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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as 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 El Mirage AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in 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 therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several El Mirage AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. 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 College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 El Mirage AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you enroll in provides 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ 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? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the El Mirage medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their El Mirage AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 don't reside within their districts.

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

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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