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Massasoit Community College is pleased to announce that the College’s new Veterinary Technology Program has been granted Initial Accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (AVMA CVTEA). Massasoit’s Vet Tech students, including the first class graduating this June, will now be considered graduates of an AVMA CVTEA accredited program and are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Students are required to sit for and pass the VTNE in order to become credentialed veterinary technicians, and in Massachusetts must have graduated from an accredited program to be eligible to do so.

The veterinary technology program at Massasoit is a two-year, cohort-based program that culminates in an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.

Massasoit Community College began pursuing the idea of offering a Veterinary Technology Program nearly a decade ago, and hired a group of faculty and outside consultants to develop a curriculum and program. In 2013, Massasoit began discussions with Norfolk County Agricultural High School, a vocational/agricultural high school in Walpole, Massachusetts. The two institutions had created a strong working relationship through prior collaborations, and in October 2013, a formal memorandum of understanding was signed, committing the two institutions to cooperating in the development of a Veterinary Technology Program.

The program has two options: a traditional component where students may apply for admission at Massasoit Community College, and if they meet the entrance criteria, be admitted to the program; and an early college program that allow students in good standing at Norfolk County Agricultural High School in the school’s animal science program to begin taking courses in the Veterinary Technology Program. Upon graduation from the high school, students are then eligible to continue the Veterinary Technology Program at Massasoit Community College and complete the degree in less than two years.

A particular strength of the program is the opportunity for students to gain extensive, hands-on experience in the College’s new clinical instruction facility, which opened in the fall of 2016. The cutting-edge facility includes a surgical suite and a digital radiology room and houses colonies of live dogs and cats, enabling hands-on training of students in all aspects of practical veterinary technician skills, including surgical prep and assistance, imaging, examinations, and general animal care. The partnership with Norfolk County Agricultural High School furthers the breadth of practical skill-building. Students who are enrolled in the co-requisite Large Animal Medicine and Management and Research Animal Management courses will meet weekly at the high school throughout the semester to work directly with horses, cows, sheep and pigs, and lab animals such as mice, rabbits, and rats, as well as with avian and exotic species.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for Veterinary Technicians will grow by 30% in the metro Boston area between 2012 – 2022, driven by the increase in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, as well as the regional and national growth in pet ownership. In Massachusetts, only four programs offer degrees in Vet Tech. While two are public institutions, (Holyoke and North Shore Community Colleges), the other institutions (Becker College and Mt. Ida College) are private. The establishment of the Vet Tech program at Massasoit provides students with an affordable career path close to home.

The Veterinary Technology Program at Massasoit has benefited from strong support and interest from the community. Numerous veterinary facilities and other animal-related organizations have volunteered to host student interns and to provide expertise and other support, especially VCA South Shore Weymouth Animal Hospital, which worked closely with the program to provide temporary instructional space until the instructional facility was completed.

For more information about the Veterinary Technology Program visit us at www.massasoit.edu/vettech or contact Silvia Coviello, CVT, CVPM, Veterinary Technology Program Coordinator at scoviell1@massasoit.mass.edu or 508-588-9100, x2380.