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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Gilbert AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive 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 simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. 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 a few Gilbert AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. 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 College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant 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 might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Gilbert AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. 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 college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Gilbert medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Gilbert AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

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