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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools

By now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you would like to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Mobile AL area as well as across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet Program Accredited?  It's imperative that you verify that the vet tech school you enroll in 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 undergone a rigorous review process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Mobile AL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Mobile AL vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Mobile AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Mobile AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might 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, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Mobile AL programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Of course, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Mobile AL home, you have to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Mobile AL. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.

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