Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy is a health profession that involves direct care of individuals who experience temporary or permanent disability due to pain, injury, disease or birth defects. Working under the supervision of a physical therapist (DPT), the physical therapist assistant (PTA) helps to improve patients’ mobility and level of function through the use of exercise, manual therapy and assistive technologies.

Located at the college’s Benson Campus in Greer, the Greenville Technical College PTA program consists of 30 credit hours of general education courses as part of Phase I, which may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, or transferred in from other colleges. Phase II consists of 46 credit hours of physical therapist assistant technical/professional courses. These can be completed over four consecutive semesters full-time or six "extended-track" semesters at the Benson Campus or at Florence Darlington Technical College.

A career you can count on

The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares graduates to become a licensed PTA who can work in the field of physical therapy, under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist, as an integral member of the health care team. A PTA can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, school systems, home health care, private practice, health clubs and academia. Physical Therapist Assistants provide physical therapy interventions that help patients reduce their pain, minimize their physical impairments, improve movement and function, prevent illness or injury and promote optimal physical health.

Salary projections for PTA's based on recent graduate starting salaries in the Upstate South Carolina range from $40,000 - $48,000 annually with entry level degree.

Learn more about a career in Physical Therapy in this video:
"You Can Be Me" (Courtesy of APTA)

National employment statistics and employment expectations are available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn about real-time job openings and salary information through Career Coach.

What you’ll learn in the program

Some of the subject matter covered includes

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy, physiology & kinesiology
  • Patient pathologies
  • Psychology of human growth & development
  • Patient care skills
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Massage techniques
  • Recording and reporting patient responses to treatment
  • Use of various technologies to control pain

Is PTA right for you?

Physical therapist assistants perform components of physical therapy procedures and related tasks, under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.

To determine whether or not you will be able to successfully perform the job of a PTA, check out the sample job description activities required at Essential Functions and Technical Standards for Physical Therapist Assistant Students (pdf).

The PTA program can be physically challenging. To determine if you are prepared to succeed in the PTA Program, take this challenge (pdf).

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Greenville Technical College is accredited by

 

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 706-3245
Contact CAPTE
www.capteonline.org


PTA Program Accreditation Status

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in conjunction with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) granted the following outcome:
Accreditation October 29, 2008 - June 30, 2018

PTA PROGRAM GRADUATION RATE AVERAGE
From 2011-2013: 82%
PTA Program Graduates 1st Time Licensing Exam Pass Rate Average
From 2011-2013: 99%
PTA PROGRAM GRADUATES EMPLOYMENT RATE
Graduates From 2011-2013: 100% 


Greenville Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Program details and courses

Physical Therapist Assistant
Associate in Applied Science

Designed as a 1 + 1 program, this program prepares students to become licensed physical therapist assistants, key members of the health care profession.

  • Phase II courses are taught at either Greenville Tech’s Benson Campus in Greer or Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Health Sciences Campus PTA Expansion Program.
  • Graduates of this program must pass a national licensure exam to practice as a physical therapist assistant.
    See Phase II requirements and recommended course work

 Read more from our current catalog (pdf)…

PTA Program Requirements

In addition to Greenville Tech admissions process, outlined in these Enrollment Steps, students interested in a program in the Health Sciences and Nursing Division must also successfully complete the following: 


Career Talk

Participating in a Career Talk session for your program is a requirement for all Health Sciences and Nursing Division students. Click here for the Career Talk monthly schedule.

Students interested in attending classes at Florence Darlington Technical College can find that Career Talk schedule here(pdf).

Preview/review the PTA program Career Talk with this summary (pdf).


Division Policies

The PTA program strictly adheres to all the policies of the Health Sciences and Nursing Division, including:

Criminal Background Check Policy (pdf)
Drug Policy (pdf)
Immunization Policy (pdf)
Risk Management Manual (pdf)
Requirements for Health Sciences and Nursing Student Health Records (pdf)


Supplemental Admissions Process 

The PTA program is designed as a 1 + 1 program, where Phase I includes your general education and related courses, which may be taken at Greenville Tech or any articulating college.
See Phase I requirements and recommended course progression

Upon successful completion of Phase I, qualified students are eligible to apply to Phase II, the final four semesters of academic and clinical physical therapist assistant coursework.
See Phase II requirements and recommended course progression

Admission into the Greenville Tech PTA program Phase I does not guarantee admission into Phase II of the program. Phase II admission is competitive based on weighted admission scores and the relative scores of the applicant pool each year.


Forms and Resources

PTA Program Weighted Admissions Scoresheet (pdf)

Transfer Equivalencies
PTA GPA Calculator 
Recommended Humanities Electives (pdf)

Mission/Outcomes/Manuals

The mission of the Greenville Technical College Physical Therapist Assistant program is to meet the needs of the area by providing a pool of qualified graduates for entry-level positions who demonstrate knowledge, competence, professionalism and effective communication skills to enable them to participate successfully as members of an evolving health care community. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality educational opportunities available for students who desire to become physical therapist assistants. The faculty is committed to helping each student achieve his or her fullest potential through a rigorous academic curriculum and individualized clinical experiences. We believe in developing strong partnerships between the health care community and the academic program. We value life-long learning and commitment to continuing education. Through role modeling and mentoring, we encourage our students to participate in professional organizations and community service activities.

Greenville Technical College mission statement