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What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want 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 schools within the Dothan AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the college that is best for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Dothan AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Dothan AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Dothan AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Dothan healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large 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 prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Dothan AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 to those students that don't reside within their districts.

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

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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