Accreditation renewal: ‘No

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 1999


Wednesday, November 03, 1999

A nine-month accreditation process ended in good news for Riverland Community College’s physical therapy assistant program. A three-member board has reviewed the college’s application and deemed there were no deficiencies in the program.

Email newsletter signup

Sue Howard, PTA program director, said she had spent nine months compiling the information for the process.

&uot;I had to prepare a document like this,&uot; Howard said pointing to a large binder notebook, &uot;that told how we set up the program, what our resources are, the curriculum and how we evaluate the program and the students.&uot;

In addition to the large application document, Howard said she had two crates of support documentation on site while the team visited last week.

&uot;They came around to see if we’re on the right track and looked for any red flags,&uot; Howard said.

Though a lengthy process, Howard said everyone benefits.

&uot;Personally, I learned a lot. I actually enjoyed the whole thing. It was a good experience to grow and learn,&uot; she said.

And as the only accredited PTA program in southern Minnesota, Riverland and the Albert Lea community also gain, she said.

&uot;It certainly attracts more students to the area,&uot; Howard said. &uot;Probably all of the PTAs working in the community came from the area.&uot;

As other graduates look to various communities, they will &uot;spread the word about Albert Lea,&uot; Howard added.

Plus, the college is considering distance learning in the future.

&uot;It’s hard because there’s so much lab work,&uot; Howard said. &uot;But we could have the lecture on the Internet and have them come in for labs.&uot;

Students are also required to do three clinical rotations – one at a nursing home, another at a hospital, and a third in the health care area of their preference.

&uot;We’re also collaborating with the other three health sciences in Austin,&uot; Howard said. &uot;Collaboration is critical in health care today. The key word is teamwork.&uot;

Currently there are 45 students in the program, with 25 graduating in December. New classes start in January.