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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 want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Anchorage AK area and throughout the USA, 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 first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Anchorage home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded 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 quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Anchorage AK 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 a number of employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Anchorage Alaska area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Anchorage AK after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Anchorage AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.