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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Guntersville AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Guntersville AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Guntersville 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 outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Guntersville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Guntersville medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Guntersville AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to 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. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Guntersville AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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