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CURTIS, Neb. — Veterinary technician students at the University of Nebraska’s agriculture college in Curtis know plenty about animal health care. In fact, during year-end exams, each student is tested on 130 skills or tasks.
This in-depth, hands-on education is a hallmark for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, and helps earn national recognition for the 45-year-old program.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recently re-affirmed accreditation for NCTA’s Veterinary Technology Program, said Ron Rosati, dean of NCTA, a two-year-degree institution.
“We are pleased to learn of the AVMA accreditation, based on a site visit in the Fall of 2014,” Rosati said. “NCTA’s veterinary technician option features a curriculum built around more than 130 essential skills and tasks established by national entities.”
In addition to veterinary technician, NCTA offers degree options in veterinary assistant, animal husbandry, equine health care and animal health management.
The Veterinary Technology Program has been continuously accredited by the AVMA and the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) since the early ‘70s, said Barbara Berg, VT division chair. She leads the fulltime “vet tech” faculty of four instructors, a staff assistant and licensed veterinary technician (LVT) from NCTA’s animal science program. All the instructors are LVT’s or licensed veterinarians.
“As an AVMA accredited program, the veterinary technician option at NCTA provides the hands-on skills and academic background needed to accept career opportunities as an entry level veterinary technician,” Berg said. She has been with NCTA for 35 years.
The vet tech option graduates are qualified to take the Veterinary Technician National Licensing Exam and upon passage can become a LVT in Nebraska, Berg said. Commonly, 80-100 percent of the veterinary technician graduates have passed the exam.
NCTA’s veterinary technology program was established in 1968 by Dr. Walter Long, for whom the campus teaching clinic is named. Long was joined by local veterinarian, Dr. Everett Stencil, in championing the college and animal health courses.
Periodic reviews are conducted by AVMA. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for the fall of 2020.
Reviewers on the 2014 visit were Dr. Mark Hughes, Grand Island; LVT Lisa Gaede Marquardt, Lincoln; Donna Ramsey, Curtis; Dr. John Lawrence, Burnsville, Minn., and Laura Lien, CVTEA program coordinator.
Berg said the team provided insightful suggestions which will strengthen NCTA’s program for future students and technicians. Program details are available at ncta.unl.edu/veterinary-technology
Article originally published on November 19, 2015 by NBC Nebraska