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Physical Therapist Assistant FAQs

  • Q: When should I apply for the program and is there a waiting list?

    A: Applications are accepted beginning February 1st of each year and ending on March 15th. The admission process is competitive so there is not waiting list. Student who are enrolled in the last 3 or less prerequisite courses may apply but priority admission will be given to those students whom have completed all of the admission requirements at the time of application.

    Q: When do classes begin in the program?

    A: Class begin in fall semester (August) of each year.

    Q: How many students are accepted in the program?

    A: 24 will be accepted to start the program. Additionally, there will be a list of alternates. If a prospective student chooses not to accept their spot, the first alternative on the list will be contacted and offered a position in the program.

    Q: Where can I find the most up to date information on admission and the selection process?

    A: Refer to the Get Started Checklist.

    Q: Are there job shadowing hours that must be completed in order to apply for the program?

    A: Job shadowing hours at this time are not required but are strongly encouraged to gain a better understanding of the various aspects of physical therapy. Job shadowing hours have been replaced with a Professional Awareness Activity which can be accessed on the program website.

    Q: Can I transfer courses from another college?

    A: To assist you in determining whether a course at another institution would be acceptable for transfer, contact the SCC Admissions office (admissions@southeast.edu or 402-437-2600 or 800-642-4075 ext. 2600).

    Q: Do I need to take a math course to meet the prerequisite requirements for the program?

    A: Applicants may complete placement testing to satisfy the program’s math requirement. For details related to placement testing, see the PTA Get Started Checklist. If an applicant does not meet the minimum score for the testing requirement, then the applicant can take a math course. The program recommends a minimum of MATH 1100 Intermediate Algebra.

    Q: Are classes offered online?

    A: No PTA classes are offered strictly online. PTA classes are held generally on-site and during the day Monday thru Friday.

    Q: What is clinical education? Do I get to choose the clinical education site? Do I have to travel? What are clinical hours?

    A: Clinical education where a student is fully immersed in the clinical experience off campus in a fully functioning physical therapy setting with a professional in the field. Students will get experience observing and receive hands on instruction while working with patients across the lifespan. Students will complete a full time 3-week, 5-week, and 8-week clinical experience at sites pre-approved by the Director of Clinical Education. Students will have the opportunity to request clinical placement at sites but are not guaranteed their top request. All placements will be completed by the Director of Clinical Education and students are prohibited from setting up their own clinical experiences. Students will have the opportunity to complete their clinical experiences throughout the 15-counts area that SCC serves but will also have the opportunity to possibly travel outside the area if the student chooses to do so. Each student will be assigned at least one rural site (outside of Lincoln and Omaha) and at least one inpatient site so travel may be required. Clinicals are typically from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday but these hours can vary from site-to-site. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to the schedule established by the clinical site.

    Q: Do I have to achieve certain grades in order to maintain favorable standing in the program?

    A: All PTA courses and labs must be completed with a minimum grade of C+ (75%) in order to progress in the program.

    Q: Is the passing of a licensure exam required to work as a PTA? Can I only work in Nebraska following graduation?

    A: Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTE) through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). A student must pass the NPTE to be certified or licensed in the state where they choose to practice. Additionally, there may be a jurisprudence exam and other requirements to be certified/licensed in the chosen state.

    Since the SCC PTA Program is an accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), students are eligible to obtain their licensure/certification in any state in the United States.