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What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Anthem AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring 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 Standing? Along with accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Anthem AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Anthem AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Anthem AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Anthem healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Anthem AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Anthem AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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