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What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Albertville AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Albertville AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Albertville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Albertville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Albertville medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Albertville AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Albertville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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