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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Oneonta AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can 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. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Oneonta AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Oneonta AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary 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 Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Oneonta AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Oneonta medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Oneonta AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oneonta AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. 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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