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February 7, 2017


Priority Deadline Approaching for Prospective Physical Therapist Assistant Students

Southeast Missouri residents seeking Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) training should act quickly if they want to secure valuable education opportunities, according to the Nursing and Allied Health Department at Three Rivers College. The two-year program, offered in conjunction with the State Technical College of Missouri, is now accepting applications for its 2017-2019 class from prospective students who apply by the February 15 priority deadline.

"This program provides its graduates with excellent training for a career in a high-demand field," said Dr. Staci Campbell, Chair of the Nursing and Allied Health department at Three Rivers. "It’s one of our most successful programs and a partnership with the State Technical College that we plan on continuing for years to come.”

The program is offered in two parts over two years. General studies requirements are completed under Three Rivers’ supervision the first year, with PTA courses delivered over an interactive television (ITV) feed from State Technical College during the second year of study. Admission requirements include a minimum ACT cut score, an essay, recommendations, attendance at an informational session, and 40 hours of physical therapy observation in two different professional settings.

In addition to the ITV courses, practical coursework will be delivered at Three Rivers’ Poplar Bluff campus by a State Technical College faculty member. Students graduating from this program will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree from State Technical College of Missouri and the knowledge and experience to prepare for the Missouri PTA licensure exam.

"Physical therapy is projected as a high growth field by the U.S. Department of Labor," said Katherine Berrey, Department Chair for the State Technical College PTA program. "The population is aging, active, and more people have access to PT than ever before. Research shows that physical therapy can improve a multitude of conditions and save health care dollars for our patients, employers, and insurers. All of this factors into continued growth in physical therapy." Berrey added that the number of physical therapist assistants in rural Missouri is not enough to meet demand and is one of the biggest shortfalls is in Southeast Missouri.

Campbell praised State Technical College for the long-running success of their collaboration.

"We are one of only a handful of community colleges in Missouri with a long-established PTA program," said Campbell. "Three Rivers made the decision to collaborate with State Technical College to deliver this program because they have a successful curriculum already in place, and we wanted their expertise. Their graduates have great pass rates and job placement rates." State Techs’ PTA program has maintained a 94 percent pass rate on the state board exams for the past three years.

The priority deadline for entrance in the Fall 2017 technical portion of the program is February 15. Current students interested in being accepted into the program in the fall should call Three Rivers’ office of Nursing and Allied Health at 573-840-9680 for more information.

For more information on the PTA program as whole, prospective students should contact the State Technical College of Missouri PTA Program at 573-893-1020 for questions or to sign up for a required informational session. Upcoming sessions are at 3 p.m. on February 7 and March 6 in Room 104 of the Porter Distance Learning Center on the TRC campus. Please visit statetechmo.edu for additional information.

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