Physical Therapist Assistant
Frequently Asked Questions

Questions:

Can other courses be substituted for the prerequisite PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy?

How are bonus points awarded in the selection process?

Does the PTA program schedule "information sessions" for prospective students?

Is a waiting list maintained for the PTA Program?

How much time is recommended for study purposes?

What is the class schedule like?

Is there any lab equipment that I will need to purchase?

Where are the clinical education sites located?

Is there a required uniform for clinicals?

Will jobs be available when I graduate?

What is the salary for a PTA?

Is there a licensure exam required to practice when I graduate?

What is ACC's PTA Program's graduate statistics?

Answers:

Can other courses be substituted for the prerequisite PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy?

This course covers specific information and skills that students will need in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. It is taught in both a lecture and lab component and it is a 4 hour course. Due to regulatory agencies, this course can only be taught by accredited PTA programs. Any course that would be considered as an equivalent must be: 1) taught at an accredited PTA Program, 2) be a four hour course with a lab, and 3) have objectives that are comparable to the ACC PTA Program's course.

How are bonus points awarded in the selection process?

Applicants with completed course work will have additional bonus points added to their ranking score. 1.5 bonus points will be awarded for an "A" and 0.75 bonus points will be awarded for a "B". The following courses are eligible for bonus points:

  • PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy
  • BIO 2305 Human Physiology
  • And one additonal of the co-requisites listed below that has the highest qualifying grade. A maximum of 4.5 bonus points can be awarded.
    • SPCH
    • PSYC 2314 Human Growth and Development
    • Elective in Humanities/Fine Arts

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Does the PTA program schedule "information sessions" for prospective students?

Yes. The PTA program requires attendance at an information session as part of the application process. There are regularly scheduled information sessions during the fall and spring semesters in room 9307. While a face-to-face information session is recommended, students have the option of completing an information session online. The link can be found on the PTA website.

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Is a waiting list maintained for the PTA Program?

Based on the past four years (2010-2013), the average number of applicants was 40 of which we accepted 20. The program does not maintain waiting lists. Students that applied and did not gain admission into the program and want consideration for admission the following year must submit a new application. No additional consideration is given to the number of times an applicant has applied to the program. New classes enter in the fall semester and the application deadline is May 18 of any year.

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How much time is recommended for study purposes?

Students in the PTA course of study should expect to spend at least 12-18 hours per week for study time in addition to class time.

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What is the class schedule like?

The general schedule is as follows:

Level I Level II
Fall: late morning, afternoon and evening classes Fall: morning and afternoon classes; clinical 240 hrs
Spring: all day Spring: clinical 240 hrs (2)

Class schedules may change without notice because of our reliance on adjunct faculty and clinicians with expertise in specific patient care areas.

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Is there any lab equipment that I will need to purchase?

Yes. You will need to purchase the following equipment:

  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • Gait belt
  • Plastic, 12-inch goniometer
  • Minimum 1GB SD card

These supplies are approximately $75-$95 on various online sites.

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Where are the clinical education sites located?

All students must successfully complete clinical rotations as part of the requirement for graduation from the PTA Program. All students complete these rotations within the ACC service district. All students are expected to arrange their own transportation to the clinics as assigned.

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Is there a required uniform for clinicals?

PTA students are required to wear khaki pants, a solid colored polo shirt, and closed toed shoes when in clinics. Other facilities, such as hospitals, may required specific-colored scrubs. ID badges will be obtained through the college.

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Will jobs be available when I graduate?

While we cannot predict the job market with 100% accuracy, sources indicate considerable growth in PTA jobs. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physical Therapists Assistants rank 8th among the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

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What is the salary for a PTA?

Generally speaking, PTAs earn 75-80% of what a PT earns. A reasonable expectation for a new graduate can be between $38,000 and $48,000/year based on full-time employment. Please keep in mind that pay scales vary depending on the setting and because Austin is a favorable place to live, salaries are generally lower than in other parts of Texas. Graduates that are willing to relocate can expect higher starting salaries. Salaries for Texas PTAs can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Page.

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Is there a licensure exam required to practice when I graduate?

Licensure is required in the State of Texas under the provisions of the Physical Therapy Practice Act 4512E and must be obtained through successful completion of a national exam before the candidate may practice Physical Therapy. The procedure for obtaining licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Texas will be distributed during the last semester of enrollment. Licensure requirements vary in other states and students should speak with the program faculty for assistance with this information.

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What is ACC's PTA Program's graduate statistics?

Graduate Pass Rate on National PTA Exam and Employment Rate

May 2013 May 2012 May 2011 August 2010 August 2009
First time test takers 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
All takers, within one year of graduation 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Employed within six months after obtaining license 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
June 2011 June 2010 June 2009 June 2008 June 2007
Graduation Year May 2013 May 2012 May 2011 August 2010 August 2009
Class Size 20 20 23 20 23
Graduation Rate 85% 80% 61% 80% 82%
Number withdrawn for academic failure 1 1 2 1 3

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