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Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Palmer AK area and across Alaska, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Palmer AK physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Palmer AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Palmer AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Palmer medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Palmer AK home. Students 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. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Palmer AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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