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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Enterprise AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Enterprise AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school 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 Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Enterprise AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Enterprise AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience 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 graduates and students develop professional connections in the Enterprise medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Enterprise AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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