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South University, Austin Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science Degree Program

Physical Therapist Assistant programs offered at South University—austin

Program Information

Physical therapist assistants are healthcare providers who work under the supervision of physical therapists. Their duties include assisting the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs according to a plan of care, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, conducting treatments using special equipment, administering modalities and other treatment procedures and reporting to the physical therapist on the patient's responses.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, there were approximately 71,400 physical therapist assistants employed in 2012. That number is expected to grow by 41% from 2012-2022, due to the growing number of individuals with disabilities or limited function and the increasing use of physical therapist assistants to reduce the cost of therapeutic services.

The PTA program offers a curriculum that is well-rounded in all fundamental concepts and theories as they apply to physical therapy modalities and rehabilitation procedures. The technical phase of the South University Austin Physical Therapist Assistant program consists of five academic quarters of lecture, laboratory, and clinical coursework. The academic program is taught during the day at the Austin campus.

Clinical Experience and Externship

The program has one part-time and two full-time clinical education experiences in which students complete 660 hours of clinical education. The first clinical experience is integrated into the second quarter of the technical phase of the program. The second and third clinicals take place during the last two quarters of the curriculum, with students returning to campus to complete a course in Current Rehabilitation Issues between the clinical experiences. This course allows for the integration of clinical experiences with didactic materials and the opportunity to correct deficiencies identified in the assessment of the student's performance in the clinic. The clinical experiences are chosen from a variety of settings, which may include hospitals, nursing homes, sub-acute facilities, and outpatient centers with which the program has entered into clinical agreements.

For information about the South University Austin Physical Therapist Assistant program, please contact the program faculty listed under the Helpful Links tab.

Program Outcomes

The curriculum is designed to produce students who will meet the following programmatic outcomes:

1. All students will complete all clinical externships with a Pass (P) grade.

2. The Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Examination (PTA NPTE) ultimate pass rate will be equal to or above the national average for all graduates (2 year average).

3. All students who achieve a passing NPTE score will seek licensure in their state of residence.

4. 90% of licensed graduates seeking employment will be employed in-field within 1 year of graduation.

5. The results of graduate surveys will reveal overall satisfaction with their preparation at South University.

6. Employer surveys will report South University graduates functioning at a higher-than-average (>4 on a 7 point scale) level in all areas of practice & employability.

South University, Austin

Program Outcomes

Graduation rate: N/A*

Licensure exam pass rate: N/A*

Employment rate: N/A*

* = Outcomes data not available. The first class is expected to graduate March 2015.

Accreditation Information

Effective April 24, 2013, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University Austin has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.

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