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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Trussville AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Trussville AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Trussville AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Trussville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Trussville medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Trussville AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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