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Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type 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 because there are numerous PT colleges within the Oxford AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it can 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. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Oxford AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It may 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 College'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 considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Oxford AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Oxford AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Oxford medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Oxford AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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