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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Wasilla AK area and throughout Alaska, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Wasilla AK physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Wasilla AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Wasilla AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Wasilla health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Wasilla AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose 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 evening or weekend classes in the Wasilla AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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