For the second consecutive year, graduates of the veterinary technology program at Great Bay Community College outperformed their peers on a national industry licensing exam. The 2019 graduating class achieved a 95-percent pass rate on the Veterinary Technician National Exam. The 2018 graduating class had a 94-percent pass rate. The national average was 78 percent.
The success of Great Bay students taking the national exam demonstrates that graduates of the two-year associate degree program are well-prepared to begin working in the field upon graduation, said Dr. Deborah Discher, the Veterinary Technology Program Director. But a better indicator of students’ preparedness is success in their careers, she said.
“Most of our graduates secure jobs in veterinary hospitals. In fact, most graduates have jobs lined up at graduation,” Discher said. “I receive many emails and calls from veterinary hospitals specifically looking for our graduates. We conduct employer surveys, and the responses are very positive.”
Great Bay graduates work in veterinary hospitals across New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and Maine. The 2019 class had 28 graduates, Discher said. The program typically graduates between 25 to 30 students each year.
The program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Students learn medical, surgical, and laboratory procedures. Graduates are eligible to work in veterinary hospitals, medical laboratories, pet-related industries, zoos, research facilities and pharmaceutics. First and foremost, Discher said, Great Bay graduates are advocates for pets “and 100 percent committed to every animal. I think our program is so successful for many reasons. We have an incredibly dedicated and talented group of faculty members, and we work diligently to keep the curriculum current and challenging. We expect a lot from our students and require them to work hard.”
To help address the significant shortfall in the number of nurses in New Hampshire, River Valley Community College (RVCC) is launching a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program, with its first student cohort beginning January 21, 2020.