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Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Bisbee AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Bisbee AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea 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 Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of 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 Bisbee AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Bisbee AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Bisbee healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Bisbee AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bisbee 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 courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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