fbpx Skip to Content
Skip to main content


For the first time in the 19-year history of the Physical Therapist Assistant program (PTA) at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), the class will be awarded the REACH 100 Platinum Award by the national professional organization known as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This is a student membership award given every school year. All programs with this award are recognized on the APTA website along with other programs who achieve this award.

“Because this class represents the next generation of physical therapist assistants, this allows our students to become advocates for their chosen profession and provides leadership and growth opportunities as they each begin their career as a PTA,” said Dr. Dawn Smathers, PTA lead instructor. “Many of our students have also chosen to align their membership into specific sections, such as orthopedic physical therapy or sports physical therapy.”

Criteria to meet the REACH 100 Platinum Award is for 100 percent of enrolled student PTAs to become student members of the APTA.   Sidney Morgan, director of the PTA program, received the Advanced Proficiency in Physical Therapy Education Award. There are only 18 Physical Therapist Assistants who have received the award in education in the United States.

Eligibility requirements include:

• APTA membership

• Five years of teaching experience

• 900 total contact hours of teaching, including 180 hours in the past year

• 60 contact hours of continuing education

• 45 hours in topics related to education

• Excellent references

• Evidence of volunteer/community-minded experiences

“NEO’s PTA program is excited for the future in physical therapy practice in the state of Oklahoma,” Morgan said. “With the passing of House Bill 1020 beginning in Nov. 2014, patients will have greater opportunities to access physical therapy care through direct access.” To learn more about NEO’s PTA program email samorgan@neo.edu or call (918) 540-6396.

Back to top