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What to Ask Vet Tech Programs

By now you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Opp AL area and across the Country, you must ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It's essential that you verify that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Opp AL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The vet college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Opp AL veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Opp AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Opp AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Opp AL schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Opp AL home, you need to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located close by or within 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 particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the vet colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Opp AL. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your busy life.

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