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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Fort Mohave AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Fort Mohave AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know 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 instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Fort Mohave AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Fort Mohave AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Fort Mohave medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Fort Mohave AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn 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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