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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Jacksonville AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Jacksonville AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program 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 colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Jacksonville AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Jacksonville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Jacksonville medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big 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 likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity 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 school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Jacksonville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Jacksonville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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