Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Level: Degrees
Department: Health and Biosciences
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: SPC

Important Announcement

The St. Philip’s College Physical Therapist Assistant Program began remote teaching, learning, and working operations on March 23, 2020, as part of a college leadership decision related to the global COVID-19 situation.  This remote teaching, learning, and working environment is expected to remain in place through the end of the fall semester, with exceptions made for courses that require face-to-face learning.  For courses approved for these exceptions, small groups of students (no more than nine students plus one faculty member) will be allowed to perform any lab instruction and skills check-offs necessary for course completion.  Requirements are as follows:

  • All lectures will be delivered via Zoom
  • Labs will occur in small groups on Wednesdays and Fridays only; students must remain with their assigned lab groups—no switching between groups
  • All faculty, staff, and students must:
    • understand and adhere to all policies and procedures related to COVID-19
    • follow all posted signage when on campus
    • maintain social/physical distancing while on campus
    • wear masks the entire time on campus
    • complete temperature checks prior to entering and exiting the building
    • only access designated areas

Operations will return to Level V “Stay Home, Work Safe” operations on 11/26/20 and remain at that level through the end of the Fall 2020 term.

What is the Physical Therapist Assistant program?

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program (PTA) 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. 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.

The Mission of the Program

Serve the community by preparing our students for a career in contemporary physical therapy practice
while encouraging personal growth, critical thinking, ethical behavior, and lifelong learning.

What will I learn?

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.

What can I do with this course of study?

Physical Therapist Assistant


2021 Applicants

(Cohort begins classes August 2021)

Program Accepts Applications: January 1 – March 31, 2021
Program Application Deadline: Postmarked March 31, 2021
Notifications Sent to Applicants: No later than June 15, 2021 

Program Outcomes

Two-year graduation rate:
100% (data from 2019 & 2020)

Two-year First Time pass rate for State Licensure Examination:
87.7% (data from 2019 & 2020)

Two-year Employment Rate:
97.8% (data from 2018 & 2019)

What's special about the program?

All courses within the PTA curriculum must be passed with a “C” or higher. Some travel might be required for clinical education outside of San Antonio. The student is responsible for travel to clinical education sites, including travel outside of San Antonio. During the clinical courses, students will be onsite at the clinical for 40+ hours a week. Clinical courses range from 5 to 7 weeks in length.


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

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is an accrediting agency that is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Accreditation is a process used in the US to assure the quality of the education that students receive. It is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-review process that occurs on a regular basis.

Program Accreditation, Licensure and Information


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

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 210 486-2051 or email

This program was first granted accreditation status in 1973 and was most recently re-accredited in 2019.


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.


Faculty and Staff

Tunetha Parchem, PTA, Program Director, and Assistant Professor

Shelley Kozel, PT, PCS, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education & Assistant Professor

Amy Quesenberry, PTA, ATRIC, Assistant Professor

Kris Aguilar, PTA, Academic Program Specialist

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 the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of movement dysfunction and to enhance the physical health and functional abilities of members of the public.
  •  Texas Physical Therapy Association:  This is the state component of the APTA that represents the physical therapy profession in Texas.
  • Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners:  This is the legal authority on standards of physical therapy practice in Texas.  It acts as a public guardian.  It is also the licensing authority for the state of Texas.

 Student Handbook
 Clinical Education Handbook PTA Program MACS 3ed (2018) Directions - 09-18-20

Program Statistics THECB Statutory Requirement

Admissions and Prerequisite 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
phone: 210-486-2799

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.

Application and Selection Process

Application 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).

Click "Learn more" below for all application requirements.

Learn more Apply Now

Selection Process:

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.  

Learn more

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, Assistant Professor
MLK Center for Health Professions (CHP), 330J