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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs

At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary degree that you would like to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Sitka AK area as well as across the United States, you must ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It's important that you confirm that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Sitka AK area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional 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 pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Sitka AK veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Sitka AK veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Sitka AK vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Sitka AK schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Sitka AK home, you need to 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's important that you ascertain if the vet colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Sitka AK. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need 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 issues. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.

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