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Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Lake Havasu City AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college'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 also. Call a few Lake Havasu City AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Lake Havasu City AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lake Havasu City medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average 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 an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting 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 eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

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