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What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Attalla AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Attalla AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Attalla AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every 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 fluctuate 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 supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Attalla AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Attalla medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Attalla AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, verify 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

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