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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Golden Valley AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That's why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Golden Valley AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Golden Valley AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you choose provides both superior 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Golden Valley AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Golden Valley medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final 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 also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Golden Valley AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Golden Valley AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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