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Things to Ask Vet Tech Colleges

By now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Meadow Lakes AK area as well as across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, such as 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 factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you choose 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 thorough review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Meadow Lakes AK area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet 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 relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Meadow Lakes AK veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with Meadow Lakes AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Meadow Lakes AK veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Meadow Lakes AK programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback 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?  Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Meadow Lakes AK home, you must confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, 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. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Meadow Lakes AK. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.

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