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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Harvest AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Harvest AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Harvest AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Harvest AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience 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 develop professional connections in the Harvest healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Harvest AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Harvest AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

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