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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Ozark AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Ozark AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Ozark AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Ozark AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Ozark health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Ozark AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ozark AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

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