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What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Chino Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Chino Valley AZ physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Chino Valley AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms 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 important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Chino Valley AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Chino Valley health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. Those who have opted 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. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school 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 therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chino Valley AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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