Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Veterinary Technology Program
Is this a 2-year program and can I only start in the fall?
The AAS-VT degree is designed to be a two-year program (four semesters). This is based on students who are at college level performance (see question # 4) that follow the curriculum as outlined in the catalog. Some students choose to take three years to complete the program due to other demands on their time from jobs and family.
The program must be completed within 4 academic years. See addenda: “2 year track” and “3 year track” in the Veterinary Technology Program Guide. While it is possible to start in the spring semester with the core classes (English Composition, Communications, Psychology/Human Relations), the program specific classes (VET prefix) are taught in a sequential manner that requires their start to be in the fall. Ideally the AAS-VT program only starts in the fall semester.
What kind of animals will I be exposed to and how much hands-on experience will I have?
The program has many different types of resident animals for your learning. We have large animals including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs and llamas; exotic animals including snakes, turtles, caged birds, rats, mice, guinea pigs and ferrets; wildlife currently including a Great Horned Owl, a Golden eagle, a Ferruginous hawk and a turkey vulture; and small animals (cats and dogs).
The program is designed to give you hands-on experience with many species of animals. Our “Handling & Restraint” class teaches you how to comfortably work with these animals. The “Animal Care” class teaches you how to care for them.
Is this an accredited program?
We have been accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) since December 1975. Graduates from this program, after successful completion of the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam), become Credentialed Veterinary Technician. Our graduates on their first time taking the VTNE score very well with a 90-100 % pass rate.
Are there any prerequisites for this program and if so, what are they?
There are academic skill level requirements before enrolling into Veterinary Technology Courses. The following skill levels are required:
Scholastically be ready to enroll in English Composition ENG 121
Scholastically be ready to enroll in College Algebra MAT 120 or MAT 121
College Level Reading
Applicants demonstrate these skills through Accuplacer Placement Tests, acceptable ACT/SAT scores or college transfer credits. Your proficiency may affect the sequence of courses in which you enroll and may extend the time required to complete this program. Please contact the Spring Valley Admissions Office at 970-947-8276 for further information about placement into the program.
What jobs are available after graduation? Do you have a job placement program?
What you do with your career following graduation is limited only by your imagination. Many of our graduates follow the traditional course of employment into a private veterinary practice. Others go into research; others work in animal control or with humane societies.
With your medical background, there are opportunities in pharmaceutical food sales and with veterinary equipment and software companies. CMC’s reputation for producing quality technicians has created a network of veterinarians who contact us when they have employment opportunities available. See the Vet Tech Job Board (right-hand column) to assist our graduates with job placement. Often the number of job opportunities exceeds our supply of students.
I have questions about certification exams. When do I take the exam, how much do they cost, am I certified in all states and does the school help me to prepare for them?
The Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE) is administered by the AAVSB. You must be a graduate of an AVMA accredited program to be eligible to take the exam. Testing details can be found at www.aavsb.org. Currently the fee for the exam is $300.
Each state has their own requirements for credentialing Veterinary Technicians. Many states require only a passing grade on the VTNE. Others have a state specific exam in addition to the VTNE. The AAVSB website lists each state’s requirements for credentialing. Students who do well in school are adequately prepared for the exam after graduation.
What are the costs of the program? What books am I required to purchase? What additional equipment or supplies am I responsible for providing?
If I decide to pursue a career in veterinary medicine as a veterinarian, how much of this will transfer to another college?
Transferable courses are the core classes and many “BIO” prefixed courses. Program specific courses (noted by their VET prefix in the course code) are not transferable; however the experiences and education you receive in our program is an excellent base for further study. Students interested in pursuing a DVM (Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree) should consider an Associate of Science degree during their time at CMC.
What is the campus like? Will I be a number to my instructors or will they know me by name?
By your name!
Colorado Mountain College in Spring Valley Campus is a small and friendly campus surrounded by exceptionally beautiful country. The VT class size varies from year to year, but is relatively small allowing us to get to know each other personally. First year VT classes usually contain 25-32 students. Sophomore classes typically average 15-20 students. Colorado Mountain College is a very student-oriented college encouraging student success.
Do the Vet Tech students have a club and if so, what does it do?
The Vet Tech students have a very strong and active club. The club maintains a student chapter with NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technician’s America). Activities in the past have included fund raising (dog washes, horse poker rides, Pet Food Drive etc), trips to Denver to see the Stock Show, visit Senior Centers or the Denver Zoo. The Vet Tech club is strong because of its student participation. We encourage you to be an active member or a club officer during your years at CMC.
What about residence halls, apartments, off-campus living, employment assistance, foreign student matters, payment plans and veteran affairs?
You will receive some of this information if you apply and are on a communication track for the Vet Tech program. Information will mailed out to you with further information. However, if you do not find answers to your questions, please call Admissions at 970-947-8276.
What can I do to prepare myself for success in CMC’s Vet Tech Program?
What can I do to prepare myself for success in CMC’s Vet Tech Program?
One very important thing is to develop a sense of personal responsibility for your learning. The staff and faculty work very hard to guide you through the material, but ultimately you are responsible for understanding the concepts presented.
We suggest as a guideline that you plan to study 2 hours for each hour of classroom time. Another good idea is to get some experience in a veterinary practice. This helps to “ground” some of the details you will be exposed to at CMC. There is a lot of assigned reading in our program, so it is helpful to develop good reading and comprehension skills. Some Vet tech students struggle with math — you may want to review your basic math skills.
Do I need to have a computer?
No. You have access to several computers at the Vet Tech Center, and the campus is wireless so if you have a laptop, you can connect anywhere on campus. Additionally, CMC has two well-equipped computer labs open for student use: one in the library, the other in the Alpine Bank Lab within the Academic building.
What about an Honor code?
Veterinary medicine is an honorable profession based on unconditional honesty and sound morals. We expect and insist upon this from our students at all times.
This applies to all aspects of the program including, but not limited to assignments, testing, animal care treatments and medical record keeping. We have a formal honor code that all students sign and agree to abide by.
Is this a 9-5 program?
No. In addition to the regularly scheduled classes and labs, each semester, each student is assigned two weeks (including weekends) of animal care responsibilities (feeding, watering, cleaning etc). There are also times when we diagnose and treat our animals outside regular classroom time. Veterinary practice is not 9-5, and neither is technician school.
This all sounds pretty serious. Is it any fun?
Yes. Although veterinary medicine is very serious business, the staff and faculty recognize the importance of enjoying what we are doing. We keep our classrooms and labs informal, and have fun along the way.
I don’t like cats/horses/cattle/rodents etc. Do I have to work with them?
Many of our students come to us with apprehension about working with certain species. With supportive, expert instruction with the animal, we find many students realize their feelings and interest have changed. We are sensitive to this issue and encourage free and open communication.