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Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Fishhook AK area and throughout Alaska, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Fishhook AK physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Fishhook AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each 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 exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Fishhook AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain 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 can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fishhook healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Fishhook AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fishhook AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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