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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Brewton AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's why we have compiled 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 Program 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 doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

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 community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Brewton AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Brewton AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you enroll in 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Brewton AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Brewton medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Brewton AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brewton AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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