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What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, 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 Casas Adobes AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Casas Adobes AZ physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to 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 Casas Adobes 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 even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Casas Adobes AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Casas Adobes health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Casas Adobes AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Casas Adobes AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 illness, work or family emergencies.

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