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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools

At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Troy AL area and across the USA, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Troy AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Troy AL vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs 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 clinical environment. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with Troy AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm 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 outstanding reputation within the Troy AL veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well thought of 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 individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Troy AL schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we already covered 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 Troy AL home, you must confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the vet schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Troy AL. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.

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