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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Nikiski AK area and across Alaska, you'll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides 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 College's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's essential 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 college's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Nikiski AK physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Nikiski AK area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Nikiski AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Nikiski health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size 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 prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Nikiski AK residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Nikiski AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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