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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Goodyear AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final 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 previously 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Goodyear AZ physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Goodyear AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. 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. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Goodyear AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Goodyear health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Students who have chosen 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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