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Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Oro Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That's why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received 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 program, it may also obtain 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. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Oro Valley 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 prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Oro Valley AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Oro Valley healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Oro Valley AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oro Valley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative 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 because of work, illness or family obligations.

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