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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Fairhope AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college's reputation, beginning 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. Contact a few Fairhope AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. 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 schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Fairhope AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you select 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 every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Fairhope AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Fairhope health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairhope AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairhope AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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