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What to Ask Vet Tech Schools

By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Russellville AL area as well as across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of 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 confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Russellville AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some Russellville AL veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with Russellville AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Russellville AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly 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 one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Russellville AL colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. 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 discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Russellville AL home, you need to confirm 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit 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 Russellville AL. Some may only be able to go to 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 may miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.

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