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Physical therapy assistant (PTA) programs are typically offered at the associate's degree level. In Oklahoma, more than a few schools offer such programs and they may typically be completed in about two years. Curriculum includes general education classes, traditional classroom-based learning, lab instruction, and practicum requirements in the form of clinical rotations.
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center
Only 14 students are admitted into Caddo Kiowa Technology Center's (CKTC) PTA program in Fort Cobb. Prior to applying to the program, students must complete the general education and technical occupational support classes at Southwestern Oklahoma State University's Sayre or Weatherford campus or at another approved institution. The technical occupational specialty courses that are completed at CKTC take about 2 semesters. Class topics include fundamental human needs, pain control, and therapeutic exercise. A practicum is completed in each semester.
Carl Albert State College
The PTA associate's degree program at Carl Albert State College in Poteau features competitive admission that is based on ACT scores, GPAs, prerequisite courses, and observation hours. This 2-year program includes classes like anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, therapeutic procedures, and rehabilitative exercises. Students complete 3 clinical experiences during the last year of the program.
Murray State College
Murray State College in Tishomingo offers a 2-year physical therapist assistant program that awards an Associate in Applied Science. Students focus on general education courses in the first year, and application to the program occurs after first-year requirements are met. Core requirements for the second year include topics such as anatomy and movement, kinesiology, and rehabilitation. Students also participate in 2 practicums. Recommended electives include medical terminology, first aid, and sociology.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
Approximately 95% of the physical therapist assistant program's 2009-2011 graduates passed the licensure exam at this Miami college, and 100% of all program graduates who passed the exam and actively pursued employment were hired within 6 months of obtaining licensure. Before being admitted into the program, students must complete general education courses and classes in anatomy and physiology, and medical vocabulary. Once admitted, students take classes like physical therapeutic methods, kinesiology, and neurology. Students also complete several weeks of clinical rotations.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Students interested in the Physical Therapist Assistant AAS program can take the general education and technical occupational support courses at the Sayre or Weatherford campuses. Technical occupational specialty courses for the program are taken at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center. The support classes include instruction in first aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and medical vocabulary. The specialty classes include physical therapy, pain management, rehabilitative exercises, and physical therapy issues. Two practicums are also included in the curriculum.
Tulsa Community College
Up to 35 students can be accepted each year into the PTA program at this college in Tulsa. The curriculum requires 68 credits, 46 of which are earned through physical therapy assistant classes. These classes include pathophysiology, pharmacology, human development, and rehabilitative exercises. Students also receive supervised training in clinical settings.
Physical therapist assistants in Oklahoma must be licensed to obtain employment. This requires them to graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education or from programs administered by the U.S. armed forces. They must also pass a licensure exam approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure. To keep the license valid, 30 continuing education credits are required every 2 years.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Caddo Kiowa Technology Center||2-year, public; remote rural||Physical Therapist Assistant Program||$4,850 estimated program cost (no date given)*|
|Carl Albert State College||2-year, public; distant town||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science||$3,011 in-state, $6,219 out-of-state**|
|Murray State College||2-year, public; distant rural||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science||$4,340 in-state, 10,260 out-of-state**|
|Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College||2-year, public; distant town||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science||$3,832 in-state, $9,172 out-of-state**|
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University||4-year; public; remote town||Physical Therapy Assistant Associate in Applied Science||$6,090 in-state, $12,540 out-of-state**|
|Tulsa Community College||2-year, public; large city||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$2,900 in-state, $7,844 out-of-state**|
Source: *Caddo Kiowa Technology Center, **NCES College Navigator.