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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools

At this point you should have selected which veterinary degree that you would like 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, technical and vocational schools in the Fairbanks AK area and across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's essential that you verify that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for a number of Fairbanks AK area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some Fairbanks AK vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Fairbanks AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate could indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Fairbanks AK 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 assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Fairbanks AK programs you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Of course, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Fairbanks AK home, you must make sure 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Fairbanks AK. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.

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