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Questions to Ask Sonogram Tech Schools

As soon as you have determined the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing and comparing sonogram tech schools. You will first probably want to choose whether you will access classes online or commute to a college campus in the Juneau AK area. Naturally location will be important if you choose the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an initial qualifier also. But there are other variables that you must also take into consideration, such as if the colleges are accredited and if they offer internship programs. Therefore in order to carry out your due diligence so that you can arrive at your final selection, following are several questions that you may want to ask each sonographer program prior to making a decision.

Are the Ultrasound Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of ultrasound tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Juneau AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the ultrasound tech programs you are assessing have associations with Juneau AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Juneau healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the ultrasound tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Juneau AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program as well.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the ultrasound tech  school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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