Bossier Parish Community College is proud to have an excellent, fully accredited PTA Program. The PTA Program is accredited by CAPTE (the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education), which is a requirement for graduates to be eligible to sit for the national PTA licensure exam. We encourage you to research the criteria for accreditation and view the most current list of accredited programs at capteonline.org.
After completion of the PTA clinical program, graduates are required to take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examinationto be eligible to apply for a licenseto practice as a PTA in the state of Louisiana.
For data related to BPCC PTA Program graduate success on licensure exam refer to the Program Data Chart.
Absolutely. While the majority of our applicants and clinical students live and plan to work in this area, we encourage and are in fact actively recruiting students from other regions of the state. Job availability and salaries continue to grow in those communities not served by a local PT or PTA program and we receive frequent calls from rural hospitals and clinics seeking PTA graduates. If you are from out of town and are interested in pursuing a PTA degree from BPCC you are encouraged to contact a PTA advisor for additional information and to request a personalized transcript review.
Our program has a high reputation in the community and our graduates have a high rate of employment. While the job market and salaries in the Shreveport-Bossier City area are very good, the available jobs and salary ranges in more “rural” areas outside Shreveport-Bossier City tend to be even higher. For specific data regarding employment statistics of BPCC PTA Program graduates, refer to the Program Data Chart.
More information on the job descriptions, job outlook and salaries for PTAs can be found on the website for the Bureau of Labor Statisticswebsite.
The majority of the pre-PTA curriculum for this Program may be completed at any accredited 4-year university or community college (near your home). In addition, the 4 scheduled clinical practice experiences/“internships” that occur during the clinical component (final year) of the program (each 4-5 weeks in length) may be scheduled in hospitals/PT clinics in or near your hometown. Your required time in Bossier would include:
While it is likely that within your degree you have taken some or even most of the pre-requisite course requirements, there is a strong possibility that you may be lacking one or more of the required classes. You should request that a PTA advisor review your transcript and help you identify what may be missing. Additionally, if a significant amount of time has passed since the completion of your degree, your advisor may recommend re-taking or auditing particular courses so that your knowledge in that content is current.
Selection for admission to the Clinical PTA Program is competitive and limited to the top 20 scoring applicants each year.
Phase I—Academic Scoring and Initial Applicant Ranking
Phase II—Non-Academic Scoring and Final Applicant Ranking
We accept a maximum of 20 students per year into the clinical phase of the PTA Program. The number of applicants varies from year to year, but has averaged around 90 for the past 2 years.
We encourage any applicant not selected for the clinical program to meet with a PTA advisor to review strengths/weaknesses of their application packet. Options for students not selected include (a) pursuing another allied health program at BPCC (b) working on improving an application score with re-application to the PTA program the following year (c) working toward completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field or (d) investigating PTA Program application at another institution.
The pre-PTA component of the program has only those costs associated with regular tuition per credit hour which is the same for all BPCC students. Once accepted into the clinical component of the program there are additional costs related to clinical fees, uniforms, immunizations, etc.
|Physical Therapist||Physical Therapist Assistant|
|Doctor of Physical Therapy (a Graduate School Degree)||Associate Degree|
|Starting Salary||Starting Salary|
|approximately $60,000 in Shreveport, LA||approximately $38,000 in Shreveport, LA|
Develop plan of care
Treat and reassess patients
Supervise the PTA
|Work under the supervision of physical therapist.
|Patient Conditions Treated (Examples)||Patient Conditions Treated (Examples)|
Spinal Cord Injury
Pediatric Developmental Delay
|Same as Physical Therapist|
|Work Place (Examples)||Work Place (Examples)|
Home Health Agencies
|Same as Physical Therapist|
|Requires Licensure Exam To Work||Requires Licensure Exam To Work|
|Schools That Offer Training||Schools That Offer Training|
In order to become a Physical Therapist, a student must complete a Doctoral level program in Physical Therapy. In Louisiana, there are 2 institutions which offer that degree program – Louisiana State University Health in Shreveport and Louisiana State University Health in New Orleans. While completing an Associate Degree in PTA is not the most typical “route” to take in pursuing a degree in Physical Therapy, it is one option.
Acceptance into the DPT Programs in Louisiana is on a selective/competitive basis. In order to apply for admission to those programs, you must first obtain a Baccalaureate Degree. Additionally, that B.S. degree must include all of the pre-requisite (pre-PT) courses required by the respective programs. For a more complete description of the pre-requisite requirements and application/selection process utilized by those programs we encourage you to review the website of those programs and/or contact faculty advisors/instructors with questions.
Typically, students wishing to become a Physical Therapist must first complete a 4-yr. B.S. degree and then apply for admission to a Doctoral-level Physical Therapy Program. Obtaining an Associate Degree in PTA first is neither necessary or common. Locally, however, there is an opportunity for graduates of the BPCC PTA Program to transfer to Louisiana State University in Shreveport and receive transfer credit for many of the PTA qualification courses and selected* PTA clinical courses if they wish to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Community Health. With careful attention to fulfill the pre-requisite requirements for PT school application while pursuing that B.S. degree, the LSU-S graduate may then make application to the Louisiana State University Health DPT Program. Students wishing to complete the PTA Program and then transfer to LSU-S to complete the Bachelor's Degree in Community Health should contact a PTA advisor for more information on that articulation.
Please be aware that the PTA Program at Bossier Parish Community College and the PT Program at Louisiana State University Health are in no way linked or affiliated. There is no “shortcut” toward achieving a degree in Physical Therapy provided by first becoming a PT Assistant. Additionally, please be aware that graduates of the BPCC PTA Program are not given preference in the selection process for the Louisiana State University Health DPT Program. Becoming a PTA while en-route to becoming a PT offers primarily the advantage of providing the student earlier opportunities for work experience and income earning in the field of physical therapy.
* BPCC PTA to LSU-S transfer students will need to schedule an appointment with an advisor in the LSU-S College of Education and Human Development Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences for an official degree plan.
While the pre-PTA (pre-clinical phase) coursework can be completed in a variety of formats (ex: part-time or full-time; day or evening classes), students once accepted and enrolled into the clinical phase of the Program must be prepared to commit to a full-time day program schedule. While there is some variability based on guest speaker availability, field trips, conferences, and clinical site hours, most typically a PTA clinical student would be expected to be available for the following:
First Summer Semester of the Clinical Program
Fall Semester of the Clinical Program
Spring Semester of the Clinical Program
Final Summer Semester of the Clinical Program