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What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, 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 Moores Mill AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Moores Mill 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 might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Moores Mill AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Moores Mill AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive 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 assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Moores Mill medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Moores Mill AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

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

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