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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Saraland AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Saraland AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might 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 School's Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Saraland AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Saraland AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Saraland health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Saraland AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Saraland AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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