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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Avra Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. 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 looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online school, 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. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Avra Valley AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college 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 colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Avra Valley AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Avra Valley AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Avra Valley medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Avra Valley AZ residence. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Avra Valley AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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