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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Chelsea AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for 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 as well. Call several Chelsea AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Chelsea 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 perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Chelsea AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Chelsea healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Chelsea AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chelsea AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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