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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 West Palm Beach Physical Therapist Assistant program consists of six academic quarters of lecture, laboratory, and clinical coursework. The academic program is taught in the evenings at the West Palm Beach campus.

The program has two full-time clinical education experiences in which students complete 640 hours of clinical education. An integrated clinical experience occurs during the technical preparation phase, in which a seven week full-time clinical experience is followed by three weeks of clinical and didactic assimilation. The terminal nine week full-time clinical experience is conducted in the final quarter of the technical phase of the program. Students return to campus after their first clinical experience 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, West Palm Beach, 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 561-273-6418 or email zweaver@southuniversity.edu.

Graduation Rate

77.2%

South University West Palm Beach's PTA Program 2017-2018 graduation rate.

Pass Rate

100%

South University West Palm Beach's PTA Program 2017-2018 NPTE licensure exam pass rate.

Employment Rate

94.3%

South University West Palm Beach'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:

  • Provide safe, efficient, efficacious interventions within the plan of care established by                 the physical therapist.
  • Communicate using effective and culturally-competent verbal, nonverbal, written, and              digital communication.
  • Provide effective education to patients, caregivers, and members of the healthcare                     team.
  • Demonstrate the ability to appropriately and efficiently utilize resources to provide                    high-value physical therapy services.
  • Recognize the importance of maintaining competence in applicable areas of physical                therapy practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work within the guidelines and standards established by                   regulatory, professional, and organizational entities.
  • Demonstrate behaviors consistent with the Core Values of the profession of physical                 therapy.

    South University, West Palm Beach

    Program Outcomes 2017-2018

    Graduation Rate

    77.2%

    Licensure Exam Pass Rate

    100%

    Employment Rate

    94.3%

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.

Laceye A. Parker 2010
Laceye Parker Grad Alumni
Class of '13
Doctor of Pharmacy

“I had always been interested in healthcare, and as a child thought about becoming a physician. But when both my grandfathers became seriously ill, I came to a new appreciation of the vital role that pharmacists play in achieving positive outcomes for patients. As soon as I completed my master's degree, I decided to enter South University's Doctor of Pharmacy program. I've learned through my work at SCDHEC, and in my MBA program and Pharmacy School at South University, is laying a firm foundation for my career as a pharmacist.”

Robyn Smith 2007
Robyn Smith Grad Alumni
Class of '07
Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant

“I had only heard good things about their PTA program and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I find it very rewarding and emotional when a patient of mine who hasn't walked in a while takes steps again. It makes going to work everyday worth it to know that i can help improve the quality of life for some of these people.”

Crystal May 2014
Crystal May Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Bachelor of Sceince in Healthcare Management

“The staff was the heart of my experience at South. The staff worked together to provide a positive learning environment and truly had passion in educating the students. The staff helped me identify my strength and interest in the financial avenue of healthcare, and helped me see the benefits of pursuing this career. South University gave me the tools I need to be successful and validated my capabilities to be a successful professional.”

Allyson Obluck 2017
Allyson Obluck Grad Alumni
Class of '17
Associate of Science in Occupational Therapist Assistant

“I wanted to make a difference and I knew occupational therapy was a hands-on way to improve quality of life for many people. My professors always made the effort to ensure that I understood the material and were constantly encouraging me to be better and do better. All of my experiences throughout my clinical rotations challenged me to think outside the box and to trust my instincts.”

Anna Langley 2014
Anna Langley Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Master of Science in Physician Assistant

“During my [admissions] interview, I really felt like South was a place that professors were encouraging, welcoming, and helpful. I also was drawn to the small groups that they present. I liked the idea of having a faculty member mentor to guide a smaller group of students throughout the entire program. The rigorous nature of the coursework prepared me well for the boards and the ability to be successful in my career. During clinical rotations, I was able to apply what I had learned and gain valuable patient experience that has helped me today”

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