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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Flagstaff AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Flagstaff AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with 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 couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Flagstaff AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Flagstaff health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Flagstaff AZ residence. 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

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

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Flagstaff AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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