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What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want 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 Homer AK area and across Alaska, you'll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Homer AK physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Homer AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon 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 satisfies the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Homer AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Homer medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Homer AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homer AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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