Magazine article Techniques

Joliet Junior College

Magazine article Techniques

Joliet Junior College

Article excerpt

The veterinary medical technology program at Joliet Junior College began in 1999. Its development was driven by the demand from local veterinarians, and its success is evident in its 2002 designation as a "Promising Postsecondary Program" by the National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education.

"We are very proud of the fact that all five of our graduating classes have a 100 percent passing rate for the national board exam," says Dr. R. Scott Keller, coordinator of veterinary medical technology at Joliet. "We are also proud of our national recognition as an award-winning technical program."

One reason for the recognition Joliet's program has received is its dedication to keeping abreast of the latest advances and skills required in today's veterinary medicine.

"The actions and skills that are taught to veterinary technician students in this program must change and advance to keep the graduates' education current," says Keller. "In order to fulfill the expectations of employers in the career field, the program relies on several ways to remain current. The basis of what our students learn begins with the AVMA's (American Veterinary Medical Association) list of over 200 essential and recommended tasks and skills. We also listen to our veterinary colleagues. We meet with an advisory committee that reflects the perspective of those working in several different fields of veterinary medicine. The members supply information about where the program might increase its educational focus. The program builds from that foundation. This way the program's education focus stays current and remains ahead of the criteria required by the AVMA."

The veterinary medical technology program is housed in an approximately 10,000-square-foot facility where students work in open labs and study areas.

"Its only use is for the veterinary technician program. The architects designed a facility that would function as a veterinary clinical classroom," notes Keller. "The facility is well organized and has passed both the United States Department of Agriculture and American Veterinary Medical Association inspections. Many other programs share classrooms, labs and equipment with other allied health programs. Students of this program are able to take advantage of our facilities more than students can at most other programs, because veterinary technician students have exclusive use of the facilities."

Joliet's aspiring veterinary technicians learn on a wide range of advanced equipment in a state-of-the-art laboratory. …

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