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Physical Therapist Assistant - Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Requirements:

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Admission Type:

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.

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

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

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.Martel@hgtc.edu.

Verify CAPTE accrediation

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

PTA Program Mission Statement:

To provide the opportunity for individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds to enter the physical therapy profession.

To graduate PTAs who exemplify the Standards of Ethical Conduct of the profession of Physical Therapist Assistant.

To have the faculty, students and staff contribute to the health and well-being of our community, and society through competent practice leadership, education, and humanistic ethical practices.

To adapt technological advancements into the clinical practice. 

PTA Program Goals

  • Horry-Georgetown Technical College enrolled PTA program student body is a composite (age, gender, and race) of the College student body.
  • Horry-Georgetown physical therapist assistant students and core faculty will exemplify the Core Values for the Physical Therapist or the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
  • Horry-Georgetown Technical College faculty will prepare the physical therapist assistant graduate to adapt to meet the evolving practice of physical therapy.
  • Horry-Georgetown Technical College physical therapist assistant graduates will meet the employment need of Horry-Georgetown counties.

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. 

  • Communicate adequately and appropriately, both verbally and non-verbally, in a manner that fosters confidence, and reflects an understanding of socioeconomic, cultural, and psychological differences. 
  • Demonstrate compliance with the scope of practice of a Physical Therapist Assistant in both legal and ethical dimensions; demonstrate professional behaviors by behaving honestly, tactfully, dependably, enthusiastically, cooperatively, and industriously. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to self-reflect on strengths and weakness for career development.
  • Distinguish between pathology of diseases including risk factors and incidence and explain the mechanisms of injury and tissue repair, inflammation, normal healing, and factors affecting recovery based on the review the medical record and physical therapy documentation.
  • Explain the purpose and physiological effects, indications, precautions, and contraindications of physical therapy interventions in order to select, implement, and modify treatment within the parameters of the physical therapist plan of care based on the review of medical and physical therapy documentation.
  • Demonstrate appropriate data collection techniques to assist the physical therapist in monitoring the effects of treatment.
  • Be proficient in teaching different populations a home exercise or self-care program interventions and prevention strategies.
  • Be proficient in CPR and emergency response and recognize the need for referral for other emotional and psychological conditions beyond the scope of practice of physical therapy.
  • Document treatments accurately in SOAP note format, including specific treatment parameters, application techniques, and treatment outcomes with correct billing for reimbursement. 
  • Comply with policy and procedures, safety and risk management strategies for self, patient, and facility.

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

Career Outlook

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 can be found in the following settings:

  • 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 Horry-Georgetown Technical College's Office of Career Services for more employment resources.

Program Information

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.
  • Attendance at PTA Mandatory Information Session.
  • 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. The applicant is responsible for arranging the experience at approved facilities. A list of local facilities is available on the department webpage.
  • GPA of 2.5 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), 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.

Course Sequence and Progression Requirements

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

Curriculum Sequence

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
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