Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information about student success in the program?  Review the Program Outcomes and Statistics (SCC PTA Program Outcomes and Statistics) to find information on graduation rates and graduate performance on the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination.

Are there information meetings? Information meetings are held monthly during the academic year to provide information on the career, the program, and the enrollment process. Students are encouraged to bring copies of transcripts in order to ask specific questions about equivalency of prerequisite courses if time permits.

How long is the program? Once students are admitted for enrollment the program takes two academic years to complete, including the summer session.

What days and times are classes? PTA academic classes are offered Monday through Thursday in the evenings. Most classes are 6-9 pm or 6-10 pm. Students have class three nights a week during most semesters. The clinical education courses take place during the day. There is a one-day-per week assignment during the second semester of the program. There are two full-time 40-hour-per-week assignments during the second year of the program.

When can I apply to the program? Students apply to the program between March 1 and April 15.

What are my chances of getting in to the program? That depends on the number of eligible applicants. The class is randomly selected from eligible applicants. For 2013 there were 175 applicants and 30 students were selected for enrollment in the program.

When will I find out if I get accepted? Students are notified by email within 4-6 weeks after the close of the application period.

How many students are accepted each year? Each year 28-30 students are accepted for enrollment in the program.

What GPA is needed in the prerequisite courses? A 2.5 GPA is required in the prerequisite courses. Note: Beginning in 2015 a minimum 3.0 GPA will be required in the prerequisite courses. 

How can I figure out my GPA? Your grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of units attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0. Here is a link to a GPA calculator:http://www.back2college.com/gpa.htm  Example:

CourseUnitsGrade
Bio 43053.05 X 3 =15
Bio 43152.05 X 2 =10
PTA 1001.54.01.5 X 4 =6
English 30033.03 X 3 =9
Total units=14.5Total = 40/14.5 = 2.758 GPA

  

Is there a recency requirement for the prerequisite courses? Students must have completed the anatomy and physiology within 10 years. There is no recency requirement for the other prerequisite courses.

May I have classes in-progress when I apply? Students may have the final semester of anatomy or physiology in-progress at the time of application. Other prerequisites must be complete.

Can I take prerequisite courses at another college? Yes, as long as the courses are equivalent. The number of units and the specific catalog course description should be compared. A grid outlining SCC Equivalent Courses at other colleges is available for  reference. Please be sure to check with a counselor to confirm your educational plan.

My college only offers Anatomy (4 units) and Physiology (4 units). Will that be acceptable as an equivalent to Bio 430 and 431? Yes. A minimum of 8 semester units of anatomy and physiology is required, so this would be acceptable. Be aware that Bio 430 and 431 are “combined anatomy and physiology”. If students choose to take ‘stand alone’ anatomy and physiology classes that is fine. However, students should not take an ‘Anatomy’ course at one college and then take Bio 430 or 431 at SCC as they would be missing some content areas.

My college offers a 5-unit combined anatomy and physiology course. Will that be sufficient as a prerequisite for the PTA program? No. Students need a minimum of 8 semester units of anatomy and physiology.

I have an AA/AS degree already. Do I still need to take general education courses and college graduation requirements? All students need to complete the general education courses specifically required for the program. These classes are not prerequisites for enrollment but they must be completed at some time prior to graduation.

1) Psych 370 or FCS 324: Human Development: A Life Span – 3 units

2) Soc 300: Introductory Sociology OR Anth 310: Cultural Anthropology – 3 units

3) FCS 340 or Nutr 300: Nutrition OR Heed 300: Health Science – 3 units

Students with a prior AA/AS degree from a college other than Sacramento City College should work with a counselor to determine if there are any additional courses or competencies required to meet the SCC college graduation requirements.

I have a BA/BS degree already. Do I still need to take general education courses and college graduation requirements? All students need to complete the general education courses specifically required for the program. These classes are not prerequisites for enrollment but they must be completed at some time prior to graduation.

1) Psych 370 or FCS 324: Human Development: A Life Span – 3 units

2) Soc 300: Introductory Sociology OR Anth 310: Cultural Anthropology – 3 units

3) FCS 340 or Nutr 300: Nutrition OR Heed 300: Health Science – 3 units

Students with a prior BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university within the United States will not need any additional courses to meet the basic SCC college graduation requirements. Once students complete all program prerequisites, PTA courses, AH courses, and general education courses required by the program they will be eligible to graduate and earn the A.S. degree in Physical Therapist Assistant.

Where do I take the reading assessment test? The reading assessment test can be scheduled with the SCC Assessment Center: Student Services Building Room 121; 916 558-2540.

Are volunteer hours required for admission to the program? No. Volunteer or observation hours are a great way to learn more about the profession, but are not required prior as a part of the admission process. Students in the PTA 100 course complete an 8-hour observation as a part of that class.

Where are clinical education sites for students enrolled in the program? The program has contracts with over 100 clinical education sites in the Sacramento area and beyond. The facilities represent a wide variety of practice areas including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, private and specialty practices, and home health agencies.

How are clinical education placements determined? Prior to each clinical placement the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education will obtain preferences from students regarding geographic location and types of facilities they are interested in. All students will experience both inpatient and outpatient settings. Student preferences, learning needs, and availability of sites are all factors in determining placements.

I work as a PT aide. Can I use that experience as a clinical placement? Employment as a PT aide is a great way to learn more about physical therapy processes and procedures and to gain work and communication skills. However, you cannot use your experience as an aide to fulfill the physical therapist assistant student clinical education requirements. We do not place students at facilities where they have previously worked.

Is there any way to complete the program in less time? No. The program is designed so that the group of students who enter in the fall complete each class in sequence together over the two academic years.

May I take longer to complete the program if I need to? The program is designed so that the group of students who enter in the fall complete each class in sequence together over the two academic years. If there are circumstances that require it, a student may request to take a one-time leave of absence from the program and return the following year.

Do you offer a daytime program? No, the physical therapist assistant program at SCC is an evening program. Most of the students work at least part-time in addition to going to school.

Do you offer an online program? No. Many of our classes have online components, but only two classes (PTA 100 and PTA 153) are offered completely via distance education. Physical therapy is a hands-on career and regular attendance and participation in class is required.

Do you help students with finding employment after graduation? We do not have a formal job placement service. However, many students find opportunities for employment as a result of their clinical affiliations. Also, the PTA program coordinator emails job announcements to recent graduates via a distribution list.

Who can I contact if I still have questions? Scott Thompson, PT, MPT, Physical Therapist Assistant Program Coordinator