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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Robertsdale AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That's why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Robertsdale AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It might 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Robertsdale AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Robertsdale AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Robertsdale healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Robertsdale AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Robertsdale AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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