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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Coolidge AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Coolidge AZ physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Coolidge AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Coolidge AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Coolidge medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Coolidge AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School 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 opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Coolidge AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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