Physical Therapist Assistant

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

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 are expected to remain in place through the end of the summer semesters with exceptions made for courses that require face-to-face learning.  For courses approved for these exceptions, small groups of students (no more than five) will be allowed to perform any skills check-offs necessary for course completion.

While this situation continues to evolve, the intent of this notice is to provide some general information to current and prospective students.

NOTICE TO CURRENT PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT STUDENTS

1) How will I complete my clinical hours this semester?

The St. Philip’s College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).  We are following CAPTE’s recommendations to help students complete their clinical hours in Spring and Summer 2020.

Cohort 2 students that have not completed the entry-level skills requirements of 57 out of 75 skills in the Physical Therapist Assistant Manual for the Assessment of Clinical Skills (PTA MACS), or the required inpatient or outpatient settings and hours, will have constant contact with Mrs. Kozel, Academic Clinical Coordinator in Education (ACCE), regarding when a site is open and available for students to attend.

2) How will I complete my skills check-offs this semester?

Students in clinical rotations will complete skills check-offs through the clinical instructor’s evaluation of skills in the PTA MACS.  The program requires at least 57 out of 75 skills completed. 

Cohort 1 students will complete necessary skills check-offs with program faculty on campus in small groups.

3) What grade will I earn if I still have clinical hours or skills check-offs in the PTA MACS to complete at the end of the semester?

Cohort 2 students will receive a grade of “Incomplete,” but will earn the appropriate letter grade once they have completed the required number of hours and skills in accordance with the PTA MACS and CAPTE recommendations.

4) Will I be able to petition my grade for credit/non-credit?

The program is able to offer a credit/non-credit option. The faculty strongly advise students planning to pursue the PTA-to-DPT bridge or another PT doctorate program to consider taking the letter grade to better support their future educational goals.

5) Are any of my summer classes going to be changed or cancelled?

Summer courses for Cohort 1 will be taught remotely. There will be two required skill check-offs and program faculty will conduct them on campus in small groups.

The summer clinical rotation for Cohort 1 will occur only in small outpatient clinic settings.  These facilities have agreed to assist students with completing skills check-offs in the PTA MACS.  Mrs. Kozel (ACCE), will provide flexible options for students experiencing child care or other issues, and the program will provide masks for all students.

6) Whom should I contact if I still have questions?

Contact Tunetha Parchem at twren@alamo.edu or (210) 486-2051 for course questions.

Contact Shelley Kozel at skozel@alamo.edu or (210) 486-2429 for clinical questions.

NOTICE TO INTERESTED PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT STUDENTS

1) Are applications still being accepted?

Yes, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program continues to accept applications with an extended deadline of July 1, 2020.  Please continue to follow the application process on the program’s webpage (www.alamo.edu/spc/pta).  Click on the “+” to open up the “Application and Selection Process” tab, then click the upper “Learn More” button to access the application instructions, forms, and checklists.  Everything you need to apply is within that document.

2) What do I do if I have not completed my TEAS test yet?

Applicants will need to take the TEAS exam and score a minimum of 74.5 percent to apply to the program. Assessment Technologies Institute, the provider of the TEAS test, currently has some test dates on its website (www.atitesting.com).  There are dates at St. Philip’s on 6/4 and 6/18, and at Baptist on 5/9 and 6/13.  As the COVID-19 situation evolves, however, these test dates are subject to cancellation.  Applicants are also welcome to contact other sites (UTSA, other Prometric sites, etc.) to see if they will conduct testing.  (Be advised, as well, that Baptist administers the TEAS in a written form and results take up to two weeks.  Results at computer-based testing sites are available immediately.)

3) What do I do if I do not have my official transcripts?

The program will accept unofficial transcripts on an interim basis but will need the official transcripts once operations on campuses resume.

4) What if I do not have the required 40 hours of physical therapy observation or employment?

Applicants must complete the full 40 hours to apply.  The selection committee unanimously decided that since applicants had a year in which to complete the hours, the program will not accept applications without them and the number of hours will not be waived, adjusted, or prorated.

5) Are new students going to start on time for the fall semester in August 2020?

Yes, students will begin classes on time in August 2020.

6) How will I find out if I am selected for the program?

Ms. Kris Aguilar (kaguilar19@alamo.edu) will e-mail all applicants twice – first to confirm receipt of the application, then to advise the applicant of selection or non-selection.

7) Whom should I contact if I still have questions?

Please contact Ms. Kris Aguilar at (kaguilar19@alamo.edu (preferred) or (210) 802-6069.  E-mail is preferred, as she has set up an automated response to give applicants the current status of the application process and requirements.  You will receive this automated response the first time you e-mail her.  Thereafter, you may periodically e-mail her for updates.  If the automated response has changed in any way, you will receive the latest version.

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

What's special about the program?

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at St. Philip’s College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). 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.

Accreditation:

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 Outcomes:  

Two-year Graduation rate: 100% (data from 2018 & 2019)

Two year First Time pass rate for State Licensure Examination: 95.5% (data from 2018 & 2019)

Two-year Employment rate: 100% (data from 2017 & 2018)

Program Accreditation, Licensure and Information

Accreditation:

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at St. Philip's College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE):

CAPTE
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia& 22314
Phone: 703-706-3245
E-mail: accreditation@apta.org
Website: http://www.capteonline.org

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 210 486-2051 or email twren@alamo.edu.

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

Licensure: 

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.

Information:

Faculty and Staff

Tunetha Parchem, PTA, Program Director, and Instructor

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

Amy Quesenberry, PTA, ATRIC, Instructor

Kris Aguilar, PTA, Academic Lab Technician

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 

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
e-mail: dgable@alamo.edu
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 twren@alamo.edu or through the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) at http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/.

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
twren@alamo.edu
210-486-2051
MLK Center for Health Professions (CHP), 330J