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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Bessemer AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive 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 Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Bessemer AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Bessemer AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. 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 additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Bessemer health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Bessemer AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bessemer AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. 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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