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Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges

By now you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Mesa AZ area as well as across the Country, you should ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 demanding screening process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Mesa AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some Mesa AZ veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with Mesa AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Mesa AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Mesa AZ colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Mesa AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Mesa AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.

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