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Topics to Ask Sonography Schools

Now that you have determined which degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of reviewing and comparing ultrasound technician colleges. You may first want to decide whether you would rather access classes online or commute to a school campus in the Ketchikan AK area. Naturally location will be significant if you select the latter, and the cost of tuition undoubtedly will be an important qualification also. But there are additional factors that you must also take into account, such as if the schools are accredited and if they sponsor internships. So in order to complete your due diligence so that you can make your final selection, following are several questions that you need ask each sonography school prior to making a decision.

Are the Sonogram Technician Schools Accredited? Most sonogram technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRC-DMS have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Ketchikan AK health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the sonogram tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Ketchikan AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Ketchikan healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the ultrasound tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alaska healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Ketchikan AK home. Students who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the ultrasound technician program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the sonographer  program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ketchikan AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

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