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

Physical Therapist Assistant programs offered at South University—richmond

Program Information

Are you searching for Richmond physical therapist assistant programs? Choose the Associate of Science (AS) in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree program at South University’s Richmond campus in Richmond, Virginia. The program will prepare students to become physical therapist assistants with the skills to reflect the highest standards of professional practice and conduct.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, there were approximately 114,400 physical therapist assistants and aides in 2010. That number is expected to grow by 45% from 2010-2020, 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 professional preparation phase of the South University, Richmond Physical Therapist Assistant associate’s degree program consists of four academic quarters of lecture and laboratory courses. An additional two quarters are spent in full-time clinical experiences.

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 hospitals, nursing homes, sub-acute facilities, and outpatient centers with which the program has entered into clinical agreements.

For information on student outcomes and pass rates for the South University, Richmond Physical Therapist Assistant program, please visit Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Please contact the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program Director for the Richmond campus, Dr. Tawny Chamberlain at 804-727-6861 |, to obtain information on programmatic graduation, licensure, and employment rates.

Program Outcomes

As a physical therapist assistant, you’ll work under the supervision of a physical therapist to help patients whose ability to move is impaired, from injured athletes to disabled children. You’ll provide the kind of practical, hands-on help that can be truly life-changing.

Graduates of Richmond's Physical Therapist Assistant program will be able to:

1. Provide safe, efficient, efficacious interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.

2. Communicate using effective and culturally-competent verbal, nonverbal, written, and digital communication.

3. Provide effective education to patients, caregivers and members of the healthcare team.

4. Demonstrate the ability to appropriately and efficiently utilize resources to provide high-value physical therapy services.

5. Recognize the importance of maintaining competence in applicable areas of physical therapy practice.

6. Demonstrate the ability to work within the guidelines and standards established by regulatory, professional, and organizational entities.

7. Demonstrate behaviors consistent with the Core Values of the profession of physical therapy.

Accreditation Information

Effective November 7, 2012, the Physical Therapist Assistant program at South University, Richmond has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: 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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