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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to attain 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 numerous pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Florence AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Florence home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Florence AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Florence Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Florence AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Florence AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.