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Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs

Montgomery Alabama cat in portable kennel in vet clinicBy now you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Montgomery AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It's essential that you verify that the vet tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that confirms you will obtain a superior 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 college is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Montgomery AL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Montgomery AL vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The best approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Montgomery AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Offered?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Montgomery AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Montgomery AL schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Montgomery AL home, you have to make sure 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, especially if the campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, 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 particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Montgomery AL. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.

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