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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want 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 Pike Road AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school's reputation, beginning 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Pike Road AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. 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 filed against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Pike Road AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum 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 therapy school. While licensing requirements differ 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 additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Pike Road AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Pike Road health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Pike Road AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pike Road AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

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