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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend 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 Mountain Brook AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Mountain Brook AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of 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 Mountain Brook AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each 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 fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Mountain Brook AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Mountain Brook healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical 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 a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Mountain Brook AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mountain Brook AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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