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What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Talladega AL area and across Alabama, you'll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Talladega AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean 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 Talladega AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ 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 supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Talladega AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Talladega healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller 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 classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Talladega AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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