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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Theodore AL area and across Alabama, you'll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Theodore AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Theodore AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Theodore AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Theodore medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Theodore AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Theodore AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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