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Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Lake Montezuma AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That's why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Lake Montezuma AZ physical therapist 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 program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Lake Montezuma AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you choose 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Lake Montezuma AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training 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 develop professional connections in the Lake Montezuma healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Lake Montezuma AZ residence. Students who have opted 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 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Montezuma AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

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