Physical therapy assistant schools in Florida offer training to students who want to work as physical therapist assistants in the form of two-year courses leading to an associate degree. After completing training, prospective entrants to the profession need to take the licensing examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy in order to be certified to practice in the state.
When researching PTA colleges, it’s essential to check their current accreditation status. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) grants accredited status to those qualified entry-level programs which have satisfied internal and external reviews and on-site visits and met relevant criteria and guidelines. CAPTE is the only accrediting body for physical therapy assistant education programs.
Admission Criteria for PTA Schools in Florida
There are a number of criteria required by Florida physical therapist assistant schools for admission, which may include features such as previous voluntary work in a recognized physical therapy facility, CPR or first aid certification, and others. Prospective students can visit the websites of colleges in which they’re interested for specific information (see below). Applicants may also have to provide a health certificate signed by a physician, show evidence of required immunisations, submit a background check, and other requirements.
As well as the core courses of the program, general education components may include topics such as mathematics/algebra, English composition, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, psychology and other topics relating to human growth and development. Core program topics may include functional anatomy, kinesiology, pathological and musculoskeletal deficits, therapeutic modalities and procedures, pharmacology, data collection and documentation skills, and other professionally related issues. A series of clinical practicums will also be scheduled to take place over both years of the course.
Broward is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with three main campuses and a range of educational facilities in Broward County. It offers its PTA program on a full-time basis at its North Campus in the Health Sciences Building, or at the Lee County Campus at Edison State College in Fort Myers. Applicants are encouraged to complete as many of the general education courses as possible before they apply, and the College expects a minimum GPA of 2.5. Participants in the program needs to complete 74 credits with a minimum of grade C in order to graduate. Contact Maria Holodak (email@example.com) for more information.
College of Central Florida
This public state college in Ocala, Florida offers an accredited PTA program from its Hampton campus over five semesters for students attending on a full-time basis. It comprises general education courses (30 credits) as well as PTA specific courses (44 credits). Entry is limited and applicants may be eligible to join a waiting list if their preferred class is full. Applicants also need to complete 24 hours of observation in three different types of physical therapy settings. Find out more by calling 352-873-5817.
Daytona State College
DSC, a public state college in Daytona Beach, provides an accredited program for aspiring physical therapist assistants starting every spring semester in January. It’s a 74 credit hour program spread over two years, and applications must be submitted during the month of September. Applicants need to provide documentation of at least 20 hours of volunteer work experience in at least two different settings such as a hospital, nursing home or outpatient facility. Information sessions are available on a variety of dates throughout the year for interested candidates — call an academic adviser on 386-506-3052 to get details.
Florida Gateway College
The accredited PTA program at FGC in Lake City, Florida, consists of two phases: the general education section (29 credit hours), satisfactory performance in which is a prerequisite of admission into the technical/clinical PTA program (45 credit hours). Applicants must have a diploma or GED equivalent from an accredited high school and take a standardised placement test. Grade C or better is required in all qualifying courses in the year before application to the PTA program, and applicants need to have completed at least 24 hours work experience in a clinical setting under a license physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Call a PTA adviser on 386-754-4358.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
FSCJ has five campuses and a number of academic centers in the Jacksonville area. At least 20 hours of observation/volunteer service/work experience in a physical therapy settings are required for admission as well as the completion of 16 credit hours in general education courses including English, mathematics, and a humanities class with a minimum grade C and combined GPA of 2.5. Classes start in May, with an application deadline of the previous favourite 15th. Call 904-766-6599 to get more details.
Gulf Coast State College
Previously known as Gulf Coast Community College, GCSC offers a full-time PTA program in the two-year format, with courses intended to be taken in sequence. Minimum scores in English, reading comprehension, algebra or higher math are required for applicants, and the course begins in the fall with an application deadline the previous May. Successful completion of 74 credit hours (at a minimum of grade C) are required for graduation to the Associate in Science degree. Call 850-769-1551 to speak to an adviser.
Herzing’s PTA program is offered from its Orlando campus, and comprises 73 credit hours designs to be taken over 20 months for the award of an Associate of Science degree. In order to progress into the core PTA program, students needs to have passed general education courses with a minimum of grade D, and anatomy/physiology courses and labs with a minimum of grade C+. The Orlando campus at Herzing is located in a 33,600 square foot center in Winter Park. Attendance at an orientation session is compulsory for candidates — sign up online at www.herzing.edu/orlando/events/pta
Indian River State College
IRSC is located in Fort Pierce, Florida. Information sessions for prospective applicants to the PTA program take place on the first Tuesday of each month at 4 PM in the Physical Therapy Clinic (call the Health Science Department at 772-462-7550 for more information).
Keiser University – Ft Lauderdale
Keiser University is a private institution with its main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Participants must pass each course component with a minimum of grade C in order to progress to the next. Students successfully completing 74 credit hours receive an associate of science degree.
Miami Dade College
MDC is the largest college in the Florida College System, and offers its PTA program at the Medical Center Campus at 950 NW 20 Street, Miami, FL 33127. The program starts in January each year, with an application deadline of the previous September 1. Admission is selective, with priority given to those applicants who have completed all the necessary general and science education courses and met minimum GPA requirements. Further information is available by calling 305-237-4134.
Pensacola State College
A public state college, Pensacola State offers a PTA program with a total of 74 credit hours, 19 of which come from general education courses in communications, humanities/fine arts, social/behavioural sciences, natural sciences/mathematics, and general preliminary courses including anatomy and physiology. Applicants must also show verification of having completed 48 hours of observation in three different physical therapy settings. The program director may be contacted at 850-484-2303.
Polk State College
Based in Winter Haven, Florida, Polk State College is a public state college offering classes for its PTA program on a Monday through Thursday during both day and evening hours at the Winter Haven Campus. Applications should be received by May 31 for admission into the class beginning in August. The college accepts that some students may need to work part-time while they study, but reminds applicants that the clinical experience components are full-time, that the requirements of the program are rigorous, and that students need to be committed in order to achieve success. Both five and six semester sequences are offered. Contact the Program Director on 863-669-2904 for more information.
Seminole State College of Florida
Before students can apply to Seminole State’s PTA program, they must have completed courses in Anatomy and Physiology 1 (4 credits) , English 1 (3 credits), and College Algebra (3 credits) with an overall GPA of 2.5 and 4.0 scale. They should also have completed at least 20 hours of observation or volunteer experience in a physical therapy setting in a hospital, nursing home, or outpatient facility. The core PTA classes are delivered over a five term sequence, which includes three full-time clinical internships. The program manager can be contacted on 407-404-6042 for more information.
South University is a private institution that offers its PTA program from its campuses in Tampa or West Palm Beach. The academic program is taught during the day at the Tampa campus and during the evening at West Palm Beach, and both programs include two full-time clinical experiences in the last two quarters, one of six weeks and one of nine weeks.
St Petersburg College
SPC admits approximately 40 applicants each year in August for its PTA program can have satisfied entry requirements which include a completion of at least 24 hours of observation or volunteer experience in two or more physical therapy settings. Applicants must also have completed at least nine credits from general education courses with a 2.5 GPA, and Anatomy and Physiology 1 classes and lab with at least grade C. PTA classes are given at the Health Education Center in Pinellas Park. Contact the program director on 727-341-3614 for further details.
State College of Florida
SCF Manatee-Sarasota admits 24 students per year to its PTA program from a pool of about 70 to 100 applicants. General education courses (26 credits) will be offered in the evening as well as the daytime, while the core PTA courses (48 credits) are available during the day. Call a student development adviser on 941-752-5346 to register for a mandatory information session to find out more about the program.
Prospective students can expect admission to physical therapy assistant schools in Florida to be quite competitive. It’s recommended that they do their research early, in order to be able to attend relevant information sessions, complete pre-requisite courses and observation, and supply documentation in good time for the school they wish to attend.