June 9, 2009  

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Available at NACC

Northeast Alabama Community College continues to pursue programs that expand educational opportunities for residents of the college’s service area. In May of this year, NACC added another career opportunity through a partnership with Wallace State Community College, Hanceville. This is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program that will be taught at the Northeast campus. This fully-accredited off-campus expansion program initially will accept ten students, who will take laboratory classes and academic courses on the Northeast campus and travel to the Wallace-Hanceville campus one day per week.

“Establishing and maintaining an accredited physical therapist assistant program is an expensive process,” says Alina Adams, Program Director of the WSCC PTA Program, “yet through partnerships with other institutions like Northeast we are able to utilize existing program resources, minimizing the financial impact in tough economic times.” In addition to Northeast, Wallace-Hanceville also offers this program at Bevill State Community College in Hamilton. Wallace-Hanceville officials note that the expansion programs are exactly the same as the WSCC PTA Program on their campus. The expansion sites offer the same curriculum, labs, equipment and faculty. Although some online classes that are included in the program also include a significant amount of live classes and labs.

The expansion programs do, however, have a different start date than those on the Wallace-Hanceville campus with an application deadline of November 1 for program classes that begin each spring semester. Prospective students complete the first year of prerequisite classes at Northeast, prior to applying to the PTA program.

“We appreciate establishing this partnership with Wallace-Hanceville,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “Dr. Vicki Hawsey, Wallace-Hanceville President, and I began discussing bringing this program to the Northeast campus some time back. There is much involved in establishing a program like this off-campus, especially concerning accreditation issues. Wallace-Hanceville officials have been dedicated in their work to bring this program to Northeast.” Campbell added that Northeast’s state-of-the-art Teleconference Center permits the college to enter into programs of this nature. The Teleconference Center is a part of the college’s new Health Education and Technology Center, a building that includes advanced educational technology. “We received some educational grant funding from Alabama State Senator Lowell Barron for equipment in the Teleconference Center and we certainly appreciate that assistance,” Campbell stated.

Local students are excited about the new PTA expansion program. “Having the PTA Program this close to home will save me a lot of gas money,” said Tyler Hamilton from Shiloh, a community near Rainsville. “Plus, ten minutes after class is over, I can be at home studying.”

“We are so excited to be at NACC,” Adams said. “We have been warmly received and feel at home at NACC. For many years students from this area have traveled a significant distance to attend the PTA program at Hanceville. We’re just happy to be able to bring that same quality educational experience closer to home.”

Individuals interested in the PTA program should visit the program’s Web site at Click on “Programs” then select “Physical Therapist Assistant” from the list. The PTA program at Northeast is in addition to another health-related program on campus through which the college has a partnership with Wallace-Hanceville. This is the Radiology Program. This program also is conducted through the college’s Teleconference Center. NACC officials note that must projections show employee shortages in health care fields and that the college has attempted to add training programs in these areas in addition to those already established programs in nursing and paramedic studies. “We want to be a college to which people can turn to for all types of health care training,” Campbell stated. “Working through partnerships with an excellent college like Wallace-Hanceville permits us to expand. This is good for us, good for them, and most importantly of all, and good for our students.”

For additional information about the Physical Therapy Assistant program, contact Roger Wootten, at or phone ext. 355.

Pictured in the NACC Health Education Building are PTA Students Kade Harris, Union Grove; Tyler Hamilton, Rainsville; Josh Rogers, Ft. Payne; Jason Gibson, Huntsville; Tamaron Bridge, Geraldine; Sheree Tate, Huntsville; Krissy Gossett, Anniston; Beth Jackson, Flat Rock; and Tina Davis, Pisgah.
Gathered around the bronze college seal