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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Alexander City AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Alexander City home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Alexander City AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This condition can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Alexander City Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Alexander City AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Alexander City AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexander City AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.