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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Troy AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Troy home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Troy AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Troy Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Troy AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Troy AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.