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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Steele Creek AK area and across Alaska, you'll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Steele Creek AK physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Steele Creek AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Steele Creek AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Steele Creek medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Steele Creek AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may 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 for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide 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 Steele Creek AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

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