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What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Daleville AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Daleville AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with 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 couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Daleville AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Daleville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Daleville health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Daleville AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daleville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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