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Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Southside AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Southside AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Southside AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Southside AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Southside health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Southside AL home. Individuals 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Southside AL area, verify 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 enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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