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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Mobile AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school's reputation, beginning 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 Mobile AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean 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 Mobile AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary 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 exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Mobile AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Mobile health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class 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 schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Mobile AL home. Those who have chosen 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need 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? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mobile AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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