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Physical Therapist Assistant


Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate in Applied Science Degree (M)

Associate in Applied Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant is a 68-credit-hour program that prepares students for careers in physical therapy. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help individuals of all ages who are ill, injured or have a health condition that limits their ability to perform daily activities needed for life. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient centers, home health, schools, work settings, and the sports and fitness arenas. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. PTAs must complete a 2-year associate's degree and are licensed, certified, or registered in most states.

Source: American Physical Therapy Association

The physical therapist assistant program at STLCC-Meramec requires two full academic years and the intervening summer. Students will take general education and the related science courses in the first year; in the fall of that year, they will also take the first PTA course.

Students who have already completed the related courses may not need to be full-time students the first year. However, the second year of the program is a full academic concentration of PTA courses, some of which involve full-time clinical work. 

Clinical and Fieldwork

Some degree and certificate programs offered by the College require students to obtain clinical or other field experience as part of their course work. Students with criminal convictions or drug use may have difficulty progressing in these programs. Hospitals and facilities may mandate that a criminal background check and/or drug screening check (at the student's expense) be conducted prior to placement in a clinical or field setting. Students not passing these checks may be prohibited from participating in the clinical or field experience thus rendering the student ineligible to satisfactorily meet the course/program requirements. Students contact an academic advisor or the program coordinator for further details.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is offered at the Meramec campus. The office is located in Applied Science, room 109.

Contact Information
To inquire or apply to the program contact a PTA academic advisor:
314-984-7526, MCAdvise@stlcc.edu
Attending an Allied Health Advising Session is also recommended for individuals applying to the PTA program. Register for an Allied Health Advising Session online at www.stlcc.edu/visit.