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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Monroeville AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program'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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Monroeville AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Monroeville AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. 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 school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Monroeville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Monroeville health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Monroeville AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Monroeville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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