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Physical Therapist Assistant - Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Requirements:

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PTA Application Process


Grand Strand


(843) 347-3186

a physical therapist helps a client

The A.A.S. in Physical Therapist Assistant degree prepares students to implement physical therapy treatment procedures under the supervision of licensed Physical Therapists. As an assistant to a physical therapist, you will help patients recovering from debilitating illness, amputation, surgery, or accident to improve mobility, restore physical function, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities.

Specific Admission Requirements for Program
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is a limited-access program. All applicants must meet weighted Admission requirements by May 15 to advance to the next phase of consideration for admission to the program. However, meeting admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the PTA program. An applicant who receives notification that she/he was not admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant program must resubmit the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Application by the published application deadline in order to be considered for admission to the next available class. These applicants should check with Admissions to determine if HGTC Admission information requires updating. A waiting list of applicants is not maintained.

  • Criminal Background Check 30 days prior to starting clinical each semester beginning in the second semester; felony or misdemeanor convictions could result in applicants being ineligible to complete the program.
  • Urine Drug Screening 30 days prior to starting clinical each semester beginning in the second semester.
  • Submit a Health Sciences Division Student Health Record Form indicating the candidate has the ability to perform the physical tasks required in the program prior to second semester.
  • Proof of CPR certification for Health Care Providers prior to second semester.
  • Experience Documentation form submitted to Office of Admissions reflecting a minimum of 20 hours in a physical therapy facility (3-year time limit). The applicant is responsible for arranging the experience at approved facilities. A list of local facilities is available on the department webpage.
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher on all required General Education and support courses, with "C" or higher in each course. These courses include: BIO 210 and BIO 211 (5 year time limit, 10 year time limit if already completed Bachelor or Master degree programs), ENG 101, MAT 120 or MAT 110, PSY 201 and Humanities. Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA must be maintained with no academic or disciplinary suspension at time of admission or program entry.
  • To be licensed as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the state of South Carolina the graduate must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and apply for Physical Therapist Assistant licensure with the Labor and Licensing Regulation Board of South Carolina. The cost of completing the NPTE and application for licensure is not included in the cost of tuition for the program.
  • Completion of TEAS test (2-year time limit).
  • Not have two unsuccessful (D, F, W or WF) attempts in the first technical semester course of the PTA program within the last two academic years.

Course Sequence and Progression Requirements

A minimum grade of "C" or better is required for all PTH-prefixed courses for progression and graduation.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program: Horry-Georgetown Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, (CAPTE) 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; e-mail: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 843-477-2075 or email Samantha.Oldroyd@hgtc.edu.

Verify CAPTE accrediation

For more information about HGTC's accreditations, click here.

On a typical day, a physical therapist assistant will perform components of a variety of treatment procedures, including:

  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Traction
  • Ultrasound
  • Clerical and record-keeping duties

Employment Opportunities

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Outpatient offices
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Schools
  • Home health agencies

For more information about careers, visit O*Net Online for an overview of South Carolina and National earnings statistics, and Career Services for more employment resources.

If you wish to communicate compliments of the PTA Program at HGTC, please contact the Program Director/Chair, Dr. Samantha Oldroyd, at 843-477-2075 or email Samantha.Oldroyd@hgtc.edu

Student Complaints:
Complaints from students will follow the PTA Program Student Policy 17, Due Process. Students are instructed to follow the Student Grievance Procedure for the South Carolina Technical College System. See Procedure at the following link: Student Grievance

Non-faculty and Non-student Complaint Process:
Complaints will be directed to the PTA Program Director/Chair for stakeholders of the HGTC PTA Program.
Contact Information: Dr. Samantha Martel, Phone: 843-477-2075, Email: Samantha.oldroyd@hgtc.edu

Process for handling complaints:
• The Program Director will complete the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Complaint Form.
• The Program Director will contact the appropriate college personnel to seek resolution of the complaint.
• A written response will be provided from the appropriate college personnel to the person filing the complaint with a timeline that is dependent on the nature of the complaint.
• A copy of all complaints will be kept in a secure location in the Program Director’s office.

If a stakeholder wishes to speak with someone other than the PTA Program Director, complaints can be directed to the AVP/Dean of the program.
Contact Information: Ann Daniels, Phone: 843-477-2168, Email: ann.daniels@hgtc.edu

Complaints related to the accreditation of the HGTC PTA Program are directed to the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Contact Information:
Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
3030 Potomac Ave, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085

Applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant program should be aware a current, unrestricted license or certification may be required to practice in the state in which you intend to reside/practice. Each state is unique in its licensure requirements. Students are encouraged to reach out to the program chair for more information and assistance with understanding professional licensure.

PTA Program Mission Statement:

Consistent with the mission of Horry-Georgetown Technical College, the Physical Therapist Assistant program provides evidence-based didactic and clinical education to prepare graduates from diverse cultures and backgrounds to enter the physical therapy profession. The comprehensive learning opportunities of the program will enhance the lives of HGTC students, strengthen the physical therapy workforce and contribute to the health and well-being of the community we serve. Faculty and graduates of the program will exemplify the Core Values of the Physical Therapy profession and demonstrate dedication to the profession and professional growth through life-long learning. 

PTA Program Goals

  • The program will support diversity, equity, and inclusion to meet the needs of Horry and Georgetown communities.  
  • Students and faculty will exemplify the Core Values of the Physical Therapy profession to provide highest quality of physical therapist services. 
  • Prepare competent graduates to be successful on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to qualify for state licensure and meet the community’s employment needs. 
  • Students and faculty will demonstrate dedication to the profession and professional growth through lifelong learning. 
  • Produce graduates who work effectively as a member of the health care team to provide high quality contemporary patient-centered care. 

HGTC PTA Student Learning Outcomes: 

After successful completion of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College Physical Therapist Assistant Program the graduate will be able to achieve the program learning outcomes. 

  • PLO1: Students will demonstrate competence in implementing interventions and performing data collection within the parameters of the physical therapist plan of care based on the review of medical and physical therapy documentation for common pathologies seen by physical therapist assistants. (Discipline Body of Knowledge Competency 7B, 7D16, 7D17-22, 7D23, 7D24, 7D25) 
  • PLO2:  Students will comply with policies and procedures and participate in quality assurance to ensure safety for all stakeholders and effective response to patient/client and environmental emergencies that occur in the healthcare setting.  (Patient Safety and Quality Improvement using Evidence Based Practice within Systems Environment 7D26, 7D27 and 7D29)
  • PLO3:  Students will use information and technology to communicate, document, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making for effective operation of the organization.  (Informatics, Technology and Practice Management 7D25, 7D30-31)
  • PLO4: Students will demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors consistent with the core values for the physical therapist assistant.  (Professional & Ethical Behavior 7D1-7D14)
  • PLO5: Students will communicate effectively with all stakeholders for patient-centered, interprofessional collaborative care with respect for individual, socioeconomic, cultural, and psychological differences.  (Communication, collaboration, and teamwork 7D7, 7D15, 7D28) 

For more information about Health Science Admissions visit: www.hgtc.edu/healthscience.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Samantha Oldroyd - 843-477-2075

Curriculum Sequence

PHASE 1 - General Admission

Phase I is a general admission phase and enables students to enroll in the general education core courses required for completion of the Physical Therapy Assistant Program. These courses may be completed at Horry-Georgetown Technical College or transferred in from another accredited institution.

Upon completion of the following required general education courses and the TEAS test, students are eligible to apply for Phase II.
General Education Requirements Course Title Semester
Credit Hours
BIO 210 Anatomy Physiology I 4
BIO 211 Anatomy Physiology II 4
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
MAT 110 College Algebra 3
MAT 120 Probability and Statistics (preferred)  
PSY 201 General Psychology 3
  Humanities 3
  TOTAL 20
*Registration for ENG and MAT courses require students to have appropriate test scores and/or pre-req courses; please refer to your advisor to determine your academic qualifications and eligibility for enrolling in ENG and MAT courses.

PHASE II – Limited Access

Phase II is limited access and requires admission to the program for students to be eligible to enroll in PTA and clinical courses. For students to proceed to Phase II they must complete the program specific admission process:

After admission to PHASE II – Limited Access students must complete the following to graduate as a Physical Therapy Assistant.
First Semester - Fall    
PTH 101 Physical Therapy Professional Preparation 2
PTH 204 Physical Therapy Functional Anatomy and Application 5
PTH 205 Physical Therapy Functional Anatomy 4
PTH 221 Pathology I 2
PSY 203 Human Growth Development 3
  TOTAL 16
Second Semester - Spring    
PTH 202 Physical Therapy Modalities 4
PTH 234 Clinical Education I 3
PTH 240 Therapeutic Exercises/Applications 5
PTH 270 Special Topics in Physical Therapy 3
  TOTAL 15
Third Semester - Summer    
PTH 242 Orthopedic Management 4
PTH 244 Rehabilitation 4
Fourth Semester - Fall    
PTH 235 Interpersonal Dynamics 2
PTH 253 Clinical Practice II 3
PTH 275 Advanced Professional Preparation 1
PTH 276 Physical Therapy Practicum II 6
  TOTAL 12

Total Credit Hours