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What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hueytown AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That's why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Hueytown AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Hueytown AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Hueytown AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Hueytown health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Hueytown AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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