Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Matthew Hamilton

The physical therapist assistant enjoys employment in a large variety of settings including: acute care hospitals, long term acute care facilities, home health, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine clinics, and school systems. The physical therapist assistant works under the general supervision of a physical therapist in the state of Oklahoma.

There is a shortage in Oklahoma of physical therapist assistants which increases the demand for licensed professional PTAs. OCCC has approximately 60-75 qualified applicants each year who apply to the program. Of those applicants, 26% are admitted to the program with a class of twenty new students each fall. Over the past three years (2011-2013), 91% of students admitted to the program graduated with the Associate in Applied Science degree. In that same time-frame, 100% of the graduates from Oklahoma City Community College have passed the National Board Exam and are eligible to work as Licensed Physical Therapist Assistants. One hundred percent of our graduates, who choose to work in the field of physical therapy, have jobs. As of 2013, starting salaries for new graduates are $30,000-35,000, depending on the setting in the state of Oklahoma.

OCCC welcomes the class of 2016!

Class of 2016

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Oklahoma City Community College is a Technical/Occupational Program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After completing this two year program, the student is awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree, and is eligible to sit for National Board Exam to obtain licensure from the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Oklahoma City Community College is accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia    22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245
email: accreditation@apta.org
website: http://www.capteonline.org

This program requires 71-72 credit hours and can usually be completed in five-six semesters. The tuition and fees fluctuate but current tuition costs can be found in the OCCC Catalog or online at www.occc.edu/catalog/index.html. Financial Aid is available to OCCC students and information about financial aid can be found online at www.occc.eud/FinancialAid/ . All Program related costs are explained to the students upon admission to the Program during the PTA Student Orientation which is held prior to the fall semester. At that time, the students are issued a Handbook with the updated information for that semester. The students admitted to this program are required to take BIO 1314, Human Anatomy and Physiology I before beginning the fall semester of the program.

In addition to didactic coursework, offsite clinical field work is required for this degree. The first clinical experience occurs during the summer following the first full year of the Program and requires 160 hours, which is equivalent to four weeks full-time in a clinical setting. All of our clinical sites are within the general area of about 30 miles and will require transportation. The next two clinical experiences take place during the spring semester of the second year in the Program for a total of seven weeks each, or 560 clock hours.

Due to the clinical nature of this program, student liability insurance, a series of background checks and a random drug screen are required. The results of those tests must meet the clinical sites' standards for the student to continue in the program and to obtain licensure in the state of Oklahoma. Questions about this requirement can be directed to www.okmedicalboard.org. Student liability insurance must be purchased each year prior to the second week of class from the Bursar's office. The current cost for this insurance is $48.18 per semester and will cover the student while in lab on campus, and when traveling offsite to participate in lab or patient care. Students are also required to produce proof of immunizations prior to going to clinical practicums. The list of required immunizations is provided to the students with their acceptance letters and is requested at PTA Student Orientation.

Physical Therapist Assistant Applications to this program are available the first Monday in July.  The deadline for application is the first Friday in March of each year for a fall entry to the Program. If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact Jennifer Ball, PT, MHR, ATC at 682-1611 x 7305 or jball@occc.edu.