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Bishop State Community College.

BISHOP STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (BSCC) in Mobile, Alabama, consists of four city campuses that serve the residents of Mobile and Washington counties in southwest Alabama. It is part of the Alabama Community College System, the state-supported network of two-year community, junior and technical colleges. The technical, occupational and career education courses are intended to prepare students for immediate employment, retrain existing employees and promote local and state economic stability and competitiveness. To accomplish its mission, the college offers both traditional classroom courses and distance learning programs. BSCC also partners with schools, business, industry and health care facilities such as Franklin Primary Health Center and Mobile Infirmary Medical Center.

BSCC offers one- and two-year career programs and university transfer programs, and among the programs BSCC offers in its Health-Related Professions Department is Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). BSCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, but its PTA program is additionally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Simply applying to the well-accredited and in-demand BSCC PTA program does not automatically mean a student will be accepted. A selection committee considers applications to the PTA program, and acceptance is based on points earned for overall GPA, which must be at least 2.75. For math and science courses, the GPA requirement may be higher. In addition to the academic prerequisites for acceptance into the program, students must have a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work experience in a physical therapy department. They are required to observe/volunteer for at least 25 hours in two different clinical settings. The program consists of general education and physical therapy courses, with concurrent theoretical and clinical experience provided in settings that include hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics and nursing facilities.

Among the courses in the program are Medical Terminology, Issues and Trends, Communication, Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology, Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Techniques and Orthopedics for PTAs. Students also take Physical Disabilities I and II, Therapeutic Procedures I and II, Clinical Education and Clinical Fieldwork. In addition, there is a summer semester that includes a seminar and clinical practicum.

Upon successful completion of the BSCC PTA program, the student is awarded an associate in applied science degree and may be eligible to take the licensure examination given by the Alabama State Board of Physical Therapy and the boards of physical therapy for other states. While admission to the program, and the program itself, may be rigorous, completion almost guarantees success. According to the BSCC student outcome report, graduates of its PTA program have 100 percent employment rates for 2008 through 2011. The graduates of the Bishop State Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program are finding rewarding careers, physical therapists are finding the trained professionals they need to assist them, and southwest Alabama residents will have the help they need for rehabilitation when an injury or illness occurs--making this career and technical education (CTE) program a winning proposition for everyone.

For more information about Bishop State Community College and its Physical Therapist Assistant Program, visit

Susan Reese is a Techniques contributing writer. She can be contacted at
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Author:Reese, Susan
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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