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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Glencoe AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is right for you. That's why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Glencoe 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 advice about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Glencoe AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Glencoe AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Glencoe health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Glencoe AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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