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Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs

At this point you probably have selected which veterinary degree that you would like to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Anchorage AK area as well as across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that ensures 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 offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Anchorage AK area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Anchorage AK veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Anchorage AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Anchorage AK veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective 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. Request from the Anchorage AK programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Anchorage AK home, you have to confirm that the commuting 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. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Anchorage AK. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.

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