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What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Alexander City AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Alexander City AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see 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 need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Alexander City AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Alexander City healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Alexander City AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexander City AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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