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What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Tillmans Corner AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick 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 colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Tillmans Corner AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see 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 each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Tillmans Corner AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Tillmans Corner AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Tillmans Corner health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher 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 a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Tillmans Corner AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tillmans Corner AL area, verify that they are available. 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

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