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Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs

By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Glencoe AL area and across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It's essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for a number of Glencoe AL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet college or trade school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Glencoe AL veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Glencoe AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate could suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Glencoe AL veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Glencoe AL colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Glencoe AL home, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it's essential that you find out if the vet schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Glencoe AL. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

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