Must Love Dogs... and Other Animals: Kent State Tuscarawas Now Offers Veterinary Technology Degree
Increasing requests for a local veterinary technician program initiated the development of the degree by the campus’ New Program Development Task Force. With the support of local veterinarians, the group conducted extensive research, which showed a great demand to employ degreed veterinary technicians in the community and surrounding counties.
“Veterinary technicians are extremely important in giving veterinary care at this point in time. And there is a major shortage of available qualified technicians to provide the service,” says Dr. H. Rodney Ferguson of Akron Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Akron, and a member of the campus’ Veterinary Technology Advisory Board. “We look at it as a very valuable and important service to have competent veterinary technicians.”
Denise Testa, director of Enrollment Management and Student Services at the Tuscarawas Campus, facilitated the development of the new degree. “In response to the need of local veterinarians, our vet tech program will provide them with high-quality graduates who are employable immediately after earning this degree. Therefore, our students can accomplish both their vet tech education and career goals locally,” says Testa.
The veterinary technology curriculum combines general education courses and rigorous coursework in science, animal health, management and veterinary medical concepts. Because the new program is selective, Kent State Tuscarawas will recruit highly motivated students with strong skills in math, biology and chemistry, as well as experience in working with animals.
Kent State Tuscarawas freshman Bob Argent, of Massillon, is pursuing an associate degree in veterinary technology because of his strong interest and expertise in reptiles. “Becoming a vet tech is something I always wanted to do,” says Argent. “I’m inspired by my local veterinarian who is very patient and answers all my questions about the veterinary field.” The two-year evening program fits Argent’s existing schedule of working during the day and attending classes at night.
The Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree is designed to prepare graduates to serve as veterinary technicians performing support functions including routine laboratory and clinical procedures. Other growing employment opportunities are expected in biomedical research, diagnostic laboratories, wildlife facilities, humane societies and animal control facilities.
For more information about the program, visit the Kent State Tuscarawas Applied Science of Veterinary Technology Web site, which includes such resources as a veterinary technology program fact sheet, recommended course listings and a program application.
By Pam Patacca