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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Leeds AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Leeds AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might 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 colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Leeds AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Leeds AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Leeds medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Leeds AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required 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 live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Leeds AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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