Yes, the Program was granted its initial accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in February 2006. As of October 2011, the Program has been granted “Full Accreditation”, the AVMA’s highest accreditation status.
Today there are over 160 Veterinary Technology programs in the United States that educate Veterinary Technicians. In order to maintain a standard of excellence these programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The course of study in these programs entails at least two academic years, leading to an Associate of Science or equivalent degree with four - year Bachelor of Science degrees available at some institutions. During high school, aspiring students are encouraged to enroll in college preparatory courses in science, math and English.
The Program actually started in 2003. Between 2003 and 2006 the Program Director worked diligently on meeting the AVMA’s requirements for accreditation. The Program has been AVMA-accredited since 2006.
Some of the lecture courses are held in the Technology building on the MCC campus. The Program also has a veterinary teaching lab located off campus. This is a former veterinary clinic that was donated to the Program in 2005. The Program is one of only a few accredited college programs nationally that has an actual clinic building to teach in. This lab was extensively remodeled during the summer of 2011, and now represents the finest of Veterinary Technology teaching facilities. All lab sessions are held at this Veterinary Teaching Laboratory, as well as most Program lecture classes. In addition, our small animals are housed at the facility. The Program also has a large animal facility located at the southeast corner of the MCC campus. The Program is one of very few programs nationally that have on - campus access to large animals.
The Program Director, Dr. Jill Sheport, has over 20 years teaching experience in Veterinary Technology programs. Dr. Sheport graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and did a residency at University of Pennsylvania in Large Animal Medicine & Surgery. She worked in both large and small animal practices for many years. Dr. Sheport was Program Director at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA for 5 years, as well as an Instructor there for an additional 6 years. She has been at MCC since 2003, and the success of the Program and its accreditation can be largely credited to her selfless dedication to the Program and the students.
The Program Instructor and Laboratory Coordinator, Lewanne E. Hunt Sharp, has been at MCC since 2005. Lewanne helped with the final setup for the AVMA site visit at MCC in early 2006. She is an RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician), graduating from Foothill College Veterinary Technology Program in 1989. She is a charter member of AVECCT (Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians). She is boarded in Emergency and Critical Care. Lewanne has extensive experience in many aspects of Veterinary Technology. She taught part time with Dr. Sheport at Foothill College for 9 years, was head tech and hospital administrator at a veterinary emergency clinic for 15 years, as well as worked in research for 16 years. As you can figure out, several of these jobs overlapped… Lewanne is not 80 years old!
We also have several adjunct faculty instructors. Dr. Irene Brady teaches our Diseases course in the summer session. She is owner of a veterinary practice, Best Friends Animal Hospital in Mesa. Juliana Guerra and Rhiannon Saxey are both successful graduates of our Program and are CVTs at practices in the Phoenix area.
There is a block of prerequisite courses that must be completed before actually applying to the Program. When all of these courses have been completed the student can apply to the Program. There is a cap of 24 students accepted into the first year class. Depending on the number of applicants, there usually is competitive admission into the Program. This process includes animal experience assessment, overall GPA, grades in the prerequisite block of classes, letters of recommendation, and personal interview.
Historically, in the Fall semester we have 32 students enrolled in the prerequisite class ANS110AA. This class is the lead - in to the Program, and is considered a "working interview" for admission. These are the students who may apply for acceptance into the first year class. The Program will accept 24 students into the first year class. Because of a long waiting list to get into the Fall semester ANS110AA, we have added this class to the Spring schedule as well to allow for more students to apply for admission to the Program. We have a maximum of 24 second year students. Some will graduate in December and some will graduate in May.
Thirty five students have graduated from the Program since our accreditation in 2006.
There is often a waiting list to get into the prerequisite course ANS110AA. This is the lead - in course to the Program. Since there is a cap of 24 students into the first year class, a waiting list for admission has been created.
There is a set of prerequisite courses that must be completed before actually applying to the Program. When all of these courses have been completed, the student can apply for admission into the Program. The prerequisite course block can be found elsewhere, e.g. the Program website or in the MCC College Catalog. The Program curriculum includes many rigorous courses to prepare the student for the Board exams as well as to become a skilled Veterinary Technician. Most of the Program courses have a required laboratory class where, in addition to the lecture portion of the class, the student will learn hands - on skills using live teaching animals. The courses are set in a particular order so the student can build on skills previously mastered in an earlier course. You can view the course schedule on the Program website. The students are also required to perform the daily care for all resident teaching animals as a required component to the Program courses. Our teaching population currently includes horses, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits and rats. Animal care is required twice daily, seven days a week, divided evenly among all the students, under supervision of the Program Laboratory Coordinator.
The length of time to complete the Program varies tremendously student to student. The telling factor is the time commitment the student makes to complete the Program. The Program, not including the prerequisite block, is considered a two year program based on full - time enrollment and a very heavy course load. We have had students complete it in two years. More commonly, students spread the courses over three years, due to family obligations and work constraints.
There is a required minimum load of nine units per semester for students accepted into the Program.
The maximum number of students in any of the Program courses is 24 students in lecture, with a maximum of 12 students in a lab section.
The students are required to perform the daily care for all resident teaching animals as a required component to the Program courses. Our teaching population currently includes horses, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits and rats. Animal care is required twice daily, seven days a week, divided evenly among all the students, under supervision of the Program Laboratory Coordinator. In addition, internship courses are arranged outside of scheduled classes.
The students are required to complete a total of 480 hours of internships. These internship hours are divided between small animal practice, specialty practice, emergency practice, and large animal practice.
The Program curriculum offers rigorous courses. It is recommended that the students anticipate spending a minimum of three hours per course unit each week.
No, we do not offer a certificate or veterinary assisting program. Our accredited Veterinary Technology Program offers the Associate of Applied Science degree.
We currently estimate the cost of completing the Program at about $15,000. This includes tuition, lab fees, and books. With the current economy and changes to costs at the District level, this estimate will likely increase.
Some of the required courses in the prerequisite block are offered by the College District as on - line courses. However, all of the Program courses are lecture/lab courses on the MCC campus.
Our Program courses follow a set order and are offered in a specific semester of the Program. Some of the classes do occur in the evening. We have tried to schedule classes on specific days and time blocks in order for students to have time for internship hours as well as to be able to schedule work hours. It is NOT possible to complete the Program as a "night program".
While veterinary assisting experience is always beneficial as an adjunct to course work, it is not a requirement for acceptance into the Program. However, formal animal experience is considered as a component of the competitive admission evaluation, and veterinary assisting experience is preferred. Our students come from a wide range of life experience. There are students coming from high school, students who have been working in the veterinary field for many years, as well as students looking for a second career.
Many of your college degree classes may transfer and satisfy courses in the prerequisite block. This course transfer assessment is completed by the MCC Records Office, and not at the Program level. The Program courses are unique and must be completed at MCC.
Only if they were taken as college courses through the Maricopa Community College District Dual Enrollment Program.
We use mock training devices as often as possible to reduce our teaching animal needs. Our teaching population currently includes horses, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits and rats. It is an AVMA requirement that live animals are used for instruction.
Most of the courses do have a required lab section attached to them. While book learning is an integral part of the Program, Veterinary Technology is a hands-on profession and it is imperative that students are offered the opportunity to apply what they learn in lecture. We believe that our resident animal colony offers the best and most extensive hands - on experience of any program in Arizona.
Our classes are specifically designed to meet the requirements of AVMA accreditation for Veterinary Technology. Because of this, the courses do not meet the requirements for a Veterinary School level course. However, many of the Program courses do transfer to pre - veterinary programs at four year universities.
We have had many students that plan to continue with their education to become veterinarians. While it is not a requirement, the students do report that they have an easier time understanding their courses once in a pre - veterinary program. The process to apply to veterinary school is challenging and extremely competitive. Some veterinary schools do consider the experienced Veterinary Technician as a better candidate for Veterinary School. The only disadvantage to becoming a Veterinary Technician before a veterinarian is the additional time spent in school.
Each state does have its own licensing requirements. In addition to the National Boards, some states have their own Board exam. Some states don’t require the National exam and rely solely on their own state exam. You would have to check with your new state of residence to see what their requirements are. There are a few states that do recognize other states’ license, but again you would have to check with each state to find out their requirements.
This is something that your new state of residency’s licensing board would be able to answer for you.
Yes, since the Program at MCC is accredited, you will be able to sit for the required National Board and the required Arizona state board.
There are advisors available at MCC that can help you complete your application to the college, as well as taking placement tests and getting enrolled in the correct courses in order to satisfy our specific prerequisite requirements. There is also a Program liaison career counselor to help students specifically with our Program. Her name is Valerie Hill, and her office is located in the Technology building. The Program Director and Program Instructor/Lab Coordinator cannot help with prerequisite course placement.
Please view the excellent web site for NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America), www.navta.net. This site offers information about the profession of Veterinary Technology.
The only other accredited community college Veterinary Technology program in Arizona is in Tucson at Pima Community College. There are four accredited proprietary schools located in the Phoenix area.
The MCC Program offers the widest range of hands - on teaching experience. We have the largest assortment of resident teaching animals available. We have a newly remodeled, well equipped teaching lab. All of our instructors are either experienced Veterinarians or licensed Veterinary Technicians. Our total costs for completion of the Program are approximately one-third to one-half of the proprietary schools. Our graduates’ National and State Board passing rate is one of the highest in the entire country.
Most of our students get hired at one of their internship sites, and are already employed when they graduate. We have a job placement board set up outside the instructors’ offices.