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What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, 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 Camp Verde AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That's why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Camp Verde AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with 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 Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Camp Verde AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Camp Verde AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Camp Verde medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Camp Verde AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Camp Verde AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

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