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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Glendale AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 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 simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Glendale AZ physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Glendale AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Glendale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Glendale medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 because of illness, work or family obligations.

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