Sanford, NC — The Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program is celebrating its 50th year of service.
Formerly known as the Animal Hospital Technician curriculum, it was the first of its kind in North Carolina when it began in September 1965. The name changed to Veterinary Medical Technology in September 1968.
CCCC’s VMT graduates have high regard for the program, which is one of just four North Carolina colleges that have veterinary technology certification from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“The Veterinary Medical Technology Program at CCCC was not only an education, but a way of finding myself and finding confidence in myself,” said Beckie Mossor, of the Class of 2007. “The program built my educational and technical skills, but also my ability to trust in myself and helped me find my dream to become a Veterinary Technician. It built a foundation of professional skills and relationships that has followed me throughout my career.”
Sam Geiling, of the Class of 2008, noted that after four years in the U.S. Navy, she researched both veterinary schools and veterinary technology programs. “I can say that nearly 10 years after my decision to attend the Veterinary Medical Technology Program at CCCC, I am certain that I made the right decision. I have used what I learned in the VMT program to develop the only veterinary technology program in Hawaii,” she said. “While starting and growing the program here in Hawaii, I have leaned heavily on CCCC’s faculty for guidance, advice, and support. Each student who has the opportunity to learn from the instructors there are fortunate to be learning from the best. Congrats on 50 years!”
Emily Bolch, of the Class of 2008, said the CCCC VMT program changed her life and started her on a career path that she has loved. “I found an incredible community of people at CCCC that have remained friends, advocates, and resources long after graduation, both personally and professionally,” she said. “I’ll always be grateful to the teachers and staff of the VMT program for the incredible support and guidance that they gave me.”
Since 1974, the program has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). Graduates are recognized leaders in their field. Departmental instructors are leaders in the veterinary community.
“I believe that great people make great programs,” said Kim Browning, DVM, Department Chair of CCCC’s VMT program. “At CCCC, we have those great people: motivated students that are eager to learn, outstanding faculty that are dedicated to education and the success of our students, extraordinary administrators and Board of Trustee members that are extremely supportive, and highly involved community members.”
Browning speaks highly of the dedicated faculty members. “Not only are they passionate about the program and the veterinary industry as a whole, but they are often experts in the fields of study in which they teach. When you have a faculty that is, across the board, dedicated to what they teach, students feel it, and will be proud and passionate, too,” said Browning. “In addition to our human team members, we have the honor of having onsite colony animals that offer our students a real world experience and hands-on skill application that otherwise would not be possible.”
Jonathan Loftis, CCCC’s Animal Facilities Manager and VMT Instructor, added, “I think what makes us special and successful is an overwhelming dedication to learning and to helping animals that is found in each of our faculty member and in each of our students. This program is not an easy program academically or personally. It takes true dedication to succeed.”
The VMT program exposes students to a variety of animals including rodents, rabbits, dogs, cats, cattle, and horses. In addition to extensive hands-on lab experiences, the program also uses numerous teaching models and demonstrations.
Students enrolled in the program study nutrition, diseases, anatomy, radiology, parasitology, pharmacology, dental, surgical and clinical procedures, anesthesiology, lab techniques, and office practices. The program has a diverse animal population, a large dog and cat ward, on-campus labs, and an off-campus large animal facility.
The instructional program features guest speakers from the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine, representatives from pharmaceutical and research facilities, and from specialty hospitals, as well as members of the N.C. Veterinary Board. Students are invited to attend meetings and continuing education seminars sponsored by state veterinary associations.
The program is designed to be completed in two years and is offered exclusively during weekday classes at the Lee County campus in Sanford.
A variety of job opportunities awaits graduates of the VMT program. Employers include private veterinary practices, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, state and federal agencies, veterinary teaching hospitals, and specialty and emergency practices.
Browning said the job market for VMT graduating students is excellent. “According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.’ Because of their outstanding reputation in the industry, CCCC VMT students average at least three to four job offers upon graduation, including those in private practices, zoos, research, government, and pharmaceutical industries,” she said.
“Our graduates are not limited to working in small animal practices in North Carolina,” said Loftis. “We have graduates working in research, large animal, zoos, aquariums, supply companies, and many other industries in North Carolina, in other states, and in foreign countries. Our graduates can choose to go almost anywhere they want to work.”
Rebekah Boan, of the Class of 2009, said the CCCC VMT program offered an entirely new world and opened up many doors of opportunity. “I’ve had the high of assisting a guinea pig give birth via C-section and the low of having to euthanize a primate,” she said. “I’ve handled large snakes, bald eagles, pigs, monkeys, and even got to help do health certificates on tigers. I couldn’t have done any of that without the wonderful groundwork laid by the CCCC VMT program!”
“We are so thankful to be given the privilege to serve students for the last 50 years, and that we are so excited for what the future holds,” said Browning. “We are eternally grateful to the community for all of their continued support, which with it, brings many new opportunities for the future.”
For more information on the Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program, visit www.cccc.edu/curriculum/majors/veterinarymedical, or contact Admissions Counselor Daniel Berndt at 919-718-7234 or email .
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.