SouthArk’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program combines a strong general education core with theoretical and applied learning experiences required for PTA education. The PTA Program is a 1 + 1 format. Students must successfully complete 32 semester hours of prerequisite courses prior to application to the PTA Program.

The technical phase of the PTA training consists of three (3) consecutive semesters of full-time, day-time studies including both classroom studies and clinical internships (30-40 hours/week). In-program technical studies begin in the summer semester and conclude the following spring semester.

Enrollment in the technical component of training is limited to 20 students (admissions criteria are available in the PTA Program offices, rooms 250 and 252 Health Science Center, and are located under "Qualifications for Admission" at this website).

Students successfully completing the PTA Program course of studies will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to take the national licensure examination.

The PTA Program at South Arkansas Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-706-3245, email: accreditation (at) apta.org, website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Initial accreditation was granted in May 2000 and reaccreditation was granted April 2006. Effective May 4, 2016, CAPTE reaffirmed accreditation for SouthArk’s PTA Program. The most recent accreditation status is in effect until June 30, 2026.

Individuals who wish to file a complaint with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) may do so at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, telephone: 1-703-706-3245); email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.

 

Associate of Applied Science

Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant:  Degree Plan

Prerequisite Courses
  Course Number   Course Name   Credit Hours   Minimum grade required
ENGL 1113 Composition I 3 C or better
ENGL 1123 Composition II 3 C or better
MATH 1023 College Algebra 3 C or better
CSCI 1003 Computer Info Processing 3 C or better
PSYC 2003 General Psychology 3 C or better
BIOL 2064/L Anatomy & Physiology I / Lab 4 B or better
BIOL 2074/L Anatomy & Physiology II / Lab 4 B or better
BIOL 2304/L Kinesiology / Lab 4 B or better
PTAP 1002 Introduction for PTAs 2 C or better
HCIT 1003 Medical Terminology 3 C or better
Prerequisite Total Credit Hours 32 credit hours
Summer Semester
PTAP 2304 Pathophysiological Conditions 4  
PTAP 2315/L Applied Physical Therapy I / Lab 5  
PTAP 2323 Administration & Management 3  
Summer semester total credit hours 12
Fall Semester
PTAP 2406/L PT Procedures / Lab 6  
PTAP 2415/L Applied Physical Therapy II / Lab 5  
PTAP 2424 Clinical Practicum I 4  
Fall semester total credit hours 15
Spring Semester
PTAP 2503 PTA Seminar 3  
PTAP 2514/L Neuro & Rehab for PTAs / Lab 4  
PTAP 2528 Clinical Practicum II 8  
Spring semester total credit hours 15
  Total degree hours required   74    
   

Qualifications for Admission

Qualifications for Admission

Academic Qualifications
Applicants must successfully complete the following courses* with a minimum of a grade “B” in each science course (BIOL 2064/L, Anatomy & Physiology I; BIOL 2074/L, Anatomy & Physiology II / Lab; and BIOL 2304/L, Kinesiology / Lab) AND a combined GPA of 2.75 or greater

Course Number Course Title Number of Credit Hours Minimal Grade Required
ENGL 1113 Composition I 3 credit hours C or better
ENGL 1123 Composition II 3 credit hours C or better
MATH 1023 College Algebra 3 credit hours C or better
CSCI 1003 Computer & Information Processing 3 credit hours C or better
PSYC 2003 General Psychology 3 credit hours C or better
BIOL 2064/L Anatomy & Physiology I/Lab 4 credit hours B or better
BIOL 2074/L Anatomy & Physiology II/Lab 4 credit hours B or better
BIOL 2304/L Kinesiology / Lab 4 credit hours B or better
PTAP 1002 Introduction for Physical Therapist Assistants 2 credit hours C or better
HCIT 1003 Medical Terminology 3 credit hours C or better


* Any substitutions to the stated academic prerequisites must be approved by the PTA Program Director prior to application to the PTA Program.

TEAS
The TEAS examination must be completed at any time prior to March 31 of the year in which the applicant expects to enter the technical phase of PTA training. Arrangements are to be made through the Testing & Learning Center, Room 220 of SouthArk's Student Center (SSC). There is a $ 55.00 charge for this examination.  Applicants must achieve an acceptable score in all areas of the exam (minimal score requirements are as follows:  Reading 55; Math 55; and English 55). Students who are unsuccessful in meeting the minimal scoring requirements will be required to follow the Health Sciences policies regarding remediation and re-examination. PTA Program applicants are allowed to take the TEAS a maximum of three (3) times to achieve a successful score. Tutorial work is available in SouthArk’s Testing & Learning Center (at no charge) for the TEAS.  Only scores obtained within 18 months of application will be accepted.

Criminal Background Information
Each applicant must successfully pass a criminal background check.  There is a $53.00 charge for the background check.  

Physical Therapy Observation
Students must conduct eight (8) total hours of observation in two (2) different physical therapy settings under the direction / supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist OR a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. One physical therapy setting must be in a home health, OR in a nursing home (long-term care) setting. The other physical therapy settings can be in an acute-care facility, a rehabilitation unit, pediatric center, OR out-patient clinic.  Applicants who are employed as physical therapy technicians/aides may have supervisor (PT/PTA) complete one (1) of the observation forms.  Observations must have occurred within the prior two (2) years, and should be submitted prior to March 1 of the year in which the student is applying to the PTA Program.  Attached to the application are the appropriate forms to document these observations. Students completing observations prior to application may obtain the appropriate forms from the PTA Program offices. 

Application Process

Application Process

Obtain an Application:

Applicants may obtain an application from the PTA offices (rooms 250 and 252 Health Science Center) on the first day of the spring semester after completion of prerequisite coursework or enrollment in final prerequisite coursework.

Complete the application: A completed application includes demographic information, information pertaining to individuals who are to complete the recommendation forms, educational history, employment history, personal statement, observation forms, complete signature of applicant, and signed release for background check.

Transcripts from other colleges: South Arkansas Community College must receive official transcripts from all colleges in which the applicant has obtained college credit. Applicants should make arrangements through SouthArk's Office of Enrollment Services to obtain this information in a timely manner. (Note:  some colleges require a fee for this service.)

Recommendation forms:   Three (3) recommendation forms are included in the PTA Application Packet. The applicant should complete his/her name and SouthArk ID# on the form prior to providing one of these forms to three separate individuals. Recommendations from relatives / family members will not be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to seek recommendations from employers/supervisors, college faculty, or PTs/PTAs who can attest to the applicant's maturity, communication skills, and dependability. Recommendation forms are due on/before March 1. It is imperative that recommendation forms be submitted directly to the PTA Program (recommendation forms that are hand-delivered by applicants must be in an enclosed, sealed envelope on which the recommender has signed the seal).

Submit the Application:

  • Completed applications must be submitted on/before March 1 to the PTA Program Faculty directly either in person or by mail (PTA Program, rooms 250 and 252 Health Science Center, South Arkansas Community College, 300 South West Avenue, El Dorado, AR  71730).
  • Signed "Disclosure and Release form" must be included for application to be complete.

Class size

The PTA Program at SouthArk is limited to 20 students each year.  Students not accepted into the upcoming class are encouraged to re-apply for the future PTA class.

Selection
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program has a selective admission process for qualified applicants. Selection is made based upon students whose applications reflect:

  • the GPA in all prerequisite courses;
  • the GPA in Science courses (BIOL 2064/L, Anatomy & Physiology I; BIOL 2074/L, Anatomy & Physiology II / Lab; and BIOL 2304/L, Kinesiology / Lab);
  • the TEAS scores;  and,
  • recommendations, observation forms, and personal statement.

South Arkansas Community College and the Physical Therapist Assistant Program does not unlawfully discriminate in the selection of students to the PTA Program.

Those students who were accepted into the PTA Class of 2016-2017 achieved the following:

  • Science GPA (average) 3.7
  • Prerequisite GPA (average) 3.6
  • TEAS Reading 71.3
    • Math 73.3
    • English 66.2

 

Timeline for Selection

  • Applications are available to prospective PTA students the first day of the spring semester.
  • Completed application, release for background check, observations forms and recommendation forms are due on/before March 1.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges must be received in the Office of Enrollment Services on/before March 1.
  • On/before March 31, each applicant will receive written notification of the status of his/her application to the PTA Program.
  • At the close of spring semester, all qualified applicants will be considered for acceptance based upon the selection criteria listed above. Each applicant will receive written notification of acceptance, or non-acceptance.

Students not accepted into the PTA Program at the time of application are encouraged to meet with the PTA Program faculty to devise an academic plan to enhance their qualifications for re-application.

Application Deadlines

Professional Programs Application Deadlines

To apply for admission to a HNS Professional Program, applicants must have completed:

  • All basic studies requirements.
  • All prerequisite classes (or be currently enrolled in) as specified in the SouthArk catalog for each professional program.

See SouthArk catalog for specifics regarding each program's requirements and/or consult program advisor.

Program

Class Begins

Application Deadline

LPN – Warren Days

January 2018
Spring Semester

Friday,
October 6, 2017
By 12:00 p.m.

LPN - El Dorado Days

May 2018
Summer Semester

Friday
February 2, 2018
By 12:00 p.m.

LPN - El Dorado Evenings

August 2017
Fall Semester

Friday
June 2, 2017
By 12:00 p.m.

LPN-to-RN

January 2018
Spring Semester

August 31, 2017
By 5:00 p.m.
Application Open Now

Surgical Technology

Fall Semester 
2017

June 15, 2017

OTA

Summer Semester
2018

March 30, 2018

PTA

Summer Semester
2017

March 1, 2017

Radiologic Technology

Fall Semester
2017

 March 27, 2017

EMT

  Fall & Spring 
Semester

 No Application Process – 
Open Enrollment Until Filled 

Paramedic

August 2016

  July 20, 2016

Respiratory Therapy

Fall Semster
2017

June 30, 2017

Coding - HIT

August 2017

No Application Process –
Open Enrollment Until Filled 

Phlebotomy

Fall Semester
2017

Applications Available Until Filled

Student Expenses

Student Expenses

Students who have been admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South Arkansas Community College should be prepared to incur the following expenses: (fees based upon 2016-2017 fee schedule)

Background Check $ 53.00
Tuition for full-time students $ 83.00 / semester hour 
(AR resident – in district)
$ 96.00 / semester hour 
(AR resident -- out of district)
$ 172.00 / semester hour 
(Non-AR resident)

Assessment fees   
Computer Tech fees   
Lab fees    
Textbooks, uniforms, etc.  
Liability & accident insurance    
Travel & professional development  
Drug screening (as required) 
Travel to clinical education sites   
Testing Fee
CPR certification
APTA Membership
Health Science Professional Program Fee
Activity Fee
Security Fee
Support Fee

$ 30.00 / semester 
$ 10.00 / semester hour
$ 140.00 / year
$1100.00 / year
$72.00 / year
$ 150.00 / year
$ 35.00 / occurrence
$ 1000.00** (approximate)  
$ 245.00 / year
$45.00 / year
$80.00 / year (highly recommended)
$75.00 / semester
$1.00 / semester hour
$4.00 / semester hour
$4.00 / semester hour

**  Students will be required to travel to clinical education sites outside Union County, and are responsible for all costs associated with this travel.

Graduates can expect to pay $ 400.00 - $ 600.00 to their respective state licensing boards to obtain licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant. 

Course of Studies and Additional Requirements

Course of Studies and Additional Requirements

PTA Program Course of Studies:

  • The technical component of PTA training begins each summer semester. The course of studies encompasses three (3) consecutive semesters, completing with the close of the following year’s spring semester.
  • Classroom, lab, and clinical education experiences are scheduled for full days (up to eight-hour days), Monday through Friday
  • Clinical education experiences will require students to provide their own transportation (and lodging, if necessary) to clinical education sites outside the immediate college area.

Additional requirements prior to beginning the PTA Program:
Students accepted into the PTA Program will be required to:

  • pass a medical physical examination (at personal cost to the student)
  • obtain Hepatitis B Vaccine series (at personal cost to the student)
  • obtain a recent tuberculosis test OR verification of IRGA (at personal cost to the student)
  • obtain rubella and varicella titers OR proof of immunity (at personal cost to the student)
  • obtain CPR certification (at personal cost to the student)
  • document ability to meet the physical performance standards of a Physical Therapist Assistant as described by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles
  • agree to SouthArk's "Student Substance Abuse Screening Policy"
  • attend an orientation session provided by the PTA Program faculty

Graduation Program Pass Rate

Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee, PTA

Summer 2016

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program Advisory Committee, comprised of administrators from SouthArk, Physical Therapist managers, and Physical Therapist Assistant clinicians was originally established in 1997.  The committee oversees, reviews, and advises the PTA program and the College in all areas of advising, curriculum, recruitment, retention, policies, and assessment.

Kristel Thomas, PTA

Matthew Langheld, PTA

Rhonda Cardin, PT

Amber Pauley, PTA

Pam Gathreaux, PT

Whitney Webb, PTA

Sam Allen, PT

Ashley Rodriguez, PTA

Kerri Brown, PTA

Donna Barnes, PTA

 

 

Mickey Best, PhD

Jeanette Brown, PTA, ACCE

Nancy Whitmore, MEd, MS

Caroline Hammond, MNSc

Jennifer Parks, PT, DPT

Barbara Jones, PhD

Professional Organizations

Professional Organizations

arota

Arkansas Occupational Therapy Association

aota
American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

Omega Theta Alpha (OTA) is the student club for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.  This club offers students an opportunity to work together to assist pre-program students and provide service to community members.  Members also participate in developing a scrapbook of memories during their time in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. 

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