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St. Philip's College Library

MLK Campus: 210-486-2330
Location: Center for Learning Resources (CLR)

SWC Campus: 210-486-7023
Location: Building 1-C123


The Physical Therapist Assistant Program prepares students to work under the direction of a physical therapist in a hospital, clinic, rehabilitation unit, sports-medicine facility, nursing home, extended-care facility, or pediatric facility. 

Your main responsibility as a physical therapist assistant will be to work with patients to restore motion, strengthen muscles, improve circulation, relieve pain, and restore physical independence.  This involves the use of physical agents such as light, heat, water, cold, sound, and electricity.  Patient mobility is improved by strengthening, balance/coordination exercises, and gait and transfer training activities. 

The program at St. Philip's College includes lecture and laboratory courses in physical therapy science and procedures, and clinical education courses conducted in settings where physical therapy is provided.  Through the labs you will be exposed to skills such as electrotherapy, thermal agents, therapeutic exercises, use of exercise equipment, rehabilitation techniques, and functional treatment.


NOTE:  The ability to read detailed information and accurately follow complex instructions is a critical skill for success as a physical therapist assistant (PTA).  PTAs must comprehend technical medical terminology and precisely document treatment in patient medical records.  Please keep these considerations in mind as you read the below information and begin the process of self-assessment to determine if physical therapist assistant is your best career fit.  


    **PTA Program Information Sessions**

The program will tentatively host an information session on:

June 19, 2018  

Time: 5 to 6:30 PM

Location:  Center for Health Professions (CHP) Room 310   

(Note:  The date, time, and location may change up to and including the date of the session.  Please check this website the day of the session to ensure you have the correct information.) 

(The Center for Health Professions is building 8 on the above map.)

All sessions contain the same information.  Reservations are not required. 


Recent Changes to Program Policies and Procedures, or to This Website:

All selection/non-selection notifications were sent out May 14.  If you did not receive yours, please check your spam/junk mail folder prior to contacting the chair of the Selection Committee, Kris Aguilar, at or (210) 486-2010. - posted 5/15/18

Updates to this website include:  graduation/employment statistics, Assessment Technologies Institute's Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) examination information and dates, and new format requirements for the application essay. - posted 5/8/18

Applicants for 2019 will need to include a Criminal History Statement with their application packages as outlined below in the Application & Selection Process.  - posted 5/8/18

Addition of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's requirement to provide Statutory Requirement Notice to Applicants and Enrollees for Occupational License of their right to request criminal history evaluation.  Applicants to the program with felony or misdemeanor convictions may not be eligible for licensure or certification, and are not eligible for admission into the program until a declaratory order process is completed with the licensure and/or certification board.  Proof of eligibility for licensure and/or certification must be provided for consideration for admission into the program.  Students with concerns should request a criminal history evaluation through the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE).  Once on the ECPTOTE webpage, click on the "Request a Criminal History Evaluation" link and follow the given directions. - posted 2/26/18


For further information on the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, please select a topic of interest from the list below.      

Program Topic


Professional Organizations and Sites of Interest

 The Physical Therapist Assistant Program maintains close ties with the professional organizations that represent physical therapy:
  • American Physical Therapy Association:  This is a national professional organization that represents nearly 70,000 members, and works to foster advancement in physical therapy practice, research, and education.  The mission of the APTA is to further the profession's role in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of movement dysfunction and to enhance the physical health and functional abilities of members of the public.
  • PTA MACS Instruction:  This site will give you instructions for using the newest version of the PTA Manual for Assessment of Clinical Skills.

Faculty and Staff

Ms. Tunetha Parchem, PTA, Program Director and Instructor
Phone:  210-486-2051
B.S. University of Texas - San Antonio
MPT University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
Clinical experience in acute care and outpatient rehabilitation. 

Ms. Shelley Kozel, PT, PCS, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education & Instructor

Phone:  210-486-2429
B.S. Texas Woman's University
Clinical experience in acute care, wound care, pediatrics, and neurology.

Ms. Amy Quesenberry, PTA, Instructor

Phone: 210-486-2443
A.A.S. St. Philip's College - Class of 1999
B.S.O.E. Wayland Baptist University
Clinical experience in acute care, long-term care, in/outpatient and aquatic rehabilitation.  

Ms. Kris Aguilar, PTA, Academic Lab Technician
Phone:  210-486-2010
A.A.S. St. Philip's College - Class of 2013
B.S.O.E. Wayland Baptist University
Clinical experience in acute care and outpatient rehabilitation.

Program Accreditation and Licensure

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at St. Philip's College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE):
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia  22314
Phone:  703-706-3245
This program was first granted accreditation status in 1973, and was most recently re-accredited in 2009.
Upon successfully completing all the requirements of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, the student is awarded the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant.  Graduates of the program are able to sit for the licensure test given by the Texas State Board of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners.

Program Statistics

Graduation Rate (Data from Program Records)
Year   2016  2017  2018 
#  of graduates   22   22 22
#  from original cohort who graduated on time   22 of 23 = 95.7% 22 of 25 = 88% 22 of 24 = 91.7%
# that took longer than 2 years to graduate   0 



Total Graduation Rate   95.7% 96% 91.7%  
Graduation Rate as defined by the Commission on Accreditation on Physical Therapy Education:  percentage of students who are matriculated in the first course in the professional program after the drop/add period who complete the program.

 State Board Examination Pass Rate (Data from Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy) 

2015   2016 2017  
# passed 1st attempt  
21 of 22 = 95.4% 22 of 23 = 95.7% 22 of 22 = 100%  
# passed within one year
22 of 22 = 100% 22 of 23 = 95.7% all passed 1st attempt
Total pass rate  
100%   95.7% 100%
Employment Rate (Data from Program Records) 
2015   2016   2017  
Employed after passing exam and seeking employment
100%  95% 100%
Employment Rate as defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education:  percentage of graduates who sought employment that were employed (full-time or part-time) as a physical therapist assistant within one year following graduation.
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Admission Requirements

Students wishing to enroll in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program must meet all admission requirements for acceptance to St. Philip's College and the Health Sciences Department.  In addition, the student must apply to the program as outlined below in the "Application and Selection Process" section.  Students requiring developmental courses must have completed all of these courses in order to be eligible for application to the program.  A recommended first step for students interested in the program is to complete 40 hours of physical therapy volunteer/observation or work hours.
Students are not required to complete general education courses before applying for the program, but are strongly encouraged to do so.  Having some or all of the general education courses complete prior to beginning the program will allow the student to focus exclusively on the physical therapy courses.  The general education courses include:
ENGL 1301 - Composition I
BIOL 2401 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2402 - Human Anatomy & Physiology II
MATH 1314 - College Algebra
PSYC 2301 - General Psychology
And one additional course from Language, Philosophy, and Culture (40) core OR from Visual and Performing Art (50) core
Students with questions regarding admissions or whether previous courses will transfer for credit at St. Philip's College and the PTA Program are encouraged to contact the advisor for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program using the below information:
Mr. Doug Gable  e-mail:    phone: (210) 486-2499

Students must complete 40 volunteer or work experience hours and score a minimum of 75 on the Assessment Technologies Institute's Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) examination in order to apply.  These are recommended first steps of the application process.

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Application and Selection Process

Application to the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is a distinctly separate process from application to St. Philip's College. Applications for admission to the PTA Program are accepted during the spring semester only (January 1 - March 31).  The program admits only one cohort per academic year, and those students selected during the spring application period will begin classes in the fall semester.  The deadline for submitting an application and all supporting documents is March 31.  Applications are reviewed and processed at the end of the spring semester.  The program will not review documents sent prior to the beginning of the selection process in January, and will not process documents sent separately from the application packet.  Additionally, the program does not return applications, so applicants should retain copies of documents if they wish to do so. 
The application form and all other supporting documents, as detailed below, MUST BE MAILED IN A SINGLE MAILING ENVELOPE via the U.S. Postal Service (return receipt recommended) to:
         Health Sciences Department - St. Philip's College
         Application for PTA Program
         1801 Martin Luther King Drive
         San Antonio, TX 78203-2098
Documents mailed separately from the application form/package will NOT be considered.  Completion of the application criteria does not guarantee program selection or admission.
 In order to comprise a full and complete application, the student must:
  • submit documentation of at least 40 hours of volunteer or work experience.  Each student selects his/her own site for volunteer or work experience, but it must be in a physical therapy clinic/department and overseen by a physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA).  It must be documented on the Applicant Observation or Employment Verification Form
  • complete the Assessment Technologies Institute's Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) examination, Allied Health version.  This standardized examination is a multiple-choice, web-based test that helps identify students with the best chance of success in the health sciences field.  It measures three basic, but important, education skill sets needed for a health science occupation--reading/English and language usage, math, and science.  The objectives assessed on the ATI TEAS are those which health science educators deem most appropriate and relevant to measure entry-level skills and abilities of health science students.  As the ATI TEAS is a new version of the test (replacing the old TEAS V), in order to fairly compare student scores all applicants must take the new version.  (Note:  This test has alternately been referred to as "TEAS Version 6", "ATI TEAS", and simply "TEAS".  If you follow the registration directions below, you will take the correct test.  Again, please select the "Allied Health" version and not the "Nursing Students" or any other version.)
    • The PTA Program requires a minimum score of 75 for the adjusted individual total score.        
    • Please include printouts of your "Transcript" (shows date and time the test was taken and your total score) and "My Results" tab (gives an individual score for each portion of the test) pages in your application.  
  • submit a completed Physical Therapist Assistant Program Application Form and supporting documentation. (Please type and print this document if possible.)
  • submit all official college transcripts.  An official transcript is one printed on official paper from the registrar's office and is in a sealed envelope.  Students should request the transcript(s) be sent to their home address for inclusion in the application package with all other documents.  DO NOT OPEN the transcript.  Alamo Colleges transcripts (if applicable) will need to be obtained and included in the package by the student - we are unable to access them for you. 
  • submit a self-prepared essay describing your reason(s) for choosing this profession and this program.   The format will be as follows:  typed, one to two pages in length, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and an 11-point Calibri font.  It is strongly suggested that all applicants read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) so as to avoid many of the common errors for which points are deducted.
  • submit a completed Criminal History Statement form acknowledging that:
    • you understand your right to request a criminal history evaluation;
    • applicants to the program with felony or misdemeanor convictions may not be eligible for licensure or certification, and are not eligible for admission into the program until a declaratory order process is completed with the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE) as described below; and
    • if you do not complete a criminal history evaluation prior to application and the criminal background check completed during the course exposes criminal convictions which will render you ineligible for licensure, you will be dismissed from the program immediately and forfeit all monies paid to St. Philip’s College.  

  • submit a college entrance examination score (SAT, ACT, etc.) if you have not successfully completed 12 or more college hours.  Please contact a college advisor for more information about the college entrance examination.


The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program provides the following information about the Assessment Technologies Institute's Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) examination for informational purposes only.  This information, including cost, deadlines, and so forth, is subject to change without notice.  For the most current information about the ATI TEAS, please consult the ATI Testing website.      

*** The program has recently done away with its requirement that applicants only attempt the ATI TEAS once every six months.  You may now test as often as you wish. ***

  • This test is required for ALL applicants regardless of educational status (e.g., new to college, graduate of a master's program, etc.). 
  • Test dates fill quickly!  During the 2018 application cycle, all available St. Philip's College ATI TEAS test dates prior to the March 31 application deadline were filled by the first week in February.  Please attempt to schedule your test as early as possible or you may have to take it at a less convenient location, if you are able to secure a date at all. The PTA Program will not extend the March 31 program application deadline.
  •  You also may test at any time of the year--you do not have to test during the January-March program application window.  For example, you may test in July of 2018 in order to apply in the spring of 2019.  This will improve your chances of getting a test date.  It will also allow ample time for retesting, should you choose to do so.
  • Please be aware that sites other than St. Philip's College may administer the ATI TEAS in pencil and paper format.  In these cases, the results will not be immediately available and may take up to two weeks to obtain.  Again, the PTA Program will not extend the March 31 program application deadline.
  • The cost of the examination is currently $95.00 if taken at St. Philips' College.  Costs at other sites may vary.
  • Review materials are available from the TEAS Products Store, if you wish to purchase them. They may also be available from your local public library.
  • The dates for the examination are provided during the registration process.  It may be taken at St. Philip's College (in room 301 and/or 303 of the Center for Health Professions) or at a site more convenient to your location.  
  • The location for your test is one you select during the registration process and will be on the confirmation information e-mailed to you at the e-mail address you provide.  Please ensure you know to which testing center you must report.
  • If you experience any difficulties with the registration or payment process, do not receive a receipt for payment, or any other issue, please contact Assessment Technologies Institute directly through the information provided on their "Contact Us" link at the top of the page.
  • The following are the upcoming test dates for the ATI TEAS - Allied Health at St. Philip's College:
    • Saturday          May 19                   9:00 AM
    • Thursday         May 24                   9:00 AM
    • Thursday         June 7                   9:00 AM
    • Saturday          June 23                 9:00 AM
    • Wednesday     June 27                 9:00 AM
    • Thursday         July 12                   9:00 AM
    • Thursday         July 26                   9:00 AM

    These dates are subject to change.  For the most current information, consult the ATI Testing website.  Please note that there are only 40 seats available for each testing session at St. Philip's College, and that several other Allied Health programs at St. Philip's College require this test as a part of the application package.       

  • Click here for detailed instructions on how to register for the ATI TEAS examination.  You will need to create an account.  Use "St Philips College ALLIED HEALTH" (no quotation marks, no period after St, no apostrophe in Philips) for the school.
    • Once you create an account and are logged in, proceed to the "Online Store" (This link is at the very top of the page).
    • In the "Register for..." block on the left-hand side of the next page, click "TEAS".
    • Please ensure you sign up for the "Allied Health" examination, and not the examination for "Nursing Students" or for any other program.


Before being fully accepted into any Health Sciences program, students must pass a mandatory criminal background check and drug screen (at the student's expense).  Additional information and required forms will be given to students accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.  Before beginning the clinical rotations, students must complete mandatory immunizations, a listing of which may be found on the Health Sciences Department Quick Reference Sheet.  

Enrollment into Health Science Programs by students with felony or misdemeanor convictions - Students with felony or misdemeanor convictions may not be eligible for licensure or certification, and are not eligible for admission into the program until a declaratory order process is completed with the licensure and/or certification board.  Proof of eligibility for licensure and/or certification must be provided for consideration for admission into the program.  Students with concerns should contact the Physical Therapy Chief Investigator at:
         Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE)
         333 Guadalupe. Ste 2-510
         Austin, TX  78701
         (512) 305-6900
        Once on the ECPTOTE webpage, click on the "Request a Criminal History Evaluation" link and follow the given directions.

Application Package Scoring

All PTA program applications will be scored according to the following criteria:
Application Package Scoring
Selection Criteria and Formula Maximum Points
ATI TEAS Adjusted Individual Total Score    100  
Completed application and essay 10
Bonus points will be given for the following:
Bonus Point Items
Points for an A
Points for a B
Points for a C
Other Points
BIOL 2401   4 3 1  
BIOL 2402   4 3 1  
ENGL 1301   4 3  1    
MATH 1314   4 3 1  
PSYC 2301   4 3 1  
Completed baccalaureate degree         5
Completed associate degree         3
Physical therapy volunteer or work experience greater than or equal to 1,000 hours         3
Physical therapy volunteer or work experience greater than 250 hours but less than 1,000 hours         2
Note:  Grade of C or higher is required for all courses.
Maximum total points (application, test, bonus) = 138
For 2017, there were 84 applicants to the program.  Of these, 66 were qualified applicants.  The remaining students were disqualified for TEAS scores below 75 (15 applicants), or for not properly following the application procedures (3 applicants).  The 26 highest-ranked applicants were offered a seat in the program.  Their average scores were as follows:
Applicant Cohort TEAS Average Total Package Average (TEAS + Essay + Bonus Points)
2018 selectees 85.75 116.53
All qualified applicants 81.72 109.00
By comparison, the TEAS average was 83.82, and the total package average was 112.06 for the selectees of the 2017 cohort.  The higher or lower scores of the applicants themselves raise or lower the cutoff score each year, thus we are unable to provide an exact score that will ensure selection for the program.

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The College, the Health Sciences Department, and the Physical Therapist Assistant Program are not responsible for any misinterpretation of the above processes for admission and selection.


Public comments about the PTA Program, faculty, students or graduates may be addressed to the Program Director, Tunetha Parchem at or through the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) at .

Persons desiring a response to a complaint about the PTA program should include their desired resolution, name and contact information. Complainants doing so may anticipate a response from the PTA Program within 10 business days. 



Contact Information

Program Director:
Tunetha Parchem, PTA, MPT

MLK Campus
Center for Health Professions, (CHP) 330J


For information on or any questions about the PTA Program, please e-mail Kris Aguilar at