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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Hamilton AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Hamilton AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 college's job placement program, particularly in the Hamilton AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Hamilton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hamilton health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Hamilton 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 area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hamilton AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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