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SPC > Academics > Health Sciences > Orthotics and Prosthetics > J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics

J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics

  • Arlene Gillis named O&P News 175 Innovator

    Tampa, Florida – O&P News has announced Arlene Gillis, LPO, Program Director a member of its inaugural edition of the O&P News 175 – an elite group of 175 O&P professionals who O&P News has identified as leading innovators in the field of orthotics and prosthetics. Read more.

    First graduates receive O&P master’s degrees

    O&P Grads Brian Moran, Gabriel Henao, Stephanie Poling, Orializ Gonzales and Tony Ferraro awaiting to receive their master’s diplomas On August 8, 2015 the first 14 SPC graduates of the orthotics and prosthetics master’s program received their specialized O&P engineering degrees at a Florida State University graduation ceremony in Tallahassee. Read more.

    New Orthotics and Prosthetics program receives accreditation

    This Fall marks the implementation of the newly accredited orthotics and prosthetics technician AS degree program from CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Care Educational Programs), which is the first and only associate degree for orthotic and prosthetic technicians in Florida. Read more.

    ABC board exam returns to SPC

    This month, the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics & Prosthetics will once again have the privilege of hosting the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. During the second and third week of June, St. Petersburg College will serve as the site for the ABC Clinical Patient Management exams. Read more.

    Spotlighting Women in Orthotics and Prosthetics – Arlene Gillis

    ABOVE: Arlene Gillis, center, with veterans climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists is dedicated to promoting professionalism and advancing the standards of patient care through education, literature, research, advocacy and collaboration. This month they spotlight Arlene Gillis, our director of the J.E. Read more.

  • ImportantAfter performing an extensive review and analysis of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Orthotics & Prosthetics (ORTHO-BAS) degree program, St. Petersburg College, in January 2016, decided to close this program and not accept any new students. This was not an easy decision, nor entered into lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration, including rising enrollment in the college’s associate program and declining enrollment in the bachelor’s program. Both enrollment shifts are tied to degree requirement changes instituted in 2012 by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education, which changed the requirements for a practitioner from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree. SPC remains committed to our students currently enrolled in the BAS Orthotics & Prosthetics program, and they will have the opportunity to continue and complete their bachelor's degree.

  • Orthotic FitterCertificates and Continuing Education

    We offer courses for current licensed professionals and certificates those wanting to get into the field of orthotics and prosthetics such as orthotic fitter, mastectomy fitter and pedorthist. See our full course descriptions. 

  • Annual research trek to Keys highlighted

    The Key West Citizen covered SPC's annual research trek to the Florida Keys with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, designed to test new prosthetics and establish baseline measurements for their efficiency and versatility.

    Billy CostelloTampa Tribune covers sergeant's dream of designing own prosthesis

    In November, the Tampa Tribune covered the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Costello who, with the help of St. Petersburg College’s J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics, is designing a prosthetic device that will allow him to return to the level of activity he had as a Green Beret combat diver.

    Program Director Arlene Gillis is coordinating the effort with Florida State University, which partners with SPC to offer a master’s in industrial engineering, with a specialization in the management of orthotics and prosthetics.

    Orthotics studentCollege receives $2-million to boost O&P career education

    SPC's Orthotics and Prosthetics program will receive a $2 million federal workforce training grant to expand and improve the delivery of orthotics and prosthetics career education. The college will join a consortium led by Century College tasked with increasing the number of trained, certified health care workers with expertise in orthotics and prosthetics.

    Read our news story » 

    Holly and MarmadukeSPC helping wounded veteran take steps toward a new life

    Graduates and partners of SPC's Orthotics and Prosthetics program are using the latest orthotic technology to help Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman Holly Crabtree.

    Read our news story »
    Hear from graduate Caitlyn Collins in her own words » 

    Michael L. McCauley 

    Research in Keys noted in national publication

    SPC’s research on underwater prosthetics in the Florida Keys with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge was recently detailed in O&P Business News. Check out previous press coverage of the trip and hear from SPC graduate Michael L. McCauley in his own words:


    Comprehensive Innovation Center could have big impact

    SPC has launched the Orthotics and Prosthetics Comprehensive Innovation Center thanks to funding from the 2013 Florida Legislative session. Through the center, SPC will offer new certificates and degrees in Orthotics and Prosthetics and increase the number of highly qualified graduates who can enter the field. A local community news outlet even noted SPC is "blazing a trail" in the field now.

  • A Leader in Orthotics and Prosthetics Training

    Since 2005, SPC has been a national leader in developing and providing Orthotics and Prosthetics training through its $11-million J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics. This expanding allied health field involves evaluating, fabricating and custom fitting artificial limbs and orthopedic braces to help rehabilitate patients with disabling conditions. Demand for these professionals is increasing, as are the educational requirements.

    Orthotics and Prosthetics 

    Academic Degrees

  • OP facilities


    Extensive laboratory experiences are necessary in O&P education to master the computerized planning process, materials fabrication and professional patient skills. The O&P building has 5,151 square feet of actual lab space and another 3,443 of lab support space (CAD, machining, lamination, plaster room, thermal forming, mill/lathe, material testing, etc.).

    SPC provides:

    • Main laboratory with 48 individual work stations, 12 specialized fabrication devices, an overhead and wall projector system, and four industrial sewing machines
    • Twenty-four (24) CAD/CAM systems
    • Five specialized fabrication rooms with state-of-the-art industrial equipment
    • Dedicated human model evaluation and practice treatment room that serves 10 patients at one time
    • Plaster room with 16 workstations
    • Thermal forming room with 12 workstations and three industrial ovens
    • Dedicated model room with eight laser scanners; four GaitRite mat systems; two sports motion analysis systems and electronic F-socket sensor systems; three laser posture systems; an alignment system; and an upper limb myoelectric tester
    • Evaluation rooms with related gait and motion equipment
    • Mill room that houses two computerized Omega carvers
    • Lamination room with eight laminating stations
    • Multiple exam rooms for on-site patient treatment and full clinic facility
  • Growing Demand for O&P

    Demand for O&P professionals continues to grow, as do the educational requirements. Careers in orthotics and prosthetics include practitioners (certified orthotists and certified prosthetists), pedorthists, assistants, fitters and technicians. The practitioner level provides comprehensive care, including assessment, treatment plans and practice management, and requires a master's degree. Those who assist practitioners at various levels need post-secondary training and certifications.

    Changing demographics and health factors will significantly raise the demand for trained O&P professionals. In fact, a recent study by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education estimates that without an increase in O&P graduates, the number of practicing orthotists can serve just 61% of patients who need them. The study also projects the number of people using prostheses to increase by 50%. Some reasons for the expected rise in need in the United States include:

    • About 156,000 individuals lose a limb each year
    • More than 1.5 million people have had amputations and need ongoing care
    • More than 54 million people experience functional limitations due to impairment or health conditions
    • Rising rates of obesity and diabetes will impact the need for services:
      • Nearly one-third of the adult population is obese and another one-third is overweight.
      • Estimates indicate the rate of diabetes may rise as high as one in three for people born after the year of 2000, with as many as 29 million people affected by 2050.
    • By 2030, 20 percent of the United States population will be 65 or older.
    • Arthritis is on the rise in America with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projecting that 67 million people will be afflicted by 2030. Orthoses may be used to stabilize joints, reduce pain and improve function.
    • People who survive strokes are often left with physical disabilities requiring orthotic devices.
    • The number of amputees returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is more than double that of other wars, with more than 30,000 soldiers with significant injuries requiring O&P services.
  • Partnerships

    Since its inception, the O&P program has partnered with J.E. Hanger Corp., one of the largest providers of orthotic and prosthetic services in the U.S. The J.E. Hanger Corp. is a long-standing benefactor of the program and partners with SPC on educational, clinical and material management activities.

    Other partnership opportunities exist in research, enhancement and development of products and materials, including:

    • Improving prosthetic devices - partnering with Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge 
    • CAD CAM - partnering with Ohio Willow Wood (Ohio)
    • Cranial Shaping/Helmets - partnering with Orthoamerica (California)
    • GaitRite Training - partnering with Prokinetics

    Partnerships with Vendors

    • Alro Metals
    • Cascade Orthopedic
    • Curbell Plastics
    • Dick Blick
    • Euro International
    • Grainger Supply
    • Hosmer Dorrance Corp.
    • Patterson Medical
    • Southern Prosthetic Supply
    • WBC Industries

    Partnerships with Health Care Providers

    SPC has partnerships with more than 50 clinical agencies in Florida, including:

    • All Children’s Hospital
    • Becker Orthopedic
    • Cascade Orthopedic
    • Central Fabricators, Inc.
    • College Park Industries
    • Copeland Prosthetics & Research
    • Donjoy Orthopedic
    • Friddle’s Orthopedic
    • Fillauer Orthopedic
    • Florida Brace & Limb
    • Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.
    • HOPE Inc.
    • James A. Haley VA Medical Center
    • Norpro O & P
    • Orlando Regional Medical Ctr.
    • Otto Bock Industries
    • Paterson Medical Supplies
    • PEL Supply
    • Shriners Hospital for Children
    • Tampa General Hospital
    • Willow Wood Prosthetics
  • Need more information on advising or admissions?

    Contact an Advisor

    Contact Arlene Gillis, Program Director at 341-4151

  • American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)

    As the pre-eminent professional organization in orthotics and prosthetics, the mission of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists is to promote high standards of patient care through advocacy, education, and literature & research. In keeping with this mission the Academy is the professional organization representing practitioners credentialed by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

    American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (ABC)

    The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (ABC) is the national certifying and accrediting body for the orthotic and prosthetic professions. The public requires and deserves assurance that the persons providing orthotic and prosthetic services and care are qualified to provide the appropriate services, and it was on this basis that the ABC was established as a credentialing organization.

    American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA)

    The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) is a national trade association committed to providing high quality, unprecedented business services and products to O&P professionals.

    International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)

    The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), is a multi-disciplinary organization comprised of persons who have a professional interest in the clinical, educational and research aspects of prosthetics, orthotics, rehabilitation engineering and related topics.

    Amputee Coalition of America (ACA)

    The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) is a national, non-profit amputee consumer educational organization representing people who have experienced amputation or are born with limb differences. The ACA includes individual amputees, amputee education and support groups for amputees, professionals, family members and friends of amputees, amputation or limb loss related agencies, and organizations.

    Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund (OPAF)

    The Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund (OPAF) is a nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(3) public charity, established and incorporated by the Orthotics and Prosthetics National Office. Dedicated initially to providing financial and in-kind support to the 1996 Paralympics, the Fund now generates its own initiatives through partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions engaged in raising public awareness of physical disability; and improving the quality of rehabilitation medicine, science, and technology.

    oandp.com, the global information portal for orthotics and prosthetics

    oandp.com is an Internet portal dedicated to providing comprehensive information and services to the orthotics and prosthetics profession. The vision of oandp.com is to make as much information as possible freely available to both professionals and consumers, toward the goal of improving the quality of care provided by O&P professionals and the quality of life of their patients.

    oandptech.com, website for O&P technicians

    A new website dedicated to serving the needs of O&P technicians. Resources include a web forum for the discussion of technical issues, a classified section and educational information.