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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Fortuna Foothills AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all 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 considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Fortuna Foothills AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. 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 colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left 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 assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose 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 each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Fortuna Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Fortuna Foothills health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Fortuna Foothills AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help 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 offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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