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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Pleasant Grove AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online college, it may 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 simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting 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 also. Get in touch with a few Pleasant Grove AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest 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 find out 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 find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Pleasant Grove AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Pleasant Grove AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Pleasant Grove healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want 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 average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Pleasant Grove AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pleasant Grove AL area, make certain that they are available. 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 enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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