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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Hartselle AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Hartselle AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. 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 Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Hartselle AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Hartselle AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hartselle medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Hartselle AL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Hartselle 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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