Moraine Park Technical College’s Veterinary Technician program was recently awarded a provisional accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education and Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the U.S.
One of only two Veterinary Technician programs in Wisconsin, Moraine Park’s program is in its second year and off to a very strong start, with a full roster of students both years.
“We were really excited to show the AVMA site team our program,” said Laura Lien, BS, CVT, veterinary technician instructor and program director. “We are still working on curriculum development this semester and are constantly reviewing and taking in feedback from students, clinical supervisors and the advisory committee to make revisions and changes. We've used outside content experts for our curriculum to make sure we are on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine.”
According to the AVMA Web site, www.avma.org, provisional accreditation is granted to new programs in veterinary technology where students have not completed the entire curriculum and/or the programs have not produced sufficient numbers of graduates to adequately assess outcomes. Programs may remain on provisional accreditation for up to five years. Graduates of a provisionally accredited program are graduates of an AVMA-accredited program.
“The College has shown its ability to meet or exceed the standards set by AVMA which include curriculum, physical facilities and equipment, financial, organizational, library facilities, faculty, staff, higher education accreditation, assessment and others,” said Lien.
For Moraine Park graduates, the accreditation means they are eligible to sit for the national and state board exam in Wisconsin and become certified veterinary technicians if they pass, according to Lien. As AVMA-accredited graduates, they have greater mobility throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since credentialing requirements vary from state to state, the AVMA status gives graduates the best chance of being eligible for credentialing wherever they go.
Offered as an online associate degree, Moraine Park’s Veterinary Technician program focuses on the basic skills needed to assist veterinarians in the overall health care, handling and restraint, and disease diagnosis and prevention of large and small animals. Students learn practical applications in animal anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and pathology, and how to assist with surgery, instrumentation and office procedures. Clinical sites are used to practice the actual procedures that veterinary technicians perform.
A second instructor, Kelly Mowell, MS, DVM, has joined Lien. Mowell moved to Wisconsin from Kansas to practice in an area that supports both dairy and small animal veterinary medicine. “The variety of cases that Wisconsin offers and the wonderful people in this state have kept me here,” she said. Mowell and her family have four dogs and two cats. She enjoys participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, hunting, tracking and conformation. In 2007, she shifted her focus from practicing veterinary medicine in the large and small animal fields to teaching at Moraine Park. “In my opinion, having a great veterinary technician more than doubles the quality and the quantity of veterinary medicine a doctor can perform,” said Mowell.
Prior to becoming a Moraine Park instructor in 2006, Lien worked at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for eight years in Large Animal Internal Medicine, where she earned the Veterinary Technician of the Year Award three times. She is working on a Veterinary Technician Specialty in Internal Medicine with the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians and serving as their director-at-large for the Large Animal sub-specialization. Other accomplishments include co-authoring several published articles based on research data, developing an ancillary text for a textbook and publishing a case report in the January 2007 issue of Veterinary Technician Journal.
For more information about Moraine Park’s Veterinary Technician program, visit www.morainepark.edu and click on Academics, or call 1-800-472-4554. A program video can be viewed on the Web site.