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Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs

At this point you should have selected which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Pelham AL area and across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select 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 schools that you are looking at.

Is the Vet Program Accredited?  It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, 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 thorough screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Pelham AL area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools 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 organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Pelham AL veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs set up with Pelham AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging 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 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, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Pelham AL vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Pelham AL programs you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Pelham AL home, you have to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 at night near Pelham AL. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.

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