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Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Clanton AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Clanton AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may 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 School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Clanton 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 college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have associations with Clanton AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain 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 assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Clanton medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Clanton AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clanton AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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