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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Scottsboro AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Scottsboro AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Scottsboro AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Scottsboro health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Scottsboro AL home. Those who have chosen 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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