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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Tanaina AK area and throughout Alaska, you'll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That's why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school'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 also. Call a few Tanaina AK physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school 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 College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Tanaina AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you select provides 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Tanaina AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Tanaina healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Tanaina AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tanaina AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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