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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Eufaula AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is right 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 all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Eufaula AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent 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 two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Eufaula AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Eufaula AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Eufaula health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Eufaula AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eufaula AL area, make certain that they are offered. 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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