General Program Description
Greenville Technical College has two primary locations within the state of South Carolina: The parent program is located on the Benson Greer Campus, in Greenville, South Carolina. Alicia Dittmar, PT, M.ED is the PTA Program Director. One expansion PTA program is affiliated with Florence-Darlington Technical College Health Sciences Campus in Florence, SC. This PTA Program Coordinator is Gregg Forlini, PT, MS,. The PTA program uses the 1+1 admission format. General education courses are taken during Phase I and physical therapist assistant technical courses are taken during Phase II. Phase I courses are offered at Greenville Technical College, through accredited national institutions of higher education and through four other articulating colleges in South Carolina and North Carolina with whom GTC has an articulation agreement. Phase II courses are offered only at Greenville Technical College’s Benson Greer campus and at Florence-Darlington Technical College Health Sciences Campus. Phase II consists of 80 consecutive weeks or two full time plus two part time semesters. Students are in class or lab approximately 32 hours per week to complete academic courses requirements. During the spring and 2nd fall semesters of Phase II, students are completing clinical education course requirements in local hospitals, out-patient clinics, geriatric, and pediatric centers approximately 40 hours a week. The Florence-Darlington Tech PTA expansion program classes are held on the FDTC Health Sciences Campus in the mornings, afternoons and at local clinics some evenings for lab practice. FDTC labs are offered both in dedicated classrooms/labs and at computer stations at their respective health sciences campuses as well as at various community physical therapy clinics. At the Greer Campus, Phase II PTA Program courses are conducted only during the day. The PTA program at the Greer campus has 5 spacious dedicated lab rooms and one 30 station computer lab dedicated for academic teaching. On average, over 97% of PTA graduates have passed the licensing exam on the first attempt since 2011.
There are three scheduled full-time clinical rotations during Phase II. The first clinical experience is 4 weeks and is offered during the 2nd semester of Phase II. The last 2 clinical experiences are 5 weeks each offered only at the end of all academic courses. Total clinical education required is 14 weeks. The College maintains more than 230 active and updated clinical education contract sites throughout the United States. More than 130 clinical sites located in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are utilized annually. The GTC PTA Program preferred clinical education practice pattern is to place students in at least one acute care and one rehabilitation setting. Students are then placed in their third clinical rotation based on practice preferences upon graduation, as qualified clinical sites are available. Students are assigned to clinical facilities during their clinical education courses as close to their homes as possible. Each student’s clinical experiences are conducted in diverse settings that include large urban or small rural acute care hospitals, out-patient clinics, and specialty facilities for geriatric, pediatric and sports rehab/wellness fitness.
The GTC PTA Program employs four full-time and diverse adjunct faculty members as needed. Three full time faculty are located at the GTC Benson Greer Campus. One full time faculty and .5 FTE qualified adjuncts are located at the FDTC expansion program. The faculty to student ratio is 1:10 lecture/lab at the FDTC expansion campus site. GTC Benson Greer Campus has 1:30 lecture ratio and 1:10 lab ratio. Three out of the four GTC PTA Program full time faculty each have over 19 years of academic teaching experience and all have over 20 years of clinical experience. Part time adjunct faculty and lab assistants are recruited to assist with specialty lab content experiences as resources are available.
Established in the early 1960s, Greenville Tech has grown from a small institution to a thriving four-campus system where over 15,000 academic students and more than 21,000 continuing education students change their futures with short-term training, programs geared to today’s opportunities, or courses that will count toward a bachelor’s degree when they transfer. Students come first at Greenville Tech with flexible scheduling choices, convenient locations, small classes so you won’t get lost in a crowd, and assigned advisors instructors who work with you every step of the way. GTC PTA Program admits between 24-30 new PTA students annually each fall. Florence-Darlington Technical College has an enrollment of 3,500 students and admits 10 new students into the PTA Program Phase II expansion program each year. Overall new student admissions for Greenville Tech PTA Program Phase II are between 34-40 students annually every fall.
Based on a 1+1 format, admission into the program is a two-step process. Students may apply for admission into Phase I at Greenville Technical College, at any accredited national institution of higher learning, or at any of the 4 technical colleges with which Greenville Tech has Phase I articulation agreements. Prerequisite requirements for admission to Phase I include: high school diploma or GED; attendance at Career Talk, an academic advising seminar; and college entrance testing or prior college transfer courses. Students may apply to Phase II at Greenville Tech Benson Greer Campus or Florence-Darlington Tech Health Sciences Campus when Phase I requirements are completed. A list of required Phase I courses may be found in the GTC college catalog at gvltec.edu/catalog/ and the GTC PTA Program website at gvltec.edu/PTA/ Students must have passed all Phase I required courses with a C or better and must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) to be eligible to apply to Phase II. Applicants meeting admissions criteria are placed in an applicant pool from which selective or “weighted admission” scoring is conducted. The top scoring candidates are selected for each campus. Florence selects the top 10 qualified applicants for their Fall Admission Class. Greer Campus selects between 24-30 top qualified applicants for their Fall Admission Class. In addition, PTA applicants are required to complete all required Health and Wellness Division immunizations, have a negative criminal background report within the 7 years prior to application to the program and submit to random drug screening.
Since 2010-2013, 83% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). From 2010-2013, 100% of graduates who have passed licensing exam have either accepted a PTA position within 6 months of exam or gone on to further education. Positions vary from full time with benefits to part-time PRN. In 2010-2013, GTC PTA Program graduates have averaged a 99% pass rate for the National PTA Licensing exam on the first attempt.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Student housing is located 30-45 minutes from Greer Campus, location of the PTA Program facilities. Scheduling during Phase I is flexible offering day, night, weekend, on-line and fast track course options that allows students to work while in school. During Phase II, the curriculum is delivered with a full time track option and an extended track option. The full-time track is intensive, leaving students little time for outside jobs. A variety of financial aid opportunities are available. For specific information, contact the director of the Financial Aid Department. The extended track is less intensive and allows students to take only two courses or 6 credit hours the first 4 academic semesters to allow students to work or manage family needs. However, extended track students must be able to complete the 3 clinical education courses and the two final summer semesters on a full time basis.
Numerous student activities are offered on both campuses, consisting of picnics, intramural sports, cultural events, and student government activities. Additional information can be found on Student Life GTC Website at: gvltec.edu/studentlife/ During Phase II, students will also participate in local statewide CAPTA activities. Florence-Darlington Tech does not offer student housing on campus, but the Student Services offices will assist students from out of town to find lodging. Additional information can be obtained about FDTC Student life at FDTC Campus Life website.
Source: Physical Therapist