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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Catalina Foothills AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting 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 several Catalina Foothills AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college 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 colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Catalina Foothills AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you select 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Catalina Foothills healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Catalina Foothills AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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