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Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Laveen AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Laveen AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Laveen AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. 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 school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Laveen AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Laveen healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Laveen AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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