a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant:

What does the current job market look like?

​​According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 41 percent from 2012 through 2022, which is much faster than average for all occupations because of increasing demand for physical therapy services. Job prospects for physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good.

What salary can I expect after I graduate?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics 2012 Wages Survey, the mean annual salary for at PTA in the US is $52,320. Based on experience and employment setting, annual salaries ranged from $32,420 to $72,720. In the state of Florida, the mean salary was $57,340. For more information visit: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312021.htm

 

 

General Program Information


 

 

When and where are classes in this program offered?

​General education courses (any course without a PHT prefix) are taught at varied times (days, evenings, weekends) at all campus locations. All PHT courses are offered during the day only. A typical day is approximately from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., however these hours can vary. The hours of clinical practicums vary, based on the operating hours of the clinical site at which the student is assigned. Classes are held at North Campus for the BC site and at the Thomas Edison Campus for the Florida SouthWestern* site. Students attend both classes and clinical practicums 5 days a week (Monday through Friday) during the fall and winter semesters while enrolled in the program. Core program courses (indicated with the PHT prefix) are only available to students officially accepted into the program.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

Thomas Edison Campus - formerly Lee Campus, in Ft. Myers

Is the Program accredited?

​The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Broward College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. This includes the expansion site at Florida SouthWestern State College*.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

When do classes begin?

​The Program begins each May. General education courses are focused on during the Summer semester.  If a student has completed all of the required general education courses, the actual PTA courses begin in August.

In addition, all students accepted into the Program will enroll in the online PTA Student Success Seminar during the Summer semester, before the start of the PTA courses.

How are classes delivered?

​The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is delivered to students at Broward College's North Campus in Coconut Creek and Florida SouthWestern State College's* Thomas Edison Campus in Ft. Myers via distance learning technology. Lectures are broadcast in real time so that all sites participate in lecture classes together. The classrooms are equipped with TV monitors, video cameras, and microphones so that students and instructors can communicate similar to a webcam where interactions are instantaneous. E-Learning web sites are utilized for all courses to provide course materials, complete assignments, and extend discussions on content. The program also incorporates several fully online courses. The individual sites manage lab sessions with instructors physically present at both locations.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

Thomas Edison Campus - formerly Lee Campus

 

 

Curriculum


  

What type of degree do I receive?

You will be awarded an Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assisting.

How many credits are in the Program?

​You must complete - with a grade of "C" or above - 74 credits to be awarded the AS degree.

What courses must I complete prior to applying?

​​Students who are interested in applying to the PTA program can do so without having taken any of the required general education courses. There are no prerequisites required prior to applying however points will be awarded in several categories including completion of general education courses, therefore students are encouraged to take as many of the general education courses (especially the anatomy and physiology courses) as possible prior to submitting an application. Students are ranked for admission based on the point system detailed on the Health Science Admissions website 

 

What is the length of the Program?

The program is five (5) semesters in length. It is considered a two-year curriculum. The first semester is scheduled in the Summer semester, starting in May, and consists of general education courses. For two consecutive years, the student will attend full-time day courses during the Fall and Winter semesters.

Will I be attending clinical practicums in local hospitals or other health care agencies as part of my course requirements?

​​Yes. As part of the clinical practicum phase of the curriculum, you will be required to attend several clinical practicums including a full time practicum in the semester prior to graduation.  Practicum courses are taken concurrently with on campus lab and lecture courses.

Clinical Practicum I: 16 hours per week for 7.5 weeks in the Winter semester of the first year (Tuesday and Thursday)

Clinical Practicum II: 24 hours per week for 12.5 weeks in the Fall semester of the second year (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

Clinical Practicum III: 40 hours per week for 7.5 weeks during the Winter semester of the second year (Monday - Friday)

 

 

Cost of the PTA Program


 

Is financial assistance available?

​Yes. The Student Financial Services office located on each campus can offer financial counseling to you and may be able to provide needed funds.

What is the approximate total cost for the Program, including tuition, books, uniforms, etc.?

The total cost of the program is approximately $11,000 for Florida residents and $29,000 for out-of-state applicants. The actual total cost is subject to change.

Will I need to purchase uniforms for the Program?

There is a required lab uniform, for all laboratory sessions, which is available for purchase at the College bookstore. Prior to attending clinical practicums, you will be required to purchase clinical uniforms, which will be available through the vendor designated by the Program. Once you are accepted into the Program, you will be given specific information about purchasing the correct uniform.

What are the Florida resident requirements, as it relates to tuition?

​You can find the information about Florida residency here. Generally, you must have established and maintained legal residency in Florida for a minimum of twelve months prior to the first day of the term that you enter the College.

 

 

Admission to the Program


 

Should I submit my application by a certain date?

​At both sites, admission is limited to available seats in the program. For exact time frames for the application period, check on the Health Sciences Admissions page. Notification of a student’s acceptance into the program is confirmed after the deadline for applications and review of the applicant pool is completed. Students must monitor their BC student email account for communication from the admission department.

What courses must I complete prior to applying?

Students who are interested in applying to the PTA program can do so without having taken any of the required general education courses. There are no prerequisites required prior to applying however points will be awarded in several categories including completion of general education courses, therefore students are encouraged to take as many of the general education courses (especially the anatomy and physiology courses) as possible prior to submitting an application. Students are ranked for admission based on the point system detailed on the Health Science Admissions website.

How do you determine who is accepted into the Program?

A point system based on degree-required general education courses is utilized to rank applicants. Acceptance depends on where the student falls in the point ranking system with the top ranking students being accepted. Specifics regarding applying to the program are available on the Health Sciences Admissions page. The points system can be found on the Admissions website under "Step 1: Complete Program Pre-Requisites".

What is the Program's role in the Admissions process?

​The Program, its administration, and faculty have no role in the actual application and acceptance process.  The Health Science Admissions Department accepts all applications, ranks students according to the published points system, and accepts the new class of students.  At this time, the Program receives a list of the newly accepted students.  The PTA Program has no input into who is accepted each year.

How do I know if my application is complete and if I have been accepted into the Program?

​​Once accepted to Broward College, students will receive a letter with their Student ID number. Students should utilize this Student ID number to log into their Broward Student Account at www.broward.edu to monitor transcript evaluations and their Limited Access Program Application. Students must also monitor their Broward Student Email account as that is where the admissions department will communicate with students regarding application status and program acceptance. The admissions and selection process is managed by the Health Sciences Admissions Department.

Please Note: The Physical Therapist Assistant Program does not oversee this process. For questions about your application or acceptance into the program, please contact the Health Sciences Admissions Department at healthscience@broward.edu or by calling (954) 201 2892.

How many students applied this year and how many will be accepted?
 

Data for 2014

Number of Applicants​ ​Number Accepted Point range of accepted students​
​Broward Site ​403 ​36 accepted
8 alternates
​68-76
​FSW* site ​138 ​​16 accepted
7 alternates
​68-76
Alternate students are selected each year in the event an admitted student does not accept their seat to enter the program.  When selecting alternate students, the Health Science Admissions Department selects students with the next highest points ranking from the list of applicants.

Alternate students are notified of their status at the same time accepted students are notified. Alternate students must comply with all requirements of an accepted student to ensure they are prepared to enter the program if selected.​

* FSW = Florida SouthWestern State College (formerly Edison State College)

  

 

Florida SouthWestern State College Students


 

Is the program that is offered at Florida SouthWestern State College campus the same program that is offered at Broward College?

Yes, students accepted into both the Broward and Florida SouthWestern* locations are considered one class of students taking courses simultaneously and adhering to the admissions criteria for Broward College. Once accepted to the program, Florida SouthWestern site students are considered Broward College students and pay tuition to Broward, who issues their degree upon graduation.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

How are the classes delivered?

​The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is delivered to students at Broward College (BC) and Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW)* via distance learning technology. Lectures are broadcast in real time so that all sites participate in lecture classes together. The classrooms are equipped with TV monitors, video cameras, and microphones so that students and instructors can communicate similar to a webcam where interactions are instantaneous. E-Learning web sites are utilized for all courses to provide course materials, complete assignments, and extend discussions on content. The program also incorporates several fully online courses. The individual sites manage lab sessions with instructors physically present at both locations.


*FSW - formerly Edison State College

If I am planning on attending the program on the Florida SouthWestern campus, do I need to apply to Florida SouthWestern State College?

​For students who are new to college, yes. You should apply to Florida SouthWestern State College* (FSW) and complete their admissions process including any required testing. Once it is determined if you are ready for college preparatory courses or if you can begin college level courses, you will enroll at Florida SouthWestern as an AA student and begin completing the general education courses toward the PTA degree. At the time you are ready to apply to the PTA Program, you will follow the Broward College and PTA Program admissions procedures.

For students who have some but not all of the general education courses required for the degree completed, you will still need to apply to FSW and have your transcripts evaluated. Then you will complete the remaining general education courses at FSW as an AA student. At the time you are ready to apply to the PTA Program, you will follow the Broward College and PTA Program admissions procedures.

For students who have all of the general education courses required for the degree completed, it is not necessary to apply to FSW. There are no additional courses that you would need to take at FSW however, at the time you are ready to apply to the PTA Program, you will follow the Broward College and PTA Program admissions procedures.

Please note that any courses that are transferred to Broward College, for the PTA degree, require an original transcript from the institution where the course was completed, including Florida SouthWestern State College. Courses must meet the BC PTA AS degree requirements. Students should refer to the current Broward College Catalog for additional details.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

How do I apply to the PTA program if I am attending classes at the Florida SouthWestern site?

​Visit the Health Sciences Admissions page for details. Follow the admissions procedures detailed adhering to the stated deadlines. All interested applicants, must apply to Broward College AND the PTA Program AND send transcripts from ALL other institutions they attended. This includes courses completed at Florida SouthWestern State College* or other institutions.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

As a student attending the program at the Florida SouthWestern site, can I still get Financial Aid?

​While completing general education courses at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW)* as an AA student, students should meet with the FSW Financial Aid department to determine eligibility. For the term when the student anticipates acceptance into the Broward College PTA Program, the student should indicate Broward as the institution on Financial Aid paperwork and communicate with the Financial Aid department at Broward.


*Florida SouthWestern State College - formerly Edison State College

As a Florida SouthWestern site student, will I ever be required to travel to the Broward site?

​Yes, you will need to travel to the Broward campus located in Coconut Creek, Florida on a few occasions once accepted to the program.

  • If offered a seat in the program, you will attend a pre-admissions meeting in the Spring prior to the May start of the program.
  • You will complete a Background Check in Broward County, which will be scheduled at your convenience.
  • The Program Orientation is mandatory and is held in the Summer term, prior to the start of the PTA courses.
  • Although not required, Edison students wishing to attend graduation will need to travel to Broward for the ceremony.

 

 

After You Are Accepted Into the Program


  

 

What is the PTA Student Success Seminar?

This is an online module that the students will complete once they have been officially accepted into the program. It provides the student an opportunity to interact with the various online requirements of the program and assists them in identifying their learning styles. Student must complete the module prior to the start of the August term. This course is completed once a student is accepted into the program.

What certificates are required for the Program and when should they be completed?

Once accepted into the program the student must complete the following certificate courses and must provide documentation that the certificates have been completed by August. The certificate courses MUST be taken at Broward College and the number of hours for each certificate must be met. Further instructions for completion of these certificates will be provided, to students who have been accepted into the program, during the Pre-Admission Orientation Meeting that occurs in the Spring. Students will be notified of this meeting once they have been accepted into the program.

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): Required 8 contact hours - The Basic Life Support CPR certification (BLS for Healthcare Providers) is valid for two (2) years following attendance and must be completed through the American Heart Association. No certification other than the American Heart Association's Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider will be accepted. CPR certification needs to be current during the 2 two years of the program.
  • AIDS/HIV: Required 4 contact hours - The student must have current evidence of attending an HRS approved four (4) hour AIDS/HIV Seminar, prior to attending the first clinical practicum (PHT 1801L).
  • Domestic Violence Certification: Required 2 contact hours
  • OSHA/TB/Blood-borne Pathogens Certification: Required 6 contact hours
  • Prevention of Medical Errors: Required 2 contact hours

 

 

 

Graduation and Beyond


  

Do I need to take a licensing examination after I graduate?

​Yes. To practice physical therapy in the State of Florida, you must have a license. Historically, the Program has exceeded the national average with regard to pass rates on the licensing examination. Graduates are required to successfully complete a national and state examination in order to receive a license to practice in the State of Florida.  Other states may have additional requirements. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, provides a link to all licensing authorities, within the country.

Does Broward College offer continuing education courses for Physical Therapist Assistants who want to specialize in a particular area of the field?

Physical Therapist Assistants who wish to develop expertise in specialized areas such as sports medicine, pediatrics or geriatrics, can take the appropriate continuing education courses at BC or through other agencies in order to enhance their qualifications after their career is underway.

Does the Program provide job placement services?

​​No. The program does not offer any type of job placement other than the posting of employment opportunities and the announcement of job fairs on the program's Alumni web site, which all graduates will have access to. The majority of our graduates receive job offers from clinics at which they completed one or more of their clinical practicums.

 

 

Contact Us 


 

 

Who can I contact if I have a general question about the Program?

Executive Assistant for the Program:
Kenneth Santos
954-201-2148

For information on the Broward Site, contact:
Maria Holodak, Program Manager
Broward College
North Campus, Building 41
mholodak@broward.edu

For information on the Florida SouthWestern State College Site (formerly Edison State College), contact:
Jodi Gootkin, Site Coordinator
Florida SouthWestern State College
Thomas Edison Campus, Walker Hall, A-132
jgootkin@broward.edu
 

 

Who can I contact if I have a question about applying or being admitted to the Program?

​The following questions should be directed to the Health Science Admissions Department at 954-201-2892 or healthscience@broward.edu

  • Has my application been received?
  • Is my application complete?

Please see the other FAQs for general information, related to the Admissions process.

Who can I contact if I have a question about my transcripts or educational plan?

As part of the application process, you will submit transcripts, which will be evaluated.  If you wish to have your transcripts evaluated, in addition to the Program application process, you can contact Academic Advising at any Broward College campus.

In addition, an academic advisor can help you develop an educational plan that is right for you.

 

 

Who can I contact if I am a member of the general public and want to make a comment about the PTA Program?

Primary Contact:

Maria Holodak, Program Manager

mholodak@broward.edu​ or 954-201-2087


Secondary Contact:

​Susan Edelstein, Associate Dean

sedelste@broward.edu or 954-201-2086

 

 

 

 

 

 


Broward College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding
the non-discrimination policies and Title IX may be directed to: Equity Coordinator Dr. Denese Edsall, Executive Director, Human Resources, 6400 NW 6th Way, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33309,
(954) 201-7502, dedsall@broward.edu