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IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Fairbanks AK area and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Fairbanks AK area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Fairbanks AK vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Fairbanks AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Fairbanks AK veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairbanks AK schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Fairbanks AK home, you need to confirm 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, particularly if the school is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Fairbanks AK. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.