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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Apache Junction AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Apache Junction AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower 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 placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Apache Junction AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. 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 school. While 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 supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Apache Junction healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Apache Junction AZ home. Individuals who have decided 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Apache Junction AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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