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What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges

By now you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Montgomery AL area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech school you choose 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 screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Montgomery AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Montgomery AL vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Montgomery AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Montgomery AL veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

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

Where is the College Located?  Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Montgomery AL home, you need to make sure 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 close by 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 community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary colleges 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 Montgomery AL. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm 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 sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

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