Best/Worst Distance Learning Vet Tech Schools?

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Hollie in Trieste, Italy

76 months ago

I want to go to school to become a Vet Tech, but am currently stationed in Italy with my husband (USAF) so I'll have to do a distance learning program. Does anyone have an opinion on the best or worst online programs?
Thanks!

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Amy Kam in Denver, Colorado

71 months ago

Hollie in Trieste, Italy said: I want to go to school to become a Vet Tech, but am currently stationed in Italy with my husband (USAF) so I'll have to do a distance learning program. Does anyone have an opinion on the best or worst online programs?
Thanks!

I am currently finishing my first semester at san juan college new mexico. I like that i dont have to do something daily because i dont always have time but yet i still have deadlines so I am making strides towards my goal of CVT.
Amy Kam 3 yrs experience
Banfield the Pet Hospital

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futurevet_tech_arizona in Scottsdale, Arizona

70 months ago

Hello,

I have looked into all the distance learning programs that are accredited by the AVMA and San Juan College is far superior than the others. Penn Foster college didn't have any pass rates from the state exams and have alot of hidden fees along the way. PFC also has a "payment plan" but forget to disclose that all the payments have to be made before you graduate. I decided to enroll at SJC because San Juan's staff is very attentive and helpful.

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barrelracer in Livingston, Tennessee

70 months ago

Hello,

I am 30 years old and want to go back to school to be a vet tech. I have been researching Penn Foster. I have worked as a non certified vet tech with our local vet. I have a high school education and wondering if I should take any refresher courses before starting the vet tech program at Penn Foster. They told me I would have to take a test before being enrolled. Did anyone have trouble with this? Also, are the classes pretty tough and is help available when needed with Penn Foster? I would appreciate your thoughts.

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

69 months ago

Dear Kenggy,

All of the online programs that I have researched have some sort of hands-on Practicum that you have to complete. I think this is how they can qualify for accredidation by the AVMA. At San Juan College you are required to work 10 hrs per week in a vet hospital/clinic after you finish your 1st Tier courses. The Tiers are set up on a series of courses usually 8 courses per tier--4 tiers total in the program. The school runs on a trimester system so within your first year you should try and find a PT job or volunteering position to satisfy this requirement.

I have taken online courses to complete my Bachelor's degree through a very well known university and I actually feel that I received more attention from the instructors in the online program than in a traditional classroom setting.

One of the main reasons I selected San Juan College is because of the staff and (DVM) Director of the vet program. They are SO attentive to all of your questions and give you so many resources not only to learn but to succeed in the field. This online program is one of the few that are FULLY accredited by the AVMA. Most are still in a provisional probationary status.

Online courses are not easy and not for everyone. Alot of people cannot complete the courses entirely. You have to be self-dedicated and willing to basically set-up "school time" at home. The course syllabus is very thorough and combines text, online video lectures and discussion boards between your peers. The online portal they use is the same as larger universities and very user-friendly. If you visit their website: www.sanjuancollege.com

You can take a test drive of the content of the courses and see what the portal is like. If you are still interested, contact Sherry Hair, she is the director of the program and a wealth of information.

I hope this info helps. If you have any other questions, just feel free to ask!

Ciao!

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

69 months ago

Amy Kam in Denver, Colorado said: I am currently finishing my first semester at san juan college new mexico. I like that i dont have to do something daily because i dont always have time but yet i still have deadlines so I am making strides towards my goal of CVT.
Amy Kam 3 yrs experience
Banfield the Pet Hospital

Hi Amy,

Can you tell me about your experience at Banfield? I am a 1st year student at SJC and want to work at Banfield for my practicum. They just hired me as a CCC (reception) and I have heard good and bad about the place. What has your experience been like?

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Angela in Garden Grove, California

67 months ago

To anyone interested in Penn Foster: please look elsewhere for your degree. The negative facts that other people have stated about them are true, there are hidden fees and the program is not fully accredited by the Veterinary Medical Association although they advertise that they are. Last time I researched their program they only had one actual graduate for a program that has been offered for several years. Do not invest your money or waste your time with this program.

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Melissa in Kaukauna, Wisconsin

67 months ago

Angela in Garden Grove, California said: To anyone interested in Penn Foster: please look elsewhere for your degree. The negative facts that other people have stated about them are true, there are hidden fees and the program is not fully accredited by the Veterinary Medical Association although they advertise that they are. Last time I researched their program they only had one actual graduate for a program that has been offered for several years. Do not invest your money or waste your time with this program.

Hi there,
If you go to the AVMA website, Penn Foster IS actually accredited by them. So, you can take the board exam if you go through them. The pass rates I don't know, but I don't think the AVMA would accredit them if it was that bad that students couldn't pass the exams. Accrediation comes from the AVMA seeing that the students are well equipped from that school. They don't just give accrediation to anybody. Anyway, I think there are other downfalls of this school beside just this. The thing someone said about having to pay before you graduate would make me definitely not want to take it. Who is gonna come up with 5k all at once?
especially when you're working for 8 or 10 an hour?

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barrelracer in Livingston, Tennessee

67 months ago

I would like to know where you found out the information about how many people that have graduated from Penn Fosters' vet tech program. I am considering taking this program and have tried to find out this information or at least talk to someone who has graduated and haven't had any luck in doing so. Please let me know.

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

67 months ago

Penn Foster only holds Provisional Accredidation. Provisional is like a probabtionary status to determine if their curriculum actually is sufficient to pass students onto the National Exam. I would be weary of any school in this status. There is one in AZ that lost their program completely while students where in the middle of a semester because the AVMA pulled their provisional accredidation.

Regarding the graduation rate, I had called and called to try and talk to a program director and finally after 5 calls made it past their 'salesy' phone receptionists that wanted to sign me up instead of give me information.

When I called in December 2008 the Director of the Vet Tech program stated that only 7 students have graduated from the program and they didn't know how many went on to take the National Exam because they don't keep track of that information This to me is ridiculous - why wouldn't a school want to use that statistic of National exam passing rates to their advantage when recruiting new students? Along with the tuition changes almost every term - this school is entirely too shady for me. I went on and enrolled in San Juan College Vet Tech program, they are wonderful. www.SanJuanCollege.edu/vettech

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Kodiak in Burlington, North Carolina

67 months ago

Hi,
I took Penn Foster's Veterinary Assistant Program to see how I would like it. I had no problems with the on-line school and received all of my course materials very rapidly. I was never waiting on them before I could continue. I also wanted to take the Veterinay Technology program but the provisional status bothers me. I don't want to pay and be in the middle of the course and have the accredition pulled and there I will sit having spent money only not to be accredited.
I check out where future-vet-tech said about San Juan College. They are fully accredited and when I contacted them they were the nicest people. Plus alot of there info is on their web site. Any thing you need to know they can help you with.
Even though I did the Vet Assistant with Penn Foster, I will probably go with San Juan College. Their tution is reasonable and I just feel more comfortable with them.

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

67 months ago

Hi Kodiak,

You will LOVE San Juan College Vet Tech program! The instructors are great and it's a very stable program. We also have a very active Facebook group and are starting a NAVTA chapter soon. I am looking at this schooling as a career change and really seriously looked into the best school to help me prosper in my career. Feel free to email me anytime if you have any additional questions: azvet_techstudent@yahoo.com

I hope to see you on the SJC discussion boards soon!

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Lisa in Milford, Ohio

66 months ago

Please do not enroll in Penn Foster's program! I started with it and am now transferring to San Juan's program. Penn Foster is terrible. There is absolutely no guidance or direction on the courses. You are pretty much left on your own once you sign up. There are no assignments to reinforce learning. Literally, all you do is read a book and take a test on the material. There are hands-on practicums at the end of semesters 2 & 4, but again, not a lot of info available on it. I was not impressed with this program. I WASTED my money on the first semester, which has taken me almost 2 years to complete. With no timeframe on the courses, some of the students have been working on the degree for years! There's no powerpoints, lectures, videos, NOTHING besides a textbook.

I can't wait to get started at San Juan. I just applied today. Reading these comments here reinforced to me that I made the right choice.

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Lisa in Milford, Ohio

66 months ago

Oh, I also forgot to mention that, at Penn Foster, the program director is extremely rude, and if you have a question, it takes someone days and days to respond to you.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

66 months ago

I would recommend San Juan as well. I didn't attend there, but I attended a different program many years ago that was run by the current director of the San Juan program. (Some of the technicians who taught classes when I was in school have also moved to San Juan with Dr. Wright.) Dr. Wright takes teaching very seriously --he doesn't want to turn out mediocre technicians ;)

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RVTsomeday_steve in San Francisco, California

66 months ago

I have been laid off from an industry that is not hiring at all, and am looking to move into something I've always wanted to do. I am so glad I found this forum. I have been trying in vain to get info on Penn Foster from anyone except them. My problem with them was that the practicums are to be set up by you with local vets, and none of them(the local pet hospitals) seemed to want to talk about it. I've been offering to clean kennels for free just to get my foot in, and I get no takers. I have already requested materials from SJC, and hope to talk to them soon, I am hoping that they have something in place to help you find pet hospitals that will allow you to do some time with them. It seems to me that an online program could work, but only if you can get your hands and eyes in there and apply some of it.

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

66 months ago

RVTsomeday_steve,

I could be wrong but I do believe that the only school that actually "places" you in a clinical position is Bel Rea in Colorado and it's a traditional program. You do have to put yourself out there and be assertive about getting a preceptorship, and I think this is true with alot of the schools out there.

The good thing about SJC is that they are one of the very few distance learning programs that are FULLY accredited by the AVMA. This is huge when you are talking with prospective employers. You have 2 terms to get a preceptorship lined up and if all fails by trying to get into a private practice, try Banfield or even volunteering at a spay/neuter clinic or shelter. Vet's/clinic's/hospitals actually like the idea of a student - sometimes they are easier to train than vetran tech's.

Also, I would try and volunteer at the very least right now before you even enroll in school. This will give you the advantage of having a little bit of animal experience and either be a 1st or 2nd semester student when it comes time for your preceptorship. At SJC we do have a job board of clinics/internships, etc that get posted but sometimes they are all over the country. Hope this helps...I even brought my preceptor requirements with me on interviews to show employers that this is a serious program and once they saw the requirements, they realized I would be a good candidate.

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RVTsomeday_steve in San Francisco, California

66 months ago

future_vet_tech_arizona
Thanks for your input. I have been putting myself out there a lot, but have been hoping to get in somewhere volunteer or otherwise prior to enrolling in a program. It's not working for me. I can hardly get a callback. I'm glad I didn't go ahead and enroll in PF's program, because I probably wouldn't have found sjc if I had. I have been asking at pet hospitals about wether the penn foster program was one that they could recommend, and have gotten nothing. Thanks again for your input. Now I just have to hope the age thing doesn't keep me out. Nobody seems to believe that I would be willing to take the cut in pay or the duties entailed in entry level positions at 53, but I really want to do this, and as long as I can keep a roof over me, and food in the cupboard, I plan on doing it.
Thanks again

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

66 months ago

RVTsomeday_steve,

Just keep an optimistic view. I Googled all the pet hospitals in my area and sent out emails with my resume and then followed up with a fax resume as well. www.Indeed.com and Craigslist.com are good places to start to look. Also, ask your own personal vet if you can start as a kennel attendant to get a foot in the door. I know that Petsmart Banfield hospitals are open to hire people trying to get into the field without any experience. If after you've gone all these routes, walk into your nearest pound or shelter and ask to volunteer. You will get something! There are too many pets out there that need care. Join any organizations you can and get your name out there (NAVTA, AAHA, local org's).

This is a career change with a HUGE drop in salary for me as well. But I know that I am making the right decision and with the help of AAHA's future consumer marketing and the new law in 2010 for the National Exam, I do think salaries will be on the ups!

Keep your head up, start SJC, join our Facebook group....you will get the support you need and be on your way before you know it.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

barrelracer in Livingston, Tennessee said: Hello,

I am 30 years old and want to go back to school to be a vet tech. I have been researching Penn Foster. I have worked as a non certified vet tech with our local vet. I have a high school education and wondering if I should take any refresher courses before starting the vet tech program at Penn Foster. They told me I would have to take a test before being enrolled. Did anyone have trouble with this? Also, are the classes pretty tough and is help available when needed with Penn Foster? I would appreciate your thoughts.

I am a graduate vet tech (two year course w/honors in OH). Your state has a university course for vet techs. You want to attend a school that features hands on training & labs. Clinic cleaners made more money than I did. In my many years of working & networking, I discovered that the majority of the vet clinics that have job openings have job openings because the place is badly managed, understaffed, & overbooked.
Oh, & no, the job isn't "recessionproof," either (latest headlines). My long time friend (classmate) just had her hours cut.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

future_vet_tech_arizona in Phoenix, Arizona said: Hi Amy,

Can you tell me about your experience at Banfield? I am a 1st year student at SJC and want to work at Banfield for my practicum. They just hired me as a CCC (reception) and I have heard good and bad about the place. What has your experience been like?

I have been seeking alternate employment for almost two years, but since I am a graduate vet tech w/a dozen years experience, the local Banfield clinic always comes up when there are job openings. I can tell you that sometimes entire departments seem to have walked out of the place. Makes you wonder about the management.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

RVTsomeday_steve in San Francisco, California said: I have been laid off from an industry that is not hiring at all, and am looking to move into something I've always wanted to do. I am so glad I found this forum. I have been trying in vain to get info on Penn Foster from anyone except them. My problem with them was that the practicums are to be set up by you with local vets, and none of them(the local pet hospitals) seemed to want to talk about it. I've been offering to clean kennels for free just to get my foot in, and I get no takers. I have already requested materials from SJC, and hope to talk to them soon, I am hoping that they have something in place to help you find pet hospitals that will allow you to do some time with them. It seems to me that an online program could work, but only if you can get your hands and eyes in there and apply some of it.

I loved working as a vet tech, especially the labs, & my previous place kept promising to make me the official head of the pharmacy department. I used all my medical nursing skills since the clinic was chronically overbooked & understaffed. The on staff nastiness was unendurable -- maybe the stress, maybe just nasty people. These are people who like pets, not people very much, which means bad management & unfairness & favoritism. I was picked on because of my skills & attention . . . it took me ten years to burn out (the polite newspeak for mental breakdown) & four years to recover. Most clinics are like that place. Really.

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future_az_vettech in Phoenix, Arizona

66 months ago

Dear barrelracer,

Please do not get disillusioned by other's comments. It's great that you are thinking of pursuring a new career and just because this industry didn't work out for some doesn't me you will fit into that statistic. It's a very rewarding industry and if you are in it for the love of animals and not the money you will do fine.

It is true that the industry generally has a lower salary scale, but you are going into the industry accepting that and realizing this is a "love-for-the-job" position. I have a feeling that Registered/Certified/Licensed (all the same) tech's will see an increase in pay after the NAVTA law that will be passed as of 2010. Along with the AAHA spending $1M in consumer targeted marketing, this will help raise awareness to thoroughly qualified tech's and help they industry as a whole thus raising salaries for all.

I must warn you to PLEASE do your due-dilligence on Penn Foster. Yes, the fact that you have a flexible ciriculum is nice but they do not have a great pass rate on the National Exam and their support is not the greatest. Just Google them and look in Facebook of current students and ones that have switched after the 1st term.

I would suggest looking into SanJuanCollege.edu/vettech

They have an excellent program with superior pass rates for the NVTE. The support staff and instructors are the best. Tuition is fair and financial aid is available. The biggest differenciator is they are FULLY accredited by the AVMA. You have no idea how important this is when you are wanting to look for work. Penn Foster is only on a probationary status. If you have any questions on any of this, pleaes feel free to email me anytime. I hope this helps.

Ciao,

Future_AZ_vettech
azvet_techstudent@yahoo.com

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Kotty in Minneapolis, Minnesota

65 months ago

Penn Foster is garbage. I almost completed a full semester of their Veterinary Technology program and they froze my account(wouldn't send further shipments) because even though I completed all tests and more than enough online class hours, I did not login to the forum enough.
When I asked the program director, Margi Sirois, for help, essentially begging her for guidance, she directed me to Student Service, who had already directed me to her in the first place.
That woman is so busy writing her books she does not care about her students.
Penn Foster does NOT do financial aid nor do they help their students with their practicums(clinic hours), several students are on the forums not being able to finish the course because no vet office will accept Penn Foster students.
The GOOD news is I enrolled in San Juan College this week(only about $8000) and only threw away about $1000 on Penn Foster.
tl;dr
Penn Foster is horrible for several reasons, San Juan is the best bet.

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Meghan in Chester, Virginia

65 months ago

It's been interesting for me to read this thread...months and months after the first post:). I too, am considering a career switch, and have been interested in vet tech for years. I've researched programs and even shadowed my vet. It's scared me a bit because financially, it would be a small step back, but at least I would be doing something I loved. Anyway, because I'm going to have to continue working full time, I'm probably going to have to do a distance program. I've looked in to Penn Foster and wasn't really impressed. I much prefer the programs that have a physical campus in addition to their online program (like San Juan and Cedar Valley). So far, I've been accepted at Cedar Valley (in Texas) and their distance program looks pretty good. The first level doesn't require a preceptor and gives you an opportunity to get introduced to the field of vet medicine before fully diving in. For levels 2-4, you are required to work under a vet for 10 hours a week and they have to mentor you through tests and written assignments. I've just been wondering if anyone has an opinion about it. It's has full accredidation status through the AVMA.

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future_vet_tech_arizona in Chandler, Arizona

65 months ago

Dear Meghan,

I too am in your same boat. I will be working FT during school as well as picking up a PT job to suffice my clinical requirements for school. When I looked at colleges Cedar Valley and San Juan are almost identical. The only difference I saw was in tuition price. They are both fully accredited and have similar curicculums.

I do have to say that the staff at San Juan are the best and will do what ever it takes in helping you to succeed, which was the deciding factor to me. If you have any other questions between the two schools or in general, feel free to email me. I am starting my 2nd term with San Juan (tomorrow actually) and love every minute of it!

Kate
future_vet_tech_arizona
azvet_techstudent@yahoo.com

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Meghan in Chester, Virginia

65 months ago

Kate, Thanks for your response. It is very helpful and encouraging to to hear from someone going through the same thing. One of the most attractive things about Cedar Valley is that I can get used to the academic load before taking on a preceptor and clinicals. Is the same true for San Juan or do you have to have a preceptor from the start of the program?

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Future_vet_tech_arizona in North Highlands, California

65 months ago

With San juan you do not start your preceptorship until Tier 2, which will give you the same ease into the program as Cedar Valley.

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maryrose213 in Dallas, Texas

65 months ago

www.talktothevet.com/onlinevetschools.html

Here is a website that has a list of only 4 online vet tech schools that are AVMA accredited and here they are:

Cedar Valley College
Penn Foster College
Purdue University
St. Petersburg College

I dont see the San Juan College anywhere. Any thoughts on this?

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Melissa in Appleton, Wisconsin

65 months ago

I am looking into beginning San Juan College. What I am wondering though is will vets really hire you if you went to an online school? Will they prefer another graduate over you? I almost moved 2.5 hours south of where I am now to attend a tech college that has a hands-on vet tech program with all the animals there on campus, but now I am worried I cannot take on that load because I am a single mom, and the program requires you to go full time for the first year, and people I talked to that went there said they were there til after 5 every day doing labs, maybe after 6, and I can't imagine doing that, being a mom, and working to make a living. I would literally have to live off student loans, and then i would be in a ton of debt. So, I am thinking of going to San Juan instead. Anyone have any opinion on this? I would love anyone's advice or suggestions. Thanks!

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Meghan

65 months ago

Melissa,

Hi! I'm fairly new at this, so everything I share is from my own research… not from actual experience! After talking with my dog's veterinarian, who I've known since I was a child, I learned that many vets prefer the distance programs because they provide an opportunity for many of their vet assistants to get the qualifications to become techs while also being trained under their watchful eye.

Whether it is true or not, some schools (i.e. Penn Foster), are viewed by vets as "fly by night" institutions, so some vets might have a problem with accepting a student from one of those schools.

San Juan and Cedar Valley both have great reputations. Purdue has a distance program too, but it's pretty tough to get into. From what I understand, the most important things to have are... training from a AVMA program, a license, and a good work ethic. In order to be AVMA approved, programs must require a certain amount of "hands on" work experience. So, whether you go to physical campus or study by distance, you've got to get in the hours. The only real downside of the distance programs that I've thought of, is not being able to learn in a class. There is something to be said about studying alongside others with the same goals.

Virginia only has two schools that offer Vet tech programs and they only offer admission to a very limited number of students each year, so we wouldn’t be getting any vet techs if it weren’t for distance programs. They do offer the program at satellite campuses... but those are pretty tough to get into too.

I just looked at the distance programs and Moraine Park Technical College in WI offers their program by distance. Would that be an option for you?

I’m leaning toward San Juan, because most people have been giving it rave reviews, the staff has been really helpful, and the out-of-state tuition is extremely reasonable… less than in-state tuition at a Virginia community college! Hope this helps a bit.

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Melissa in Appleton, Wisconsin

65 months ago

Thanks for your comment. I know about the Moraine Park program, and its only provisionally accredited, and San Juan is fully accredited, so that makes me think San Juan is better and is proven, and I would rather do that, especially since I have heard nothing but good things about it.

What do u think about provisional accreditation?

I guess since I've heard such good things about SJC, and they are both distance, then I would rather take the fully accredited over the provisional, especially since I can get financial aid for both.

What do you think about this?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

65 months ago

I have had the opposite experienc both in talking to veterinarian when I'm doing relief work and in talking to veterinarians at the conferences where I'm representing our state vet tech association. I've not had a single vet say that they prefer students from an online program, but I've had several vets say that they prefer students who have attended an on-site program.

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future_az_vettech in Phoenix, Arizona

65 months ago

In regards to the distant vs. traditional educational setting discussions, I believe it's all in how you present the school to the veterinarian. Of course in a visual aspect when you are describing taking veterinary classes online one might think - "How the heck are you going to be able to do the hands on role of the job?"

I think when you have this conversation amoung vet's, future employers or other industry staff you need to first address that SJC is FULLY ACCREDITED by the AVMA, and that even some traditional setting schools do not hold this accredidation. Follow up with the preceptor agreement in hand and show them that it's as strict as guidelines to be AAHA accredited. Finish with the clinical requirement. Showing that the school is a legitimate program and you are actually taking extra initiative to be active in the field. You can also mention that alot of industry education is moving to interactive type settings, i.e. CME's online???

In reallity, SJC's clinical requirement is the same if not more than the hands on setting you would get in a traditional classroom setting. Now being in my 2nd term, I can attest that the instructors at SJC are far more attentive and responsive than instructors I have had in a traditional setting.

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dts_23 in Charlotte, North Carolina

65 months ago

I have been debating on which school to attend. Cedar Valley and San Juan College have rave review, but I would like to know if anyone has had any issues with either scool. Cedar Valley webpage has been having technical problems lately, is this common for them? I have been currently working as a vet tech for 3 years and will continue to work full time so I can only take 1-2 classes at once. Does one school work better with you over the other? I would appreciate the advice. Thanks.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

65 months ago

dts_23 in Charlotte, North Carolina said: I have been debating on which school to attend. Cedar Valley and San Juan College have rave review, but I would like to know if anyone has had any issues with either scool. Cedar Valley webpage has been having technical problems lately, is this common for them? I have been currently working as a vet tech for 3 years and will continue to work full time so I can only take 1-2 classes at once. Does one school work better with you over the other? I would appreciate the advice. Thanks.

No, Cedar Valley's website is generally up and running. They are in the process of putting in a new veterinary technology facility right now and they may be redoing their website to reflect the new facilites.

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Pamela in Sarasota, Florida

65 months ago

Hi Everyone, This has been the most enlightning forum! I was searching schools when I came across all of you. I have always wanted to do this and now must be the time.
With the recession affecting so many people, including myself it seems the push I need to do what I have always wanted to, work with animals! Thank you.
All the very best.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

65 months ago

Gee, it must be wonderful to be financially independent. I would love to apply my dozen plus years as a registered vet tech to volunteer @ local shelters BUT I have bills to pay & four dogs of my own to support (& an elderly parent & a condominium that won't sell).
I loved working as a vet tech, but doing the work of two to three people daily for so many years burned me out & that kind of abuse like sorority hazing is the norm not the exception. Good luck to you, kiddo. Most of my classmates were looking for a different degree soon after graduation & the average lifespan of vet techs is five years.

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Vet_Tech_Student in Wylie, Texas

65 months ago

Melissa in Kaukauna, Wisconsin said: Hi there,
If you go to the AVMA website, Penn Foster IS actually accredited by them. So, you can take the board exam if you go through them. The pass rates I don't know, but I don't think the AVMA would accredit them if it was that bad that students couldn't pass the exams. Accrediation comes from the AVMA seeing that the students are well equipped from that school. They don't just give accrediation to anybody. Anyway, I think there are other downfalls of this school beside just this. The thing someone said about having to pay before you graduate would make me definitely not want to take it. Who is gonna come up with 5k all at once?
especially when you're working for 8 or 10 an hour?
Melissa, Penn Foster is not FULLY Accredited by the AVMA. There are several categories for accreditation, the Top category is Fully Accredited, then there is Provisional Accredited, Probational, Terminal etc... Penn Foster had at one time Full Accreditation but slipped to Probational and back to Provisional. This means that there are some issues with the program that Penn Foster has failed to appropriately address. The AVMA grants accreditation based on a number of things, but you need to check the VTNE pass rates, sorry but Penn Foster has the lowest pass rate of any VT program. No the AVMA does not base accreditation on the students VTNE pass rate, but if enough students do not pass the VTNE the AVMA will lower the accreditation rating. I attend San Juan after transferring from Cedar Valley and am very pleased with the program, instructors and our Course Task Checklist is the same as Purdue Universitys Campus Veterinary Technology Program.

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Vet_Tech_Student in Wylie, Texas

65 months ago

maryrose213 in Dallas, Texas said: www.talktothevet.com/onlinevetschools.html

Here is a website that has a list of only 4 online vet tech schools that are AVMA accredited and here they are:

Cedar Valley College
Penn Foster College
Purdue University
St. Petersburg College

I dont see the San Juan College anywhere. Any thoughts on this?

Perhaps you should check the AVMA website as they are the accrediting body.

San Juan College
Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program
4601 College Blvd.
Farmington, NM 87402

www.sjc.cc.nm.us/pages/1.asp
(David Wright, DVM Director)
Associate of Applied Science
Initial Accreditation-November 8, 2006
FULL ACCREDITATION
www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_distance_learning.asp please note on this page is Penn Fosters PROVISIONAL Accreditation
Furthermore here is a link to the AVMA accreditation category page:
www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/vettech_programs.asp

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pebcle@yahoo.com in Cleveland, Ohio

65 months ago

Penn Foster is the latest in a series of the same correspondence school under different ownerships/names. It has been Thompson Direct & International Correspondence School in the past. It's only a mail order instruction booklet place. Just try to get a response from anyone! It couldn't possibly be an accredited school for any topic. You always need hands on training for employment; veterinarians are more inclined to hire someone trained on the job than someone w/a diploma. I was ridiculed for "wasting my money" @ the vet clinic where I first worked. I have @ least two articles written by veterinarians about how much they enjoyed training people off the street as surgical assistants or elevating the office staff to "vet tech" status w/a little training in a few needed direct animal jobs.

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CVT06 in Chandler, Arizona

64 months ago

I think that you all need to know that if you graduate from a school that has PROVISIONAL or PROBATIONAL accreditation, your degree is still worth just as much as a FULLY accredited school. This is according to the AVMA.
There are also a lot of negative comments regarding Penn Foster. People talk about hidden fees, no help from the director, having to completely pay off the school before getting your diploma and having to set up your own practicum.
First, there are NO hidden fees. The only extra fees on top of tuition once you are registered are a proctored exam fee of $25, an extension fee of $75 if your do not complete your semester within 1 year and a one time S/H fee to mail your materials. This is CLEARLY stated in all paperwork and under the "tuition & fees" section on their website. These charges are not unreasonable by any means.
As far as speaking to the director, people need to realize that she is in charge of a program with thousands of students. This is what student services are for AND you can speak to an instructor directly if you request to do so.
Tuition: The total cost for a semester INCLUDING the proctored exam fee is about $1300. This includes all of your books and materials. This is also listed on their website. You are required to make monthly payments of about $38 and do not have to pay off one semester before moving onto the next, but you certainly do have to pay the remaining balance before you get your diploma. This balance is minimal if you have been making your monthly payments.
As someone pointed out earlier, most schools require that you set up your own practicum site. If you are serious about earning a degree from any school, you need to be willing to put yourself out there and get it set up.
I know this because I am a student and have been very happy with all the help that I have received from Penn Foster. Check the website for more information. It's all right there in black and white, then decide for yourself.

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Vet_Tech_Student in Wylie, Texas

64 months ago

I already know about the degree being the same so long as you graduate from an accredited school. The problem is that if you attend and pay for a probationally or provisionally accredited school and the program then fails to meet AVMA standards and loses accreditation your money is lost and you will not get credit for your courses elsewhere. I can call my director, or email him and have a response immediately-can you? I have to agree with you though about being serious about being willing to put yourself out there and getting a practicum site! I am glad that you are happy with Penn Foster, and am glad that our common goal is to graduate with an AS in Veterinary Technology.

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CVT06 in Tempe, Arizona

64 months ago

As a matter of fact, I can and have spoken with the director with no problem. My point is, it's great that people do their research before attending school but if someone has not attended a specific school, there is no need for the bashing. I would never complain about a school that I have not attended because I don't really know the facts. I have no problem with people being proud of the school that they go to but it's not right to post negative comments about other schools without the proper facts. Also, a majority of the problems that people have with Penn Foster is because of the fact that they are not bothering to read the information that they are sent by the director. If they took the time to do this, the school message boards would not be filled with questions about how to make up class time or what a proctored exam is! As far as accreditation goes, schools will never become fully accredited until a certain number of students complete the program. Every school starts out at the bottom before they are granted full accreditation. I know how you feel and I can appreciate that, but think of all the students who had to deal with the same issue of probational or provisional accreditation so everyone else could attend a fully accredited program. Thanks for your response!

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CVT06 in Tempe, Arizona

64 months ago

Vet_Tech_Student in Wylie, Texas said: I already know about the degree being the same so long as you graduate from an accredited school. The problem is that if you attend and pay for a probationally or provisionally accredited school and the program then fails to meet AVMA standards and loses accreditation your money is lost and you will not get credit for your courses elsewhere. I can call my director, or email him and have a response immediately-can you? I have to agree with you though about being serious about being willing to put yourself out there and getting a practicum site! I am glad that you are happy with Penn Foster, and am glad that our common goal is to graduate with an AS in Veterinary Technology.

I forgot...good luck with your studies! We do have a common goal and I hope more people do the same with getting their degree!

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Vet_Tech_Student in Wylie, Texas

64 months ago

And thank you for your input, I would proudly stand with you as a technician after graduation, it takes a lot to stand for what you believe in-my hat's off to you!

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CVT06 in Tempe, Arizona

64 months ago

Same to you my friend!

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christina in Fayetteville, New York

64 months ago

i am so lost!!! lol i am very glad i now have the scoop on penn foster!!! i am a 22yo single mom of a 4 yo girl i work nights so i am home all day for her and refuse to give that up!!!i have always been interested in vet tech and am serching for an online school that also accepts finacial aid.if any one could throw me some information i would be forever in your debt!!! kriyssie00@yahoo.com please!!!

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WickedCora in Huntington Beach, California

64 months ago

WOW!! i have no idea what school to choose now and what comments to trust now. I just received my info packets today from penn foster, and had them less than an hour before i tossed them into the trash because of all the negative stuff i read on here. I think i will choose san juan online distance learning, as long as i dont have to pay off each semester before i can start the next. And as long as i dont have to pay the full balance before i receive my diploma, then im good because im as poor as a hobo right now, especially from living in HB. California for that matter!

ps nadya suleman sucks!

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wicked cora in Huntington Beach, California

64 months ago

I have a question, what about Purdue University? Is that a good college? Is it hard to get into? expensive?

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