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What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Fultondale AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Fultondale AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might 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 Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Fultondale AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Fultondale AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Fultondale healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Fultondale AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fultondale AL area, make certain 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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