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What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Phoenix AZ area as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Phoenix AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the vet 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 tips include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Phoenix AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as 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 Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate may mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Phoenix AZ schools you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you must 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 campus is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Phoenix AZ. Others might 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 due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.