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Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

By now you should have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Gateway AK area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 demanding review process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Gateway AK area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Gateway AK vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective 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 established with Gateway AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Offered?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Gateway AK 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 assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Gateway AK programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Gateway AK home, you have to confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school 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 taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Gateway AK. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.

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