Online course VT
August 15, 2016 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone done the online Vet Tech course from Penn Foster?

My niece is interested in the online Vet Tech course from an accredited school. She has no scientific background but was looking at Penn Foster's program. Has anyone done the associate program from there and can provide input? Also interested in other recommendations for online schools in Vet Tech for her, if possible.
posted by metajim to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It looks like there's a list of the accredited programs here.

From that (fairly short) list, Purdue has an online vet tech program and Purdue is a well-known university with one of the top vet schools in the US, so they would seem like a good bet if she cares about academics and reputation. The other schools are probably less expensive, but you never know how financial aid will shake out.

Offhand--Penn Foster is a for-profit school, whereas most colleges and universities are non-profit or state schools. In general, for-profit schools have a bad rap because they have more incentive to exploit students; they were created with the goal make money rather than to educate, so I would proceed with caution.
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:57 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

It looks like Penn Foster doesn't even have Title IV (student access to federal loan money). Whether or not you want or think it's a good idea to take out loans for school, that's generally a sign the place is bottom-of-the-barrel. Notice how here they gleefully inform investors that they aren't subject to the 90/10 restriction (e.g., at least 10% of student revenues must be from non-federal sources) or the gainful employment restrictions (new ED requirements that grads of for-profit schools must on average earn certain salaries relative to tuition or eventually be cut off from Title IV). Both of those requirements are intended to protect students.
posted by praemunire at 3:30 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

This FAQ from the national accreditor may be helpful. Penn Foster is accredited, but I would still ask questions about the rates that their students pass the certification exams and get jobs. They should know those numbers and be glad to share.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:44 PM on August 15, 2016

Unfortunately you almost have to go for-profit for vet tech. Wait lists at public colleges stretch for the better part of a decade and then there's a lottery system to get in. The big thing in this case is that she's going to need her lab time and her externships sorted out. They've partnered with Banfield and VCA, but there's still practice in giving vaccinations, doing exams, etc, that all happen outside of externships. Make sure they actually have all this sorted out.

I've noticed that techs seem to get out of it what they put into it. My ex is extremely dedicated, found her own good externships, studied for her exams, showed she was eager and she actually has a good career working as a tech now. A lot of her classmates can't pass their accreditation and work as "assistants" basically doing all the vet tech work but getting paid a lot less, at lower end clinics, and the pay isn't all that great even if you do get accredited.
posted by mikesch at 5:29 PM on August 15, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks. Wow had no idea a VT course is that competitive.
posted by metajim at 9:15 AM on August 16, 2016

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