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Questions to Ask Sonography Schools

After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating and comparing ultrasound tech colleges. You may first want to decide whether you will access classes online or travel to a school campus in the Kenai AK area. Of course location will be important if you select the latter, and the price of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualifier as well. But there are other things that you must also take into consideration, for example if the programs are accredited and if they provide internship programs. Therefore in order to perform your due diligence so that you can arrive at your ultimate selection, following are several questions that you need ask each sonography program before deciding.

Are the Sonogram Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of ultrasound tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of sonography is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Kenai AK employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the sonogram tech schools you are interested in have partnerships with Kenai AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Kenai healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Kenai AK home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the sonogram tech program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the ultrasound tech  program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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