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Best Online Degrees in: Veterinary Tech

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Veterinary Tech

Value
The award for best value in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology goes to Kansas State University. According to Payscale.com, students receive an average 7.4% return on investment. Furthermore, Payscale.com shows that 68% of the students attending Kansas State are receiving some type to financial aid, bringing the return on investment to 8.3%.

Flexibility
St. Petersburg College is receiving the award for most flexibility in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. St. Petersburg’s online program allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology around their own schedules. Students don’t need to attend class or work on assignments at set times.

Career Support
State University of New York at Delhi receives the award for best career support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology. Their Career & Transfer Services will help students plan for a career and transition from school into the workplace through tools such as Career Cruising and Career Zone. They can also help students find internship opportunities.

Financial Support
State University of New York at Delhi receives the award for best financial support in a college offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 89% of the students attending SUNY at Delhi are receiving some type of financial aid. The staff in the Student Financial Services department will work with each student to help them obtain the financial support they need.

Technology Support
Kansas State University holds the award for best technology and tech support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology. Kansas State uses a variety of technologies to improve their students’ learning experience and make their online classrooms highly efficient and easy to use, featuring forums, navigation tools, and multimedia. They also offer technology training for students and 24/7 tech support.

Student Engagement
The award for student engagement in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology goes to State University of New York at Delhi. SUNY at Delhi students have access to a large number of clubs and organizations, each with a specific focus, that encourage and allow students to interact and exchange ideas. Online instructors also strive to maintain communication with each student and encourage participation in class discussions.

Disability Support
The award for best disability support by a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology is being given to Kansas State University. In addition to meeting all of the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, their Disability Support Services has a department dedicated to accommodating students with disabilities taking distance education courses. They will work with each student to determine their needs and strive to meet them.

Library and Research Support
The award for the best library and research support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology is being given to St. Petersburg College. Their library features a large amount of books, articles, and journals. To assist students with their research, they offer study guides, citation help, and user-friendly navigation tools. They also have certain publications reserved for specific courses, allowing students to search by entering in their course numbers.

Learning Support
State University of New York at Delhi wins the award for the best learning support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Their online classrooms allow interaction between the students and their instructor. Through the school’s learning center, they can receive tutoring, counseling, and academic advice. They also provide tutorials, tips, information, and support specifically for their online students.

Faculty Credentials
The best faculty credentials award for a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology goes to St. Petersburg College. They ensure the competence of their staff and encourage them to continuing learning. Furthermore, they allow students to view their instructors’ credentials. St. Petersburg also has a long list of expectations that each faculty member must meet to continue to teach.

Faculty Accessibility
The award for faculty accessibility in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology goes to State University of New York at Delhi. Contact information for instructors is provided in each online class, in addition to students being able to interact with their instructors through the class forum. Also, their directory provides email addresses and phone numbers for each faculty member.

Alumni Engagement
Kansas State University receives the award for best alumni engagement in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Their alumni association holds regular events, programs, and reunions, they publish K-Stater Magazine, and they have social media networks on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, which all allow alumni to stay in touch with each other and aware of what’s going on at Kansas State.

Prior Learning Options
Kansas State University wins the award for best prior learning options for a school offering an online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology. Kansas State will allow students to transfer approved previously-earned college credits. Students can also earn credits based on their military training, their knowledge of an international language, or their score on the College-Level Examination Program or DANTES tests. They also offer a quiz-out option for many courses, allowing students to earn credit without having to take these courses if they are able to successfully pass the quizzes.

New Online Student Orientation
The new student orientation award for a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology goes to State University of New York at Delhi. They offer a quiz that prospective students can take to discover if online learning is right for them, as well as a sample online course to allow students to experience the school’s online learning environment. They also have student support services where students can get advice, tips, support, and answers to any of their questions.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Tech

Veterinary technology is focused on meeting the healthcare needs of animals under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian. This paraprofessional field of study produces competent professionals that are capable of performing laboratory tests, performing and monitoring anesthesia on animals, assisting with surgeries, providing pre- and post-operative care for animals, and educating pet and livestock owners on how to properly care for animals’ health and nutrition needs. Online veterinary tech programs produce two levels of professionals — the veterinary technologist, who has a bachelor’s degree, and the veterinary technician — who has an associate degree. Associate degree programs are more common.

Many online veterinary technician programs are designed for individuals who are already working in veterinary offices as veterinary assistants, but who would like to become certified. Employment in the field is important for online programs because the student will need a real-world work environment in which to sharpen the clinical skills they are learning in veterinary technology. These online veterinary technology degrees can be completed in approximately two years of full-time work, which may incorporate campus-based labs and proctored exams on campus along with online course work. Program length varies based on the school you attend, required prerequisites, credits transferred into the program, and attending the program part-time.

Class Curriculum

Students in a veterinary tech degree program start out taking general education requirements, such as English composition, mathematics, humanities, fine arts, computer literacy, and the social and behavioral sciences, and the biological sciences and related labs. Core courses will include instruction in veterinary office procedures, veterinary medical terminology, large and small animal breeds, and clinical and nursing skills. Other core courses include:

  • Animal Anatomy. In this course, students learn about the body structure of domesticated animals, generally with an emphasis on dogs and cats. Students become familiar with terminology used to describe various regions on an animal’s body when communicating with veterinary staff.
  • Animal Physiology. This course explores the body systems of domesticated, animals, including ruminant and non-ruminant digestive systems. Students will learn about animal musculature and movement, respiratory and circulatory systems, and methods of staying cool or warm.
  • Animal Pharmacology. In this course, students learn how drugs are processed by an animal’s body and the effects those drugs have, including therapeutic and adverse effects. Students learn classes of drugs typically administered to animals, pharmacokinetic behavior, sensitivities to drugs in certain breeds, and appropriate dosages.

Online veterinary tech programs incorporate online quizzes and exams, but some may require students to report to a campus to sit for proctored midterms and finals, depending on the school. Lab work and clinical practice are the most significant components of an online vet tech program. In a clinical setting, students will be asked to demonstrate their skills in anesthesia, operating room technique and sterilization of instruments, diagnostic testing, and more.

Building a Career

The typical career path for students who complete online veterinary tech degrees is veterinary technologists or technicians. Vet techs find employment at private veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, research laboratories, animal shelters, and even zoos. While state licensing requirements for these professionals vary, most states will require vet techs to be registered, licensed, or certified, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In most states, the licensure process requires that students pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

The median yearly salary for veterinary techs was $29,710 as of May 2010, the BLS noted. However, wages were higher for vet techs that worked in research positions. Average salaries were $36,450 for vet techs working in higher education institutions and $36,200 for vet techs working in scientific research and development the BLS explained. Vet techs can expect spectacular job growth over the next decade, with the BLS projecting 52% employment growth between 2010 and 2020. Keep in mind, however, that a degree in veterinary technology does not guarantee you a job, and that salaries vary depending on where you live, how much experience you have, and other factors.

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