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Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, 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 Kalifornsky AK area and across Alaska, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical 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 decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, beginning 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 also. Get in touch with some Kalifornsky AK physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent 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 School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Kalifornsky AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Kalifornsky AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Kalifornsky healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Kalifornsky AK home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kalifornsky AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours 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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