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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Opp AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose 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 receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. 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 may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Opp AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college 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 colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Opp AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose provides 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with 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 number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Opp AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Opp health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Opp AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College 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 particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Opp AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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