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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the New Kingman Butler AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some New Kingman Butler AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the New Kingman Butler AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with New Kingman Butler AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the New Kingman Butler health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program also.

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

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the New Kingman Butler AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

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