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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Chandler AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. 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 College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Chandler AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Chandler AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Chandler medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Chandler AZ home. Students who have chosen 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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