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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Southside AL area and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of 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 ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Southside AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement 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 department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Southside AL veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with Southside AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Southside AL vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Southside AL colleges you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Southside AL home, you need to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Southside AL. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.