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Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs

At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you want to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Kodiak AK area as well as across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's important that you confirm that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Kodiak AK area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online 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 complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Kodiak AK veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with Kodiak AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may 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 teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check 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 Kodiak AK veterinary community and has a substantial 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 placement program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kodiak AK schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Kodiak AK home, you need to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Kodiak AK. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.

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