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Degree Overview

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Dr. Steve Winkler, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant 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.

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.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University, Austin, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 512-516-8767 or email sherrin@southuniversity.edu.

Graduation Rate

78.6%

South University Austin's PTA Program 2017-2018 graduation rate.

Pass Rate

97.1%

South University Austin's PTA Program 2017-2018 NPTE licensure exam pass rate.

Employment Rate

100%

South University Austin's PTA Program 2017-2018 graduate employment rate.

Admission Requirements

 Please see the South University academic catalog for program specific admissions requirements.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 98,400 physical therapist assistants employed in 2018. Employment of physical therapist assists is projected to grow 27% from 2018-2028, much faster than the average for all occupations (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm#tab-6). 

Licensure

Graduation from a CAPTE accredited physical therapist assistant education program or its equivalency and passage of the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is required for licensure.  Graduation from this program does not guarantee licensure as a PTA, and it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the licensure requirements in each state. Complete information on practice acts and regulations can be obtained from the individual state licensing boards or through The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (www.fsbpt.org).  Specific information regarding application for licensure will be available to the student during the last term of study.

Course Requirements

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant: 110 Credits

Offered at South University, Austin; South University, Columbia; South University, High Point; South University, Montgomery; South University, Novi; South University, Savannah; South University, Tampa; and South University, West Palm Beach.

Area I General Education: 36-40 Credits

(Quarters 1-3 for the Associate of Science (AS) in Physical Therapist Assistant)

Mathematics/Science
BIO1011 Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab)

BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab, 2 Credit Hours
BIO1013 Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab)

BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab, 2 Credit Hours
  • Math Elective (MAT1001, MAT1005 or MAT1500)
Humanities
ENG1100 Composition I, 4 Credit Hours

English Elective:

ENG1200 Composition II, 4 Credit Hours

OR

ENG1300 Composition III, 4 Credit Hours
SPC1026 Public Speaking, 4 Credit Hours
Social Sciences
AHS1001 Medical Terminology, 4 Credit Hours
  • Approved Social Science Elective (PSY1001 or SOC1001 ) 4 credit hours
UVC1000 Strategies for Success, 4 Credit Hours

*Required if the student is also required to take  MAT0099 

*

Area II Technical Phase: 74 Credits
The South University, Montgomery; South University, Savannah: and South University, West Palm Beach campuses follow a 9-quarter sequence of courses:
4th Quarter
PTA1001 Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant, 4 Credit Hours
PTA1003 Pathophysiology, 4 Credit Hours
PTA1005 Kinesiology, 6 Credit Hours
5th Quarter
PTA1006 Testing and Measurement for the Physical Therapist Assistant, 6 Credit Hours
PTA2000 Habilitation/Rehabilitation, 6 Credit Hours
6th Quarter
PTA1008 Modalities, 6 Credit Hours
PTA2021 Therapeutic Exercise and Orthopedic Applications, 6 Credit Hours
7th Quarter
PTA2046 Advanced Habilitation/Rehabilitation, 6 Credit Hours
PTA2050 Professional Seminar, 4 Credit Hours
PTA2057 Physical Therapy through the Lifespan, 2 Credit Hours
8th Quarter
PTA2058 Clinical Externship I, 9 Credit Hours
PTA2059 Current Rehabilitation Issues, 3 Credit Hours
9th Quarter
PTA2099 Clinical Externship II, 12 Credit Hours
South University, Austin; South University, Columbia; South University, High Point; South University, Novi; and South University, Tampa follow an 8-quarter sequence of courses:
Area II Technical Phase: 74 Credits
4th Quarter
PTA1001 Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant, 4 Credit Hours

**

PTA1003 Pathophysiology, 4 Credit Hours
PTA1005 Kinesiology, 6 Credit Hours
PTA1006 Testing and Measurement for the Physical Therapist Assistant, 6 Credit Hours
5th Quarter
PTA1008 Modalities, 6 Credit Hours

Effective winter quarter 2020 students admitted to the professional phase of the PTA program will take PTA2025 Therapeutic Interventions I in place of PTA1008 Modalities

PTA2000 Habilitation/Rehabilitation, 6 Credit Hours
PTA2047 Essentials of Clinical Care, 2 Credit Hours
6th Quarter
PTA2021 Therapeutic Exercise and Orthopedic Applications, 6 Credit Hours

Effective winter quarter 2020 students admitted to the professional phase of the PTA program will take PTA2025 Therapeutic Interventions II in place of PTA2021 Therapeutic Exercise and Orthopedic Applications

PTA2046 Advanced Habilitation/Rehabilitation, 6 Credit Hours
PTA2050 Professional Seminar, 4 Credit Hours
7th Quarter
PTA2048 Clinical Externship I, 8 Credit Hours
PTA2049 Current Rehabilitation Issues, 4 Credit Hours
8th Quarter
PTA2099 Clinical Externship II, 12 Credit Hours
Note(s):

**PTA1001 may also be taken in the quarter preceding the Technical Phase of the program.

Outcomes

Graduates 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.

    South University, Austin

    Program Outcomes 2017-2018

    Graduation Rate

    78.6%

    Licensure Exam Pass Rate

    97.1%

    Employment Rate

    100.0%

Comments and Concerns

Please fill out this form and email to both sherrin@southuniversity.edu and tachamberlain@southuniversity.edu with any Comments, Concerns and Complaints.

Learn More

Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University

You want to make a difference. You want to give back. You want to help people work their way back to health and wellness. Put your compassion and people skills to work with a career in physical therapy. A Physical Therapist Assistant degree can do more than improve your life. It’s a meaningful way to improve the life of others, too.

Success Stories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our healthcare graduates have to say.

Jason Miller 2017
Jason Miller Grad Alumni
Class of '17
Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant

“South University pushed me hard - to the limits of my mental capacity - and that brought out the best in me.”

Jay Bodalia 2006
Jay Bodalia Grad Alumni
Class of '06
Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiologist Assistant

“I was working as a neonatal pediatric respiratory therapist, and after five years I had reached my maximum potential. I had friends who were in AA school, and I saw how much they enjoyed it”

Jennifer DAngelo 2018
Jennifer DAngelo Grad Alumni
'05
Bachelor of Health Sciences

“I needed a program that would support my professional and academic goals in addition to understanding my family obligations. South University did that and so much more. South University and their compassionate staff and educators never stopped encouraging me to follow my dreams. From helping me with class schedule adjustments to providing financial aid services, they always assisted me in my time of need.”

Jessica Patel 2009
Jessica Patel Grad Alumni
Class of '09
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management

“I was really seeking a more productive environment, and the possibility of one-on-one relationships with professors, and I've found it. At South, I have a number of favorite teachers, and I simply feel like I belong here because I'm surrounded by kind, friendly people -- and especially by professors who are helpful and accessible! I think I have really good role models for my work, and how I want to see myself in the workplace someday.”

John Fulton 2009
John Fulton Grad Alumni
Class of '09
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management

“As soon as I got here, I really felt like the  courses suited my personality.”

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