Spotlight on Horry-Georgetown Technical College PTA Program

One of six schools offering an accredited PTA program in the state of South Carolina, Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s physical therapy assistant program is available at the Grand Strand campus in Myrtle Beach. HGTC received approval to begin the program in 2006, with its first class graduating in 2009. Horry-Georgetown provides continuing education for more than 10,500 local area residents and enrolls over 7,400 college credit students annually. 32 students are accepted each year into the PTA program.

A recent article in the Sun News and MyrtleBeachOnline.com reports that the HGTC physical therapist assistant program ranks among the best in the country, and it’s been reported by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy that 100% of graduating students from the program pass the National Certification Exam – an accolade it currently shares with only 44 other schools.

According to Doug Clark, director of PTA programs for the Commission of Accreditation or Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), it’s a statistic that provides a significant benchmark. Meanwhile, Lorin Mueller, managing director of assessments for the FSBPT, commented that while the Federation encourages people not to read too much into the pass rate of an individual school, the fact that HGTC has only had three graduating classes, all of whom have passed the exam, is a notable feature.

The PTA Curriculum at HGTC Is Demanding

The physical therapy assistant program is a rigorous course, and since the program’s inception the sequencing of some courses has been changed and lab hours have been expanded. Each student’s progress is carefully scrutinized to ensure that their outcomes match the program standards. According to Larry Kopelman, the program director, anything less than a 75% grade is unacceptable.

Such is the reputation of the PTA program at Horry-Georgetown that it receives over 100 applications each year for its 32 places, and attracts interest from recruiters nationwide. Successful graduates on average begin their careers earning around $45,000 a year.

Why Physical Therapy Assisting Is So Popular

The career of physical therapy assisting appeals to many different types of student, including those who enjoy working with different people on a daily basis and to have an interest in working in settings such as schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals, fitness centres and sports training facilities, nursing homes and extended care facilities, and many other workplace environments. It also draws students who want to train for a job which doesn’t leave them stuck in an office all day and who are interested in a ” hands-on” approach to patient care. And – last but not least – employment prospects in the next few years are considered to be very good.

Find Out More About the Program

To learn more about the Horry Georgetown PTA program, prospective students should contact Doctor Larry J. Kopelman at HGTC’s Grand Strand Campus or enquire by phone on (843) 477-2075.

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