Love making a difference? As a PTA, you’ll make it your job to help others grow stronger.

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) help individuals of all ages who are ill, injured, or have a health condition that limits the ability to perform daily activities.

Under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, PTAs can work in many different settings. These include: hospitals, outpatient centers, home health, sports/fitness, long-term care, and other facilities. PTAs teach patients exercises for mobility, strength, and coordination, as well as helping clients train for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers.

The Program

TCL’s full-time PTA program consists of 69 credit hours completed over five consecutive semesters. The curriculum includes general education, science, and PTA courses taught on site and in a variety of off-campus laboratory and clinical sites.

Plus, this program is eligible for the S.C. Wins Scholarship, which can pay up to $65 per credit hour.

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  • Important Dates

    The application period for the Fall 2022 cohort has closed. Please check back soon for new information.

    You may contact Cindy Mooney at or make an appointment through your Navigate account to determine if you are eligible to apply. Appointments may be virtual!

    To schedule Achieve 3000—please email Health Sciences Advisor Cindy Mooney (

    • Last Day for Achieve 3000 testing will be June 16.
    • Achieve 3000 testing will take place at the Beaufort Campus.

    To schedule TEAS—please email

    As of May 18, 2020 math and science courses must be completed within the last 5 years to be considered for Health Science applications.

    Certify Your Skills

    Earn valuable industry credentials! Coursework qualifies students to apply to take the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (NPTE) exam. TCL’s graduates continue to perform well above the national average. PTAs must complete an associate degree and successfully pass NPTE exam to be licensed in most states including South Carolina.

    TCL PTA Program Specific Statistics
    Graduating ClassGraduation RateNPTE 1st Time Pass RateNPTE Overall Pass RateEmployment Rate
    2-year average (2020-21)94.7%81.3%87.5%100%
    Yearly Data    

    Accreditation & Accolades

    Physical Therapist Assistant Program at The Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 843-525-8230 or email

    Quick Facts


    It pays to be a PTA: the median annual wage is $59,410.


    Learn about nutrition, kinesiology, therapeutic methods, and rehabilitation practices.


    The 2-year PTA program consists of 69 credit hours over five full-time semesters.


    The job outlook is exceptional for all TCL health sciences graduates. The South Carolina’s annual mean wage for a physical therapist assistant is $59,410, according to 2020 reports from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Earnings can increase substantially with time and experience


    Total Tuition: 69 credits x $200 per credit = $13,800.

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free. See more about paying for TCL.

    *Based on Fall 2021 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary.


    “The Physical Therapist Assistant career path is a rewarding one with various job prospects.
    Make your career move by helping others stay in motion with the TCL PTA program.”

    Kara Santana

    Program Director


    Important Additional Requirements

    Applicants interested in the Physical Therapist Assistant program must first complete the college admission application process. The student will then make an appointment to meet with a Health Science Advisor. Acceptance into the college does not guarantee admission into a health sciences program. Applications for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program may only be obtained from Health Science Advisors. Call 843.525.8267 for additional information and to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

    Is this program for you?

    Yes, particularly if you:

    • like working with people.
    • excel in science.
    • Have physical strength to move and lift patients.

    Program Dean

    Joey Swearingen

    Dean, Health Sciences


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 113


    Kara Santana

    PTA Program Director/PTA Instructor


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 126

    Kari Canfield

    ACCE-PTA Program/PTA Instructor


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 126