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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Flowing Wells AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Flowing Wells AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent 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 Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Flowing Wells AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms 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 essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Flowing Wells AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Flowing Wells healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size 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 want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Flowing Wells AZ home. Students who have decided 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

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