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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Calera AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Calera residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it might help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Calera AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Calera Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Calera AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Calera AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Calera AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.