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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kingman AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

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 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting 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 several Kingman AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Kingman AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Kingman AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Kingman medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Kingman AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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