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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Cullman AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Cullman AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Cullman AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Cullman AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training 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 students and graduates form professional relationships in the Cullman healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Cullman AL home. Individuals who have decided 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cullman AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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