An Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assisting will prepare you for a career in the medical field as a Physical Therapist Assistant and Aide. Typically, Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides, commonly referred to as PTAs work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and physical therapist offices. Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides spend much of their time on their feet while setting up equipment and providing help for patients.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
The time required for online completion of a degree and on-campus in Physical Therapy Assisting should be about equal at most schools for most students. The standard for a two-year degree is four semesters whether online or on-campus. Some online schools appeal to students by offering accelerated course curricula. Accelerated curricula condenses the requirements into fewer courses to speed up graduation. Many students can accelerate graduation by attending online, but this requires a much heavier than usual credit-load. Most colleges and universities require 60 credit hours to graduate with an Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting.
Online attendance can avoid scheduling bottlenecks. Students may find on-campus classes unavailable, and that can cause additional semesters of attendance. Online classes in the summer months can help online and/or traditional students accelerate graduation. Online students can take a full course load of 15 semester hours when they have time and resources available. The lower typical costs of semester hours online, as opposed to on-campus rates, can help students take more courses.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
Before you enroll in a college, make sure that they have the major you are considering. For Physical Therapy Assisting, many universities have whole departments devoted to the subject. If that is the case, then make sure they have the specific branch of Physical Therapy Assisting that interests you. If you are starting out at a community college, they may not have a specific degree for Physical Therapy Assisting, but they may offer the right math and science courses you will need as prerequisites. Investigate how well your community college work will synch with your later work in a university before registering.
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.
The two most prominent types of Associate levels in Physical Therapy Assisting are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Physical Therapy Assisting. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for an Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting below:
If you're concerned about the specific graduation rate at each school you're most interested in, the Office of Institutional Research at each university should have that information. Nationwide, only 41% of university students finish within the two year timetable. The remaining 59% tend to stay in school for five years or more.
This can get very expensive. Students have to pay for additional terms of tuition. Universities and colleges may also penalize students who are taking too long to graduate. So, you need to have a plan that enables you to graduate within two to three years. See an advisor for your major every semester. Take the classes that they tell you are required. Try to take more than just the 12 minimum full-time credits per semester—instead, take 15; if you don't have to work more than 10 to 15 hours a week, try to take 18 credits. Take summer classes to get ahead (or catch up if you fail a class).
Don't change majors too often. If you're not sure of your major, take just your general education credits and try a few majors you're interested in—take an introductory class for each major and find the one that fits you best.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Physical Therapy Assisting education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Physical Therapy Assisting program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
Colleges and universities generally charge per credit hour for Physical Therapy Assisting courses. Multiply the cost by the number of credits you're taking for your total semester's financial commitment. Program fees may not be included in the stated tuition rate. If a university charges $331 per credit hour, multiply this by 12 or 15 (the number of credits you're taking per semester). For 12 credit hours, this is $3,972; for 15 credit hours, it's $4,965.
The College Board's Trends in Higher Education Series reported that the average cost of a two-year public Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting program was $9,970 if taken in-state. It was as much as $35,260 if taken at a private university or college. And be aware that, even if you are comfortable with the per credit hour cost of the program you are looking at, there will be other costs for fees, textbooks, and room and board if you live on campus.
Schools can provide valuable assistance for Physical Therapy Assisting graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.
Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their Physical Therapy Assisting graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.