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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Dixiana AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Dixiana AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college 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 schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Dixiana AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study 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 therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Dixiana AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dixiana medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Dixiana AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dixiana AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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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