Group Completes MCCC's Veterinary Assistant Certificate Program;
Info. Session for New Class Aug. 25
Windsor, N.J. - Three years ago, veterinarians at the Princeton
Animal Hospital (PAH) & Carnegie Cat Clinic approached
the Center for Continuing Studies (CCS) at Mercer County Community
College with an idea. Why not develop a comprehensive curriculum
to equip veterinary support staff with the myriad skills necessary
to provide top-notch service for daily office operations?
MCCC heeded the call and worked with the hospital to develop
a comprehensive Veterinary Assistant Certificate curriculum.
program began last September and the first cohort of 11 students
completed its coursework in May. Students concluded the program
this summer with a 75-hour externship. They ranged from age
18 to those pursuing second and even third careers.
information session for this fall's classes, which are set
to begin Sept. 6, will take place Thursday, August 25 at 5:30
p.m. at MCCC's Conference Center on the West
Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Center for Continuing Studies congratulates its first class
to complete the Veterinary Assistant Certificate Program.
Pictured, standing left to right, are students Corinne Stahl,
Kandice Smock, Gina Iacono, Chris Ware, Fay Simeone, Vicki
Buda, and Kathy Rowland. Pictured, seated left to right, are
instructors Andrea Pace, Wendi Martin and Maxine Fox.
include a high school diploma or GED, a clear understanding of written
and spoken English, and proof of health insurance.
For graduate Corinne Stahl, of Stockton, the program has been a
dream come true. In June, she landed a full-time position as a veterinary
technician at PAH. A life-long animal lover, she has volunteered
at a rabies clinic since age 13. "The program was definitely
hard work, but the pay-off has been amazing," Stahl said. "I
would recommend it to anyone."
training programs are technician-oriented, but Mercer adds overall
entry-level office skills, according to Read Langan, assistant director
at CCS. Taught in four modules by experts in veterinary medicine,
students learn medical terminology, regulatory laws, and basic hospital
procedures, as well as telephone etiquette and customer service
skills. Trips to facilities such as PAH and NorthStar VETS in Robbinsville
are also part of the field-based curriculum.
to lead instructor and program coordinator Andrea Pace, Esq., a
certified veterinary technician, the program is designed to provide
a gateway for professional development and career change. "The
students in the class were quite diverse in their interests, skill
sets and preferences," Pace said. "Some wanted to work
with horses, others with birds, dogs and cats, and others with all
animals. Our approach is to ensure that no one feels intimidated
by the material and that they develop the skills they need to be
comes to the program with considerable expertise, having served
as former chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals. She has also appeared on Animal Cops Philadelphia,
part of an animal welfare reality series that runs on Animal Planet,
a cable television channel distributed by Discovery Communications.
James Miele, DVM, co-owner of Princeton Animal Hospital (PAH), and
Stephen Tracey, general manager at PAH, have been instrumental in
giving students access to the hospital and a chance to observe hospital
procedures during their externships.
"We are very proud of our first graduating class," Langan
said. "Listening and responding to the concerns of specialists
in the field, we built the curriculum from the ground up. We will
continue to enhance all facets of the program. It is gratifying
to see many animal lovers turn their passion into achievement."
notes she is currently working with Pace and other instructors Wendi
Martin, Maxine Fox and Leslie Sheppard Bird on a curriculum review.
The program awaits approval from the National Association of Veterinary
Technicians in America (NAVTA). Once approved, students will be
able to take NAVTA's national certification exam.
For more information about the Information Session on August 25
or for general program information, visit the Center for Continuing
or call 609-570-3311.
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