Physical Therapist Assistant Schools
To work as a physical therapist assistant in the majority of states, graduation from one of the around 235 physical therapist assistant schools accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical therapist assistant training programs are offered through public and private institutions like community colleges, 4 year colleges, universities, and technical colleges. Physical therapist education programs end in associate degrees and include classroom and laboratory time along with some clinical experience towards the end of the curriculum. Most schools do have prerequisites but some allow entry and prerequisites to be taken in the first year. Class sizes are generally limited and according to the APTA report the average planned class size in 2007 was 27 students and the range of classes was 12 to 176. Each physical therapist assistant school has their own requirements for entry.
Physical therapist education programs can include courses in physical therapy including rehabilitation techniques, management of neurological disorders, therapeutic exercise, basic patient care skills, kinesiology, orthopaedics, electrotherapy, and others. The practicum or clinical experience is where students get to put their knowledge and skills in real world environments. The average total number of credits for degree completion required for all programs was 76 in the 2007 report. For students who plan to go further with their career, checking to see what classes will transfer credit to other degrees or bridging programs toward a physical therapy degree.
Cost of Physical Therapist Assistant School
The cost of physical therapist assistant schools will vary depending on the location, size of school, and type of school, rather if it’s public or private. According to the APTA survey for 2007, the average cost for the program for residents at public institutions including tuition, fees, and other cost was $7,816 with a range from $1,360 to $27,712. For the 2009-2010 academic year at Broward College in Florida, the total cost of the physical therapist assistant program was $8,934.72. The estimate total program cost at the private school Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania was $36,904.