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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools

By now you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Anniston AL area and across the Country, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Anniston AL area veterinary clinics and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Anniston AL vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Anniston AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Anniston AL veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Anniston AL programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Anniston AL home, you must confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's essential that you determine if the veterinarian schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Anniston AL. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.

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