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What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges

At this point you should have decided on which veterinary degree that you want to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Birmingham AL area and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are looking at.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It's imperative that you verify that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 rigorous review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of Birmingham AL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with 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 complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Birmingham AL veterinarians that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Birmingham AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Birmingham AL vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Birmingham AL programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Birmingham AL home, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Birmingham AL. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.

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