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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Kodiak AK area and throughout Alaska, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Kodiak AK physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Kodiak AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Kodiak AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kodiak healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big 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 probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Kodiak AK residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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