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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like 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 Midfield AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Midfield AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Midfield AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Midfield AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Midfield healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Midfield AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Midfield AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

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