The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) and York County Community College (YCCC) announced an agreement that will facilitate YCCC students who receive a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree to transfer those credits towards a Veterinary Technology Baccalaureate Degree at UMA. An announcement event took place at Maine Veterinary Medical Center (MVMC), Scarborough.
Those in attendance from UMA and YCCC spoke about the benefits the agreement provides to both educational institutions.
“This agreement represents an opportunity for our students that is a real milestone for our program. For our students to be able to complete their Associate’s degree, succeed on the National Veterinary Technician Exam and then have the opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree while remaining in the practice that likely helped facilitate their success at YCCC, is an incredible value. And that value serves the student, the veterinary practice that has invested in the student’s growth and both YCCC and UMA. I am grateful to everyone who worked to make this happen for our students,” stated Margaret Wheeler, YCCC Veterinary Technology Professor.
“By partnering with both York County Community College and Maine Veterinary Medical Center, we are able to provide educational opportunities in Veterinary Technology to Maine people statewide,” said UMA Professor Jennifer Freese. “Students in southern Maine can complete the first two years of their education close to home and often complete their Bachelor’s Degree with UMA online.”
MVMC provides UMA students with internship opportunities, giving students a hands-on experience. The MVMC representatives acknowledged the workforce need for individuals with a Veterinary Technology education.
“Maine Veterinary Medical Center is always seeking qualified individuals to fill Veterinary Technology positions,” explained Lisa Quinones, MVMC Human Resources Manager. “The option for having students at YCCC obtain a Bachelor’s Degree at UMA will be beneficial in meeting this need.”
Veterinary Technology positions are in demand within the state of Maine. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
As the number of households with pets and spending on pets continue to rise, there is expected to be increasing demand for veterinary technologists and technicians to perform laboratory work and imaging services on household pets.”
Some career opportunities available to Licensed Veterinary Technicians include: Small Animal Medicine, Equine Medicine, Food Animal Medicine, Zoo/Wildlife Medicine, Emergency/Referral/Specialty Medicine, Lab Animal Medicine (research), Regulatory Medicine (protect well-being of animals), Veterinary Practice Management, Veterinary Product Marketing and Sales, Animal Nutrition and Humane work or Shelter Medicine.
Traditional small animal clinics are always seeking licensed and qualified individuals, as well as biotech companies such as Jackson Labs and IDEXX. Additionally, Veterinary Technology graduates often find employment opportunities in government agencies, zoos and in the education field. Veterinary technicians often will own/manage their own businesses in professional pet care instead of or in addition to working in the medical field.