SNU Developing New Physical Therapist Assistant (A.S.) Degree

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Pending a successful candidacy decision, SNU will offer a new Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) associate degree in an accelerated format beginning January 2023. By attending classes just 1-2 nights a week, students will be prepared to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and become fully licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in 23 months. Classes will be held at SNU’s campus in Bethany, Oklahoma.

“The School of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences is excited to be able to offer the PTA program,” said the school’s chair, Dr. Sylvia Goodman. “It provides another avenue to be able to positively impact the lives of individuals in the greater Oklahoma City area. This program will be able to assist students from a variety of academic backgrounds as well as serve the underrepresented members of our community.”

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed clinician who works under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT) to apply interventions designed to restore optimal function of those individuals impaired by disease or injury. Common interventions include therapeutic exercise, patient education, physical agents, and functional training. PTAs work directly with patients with neurological and musculoskeletal impairments across the lifespan.

Students will become competent, ethical, and self-directed health care practitioners who model professional core values. The program is committed to graduating PTAs who meet the diverse needs of the community by providing high-quality patient care.

“We have a wide variety of clinicians and clinics across the United States who are partnering with us to provide our students with excellent clinical education experiences,” said Program Director Loren McElroy, DPT, PT. “We are excited to hold classes and lab activities in a newly renovated area for the School of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences.”

SNU’s accelerated courses are designed with busy adults in mind—comprehensive and convenient so students can further their education while maintaining a full schedule. The PTA degree accommodates adults who are working full-time, raising a family, and engaging in their community.

SNU provides extensive support including advising and enrollment assistance, free tutoring, and a broad network of local clinicians who also serve as associate faculty members and guest lecturers. The program also utilizes the cohort model, allowing students to learn alongside each other in community from start to finish.

Classes are anticipated to begin January 11, 2023 pending a successful candidacy decision. Learn more and apply online.

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100 Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Southern Nazarene University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June 1, 2022. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in PTA technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though the achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

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