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What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Roanoke AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That's why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Roanoke AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Roanoke AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Roanoke AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally 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 Roanoke medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Roanoke AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Roanoke AL area, make certain that they are available. 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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