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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges

By now you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, 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 Ketchikan AK area as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 thorough screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Ketchikan AK area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The vet college or vocational school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Ketchikan AK veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with Ketchikan AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Offered?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate could signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy 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 might signify that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Ketchikan AK veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Ketchikan AK schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get 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?  Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Ketchikan AK home, you need to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Ketchikan AK. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.

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