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Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs

By now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Palmer AK area as well as across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that confirms 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Palmer AK area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Palmer AK vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with Palmer AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate could mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Palmer AK veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Palmer AK schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few 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 find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Palmer AK home, you must make sure that the commuting 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 school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend 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. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's essential that you find out if the vet colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough 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 Palmer AK. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.

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