High School Program

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The preparatory training for the veterinary assistant provides a sound platform for students who wish to pursue an associate, undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in veterinary science.
Graduates receive Veterinary Assistant (VA) classification by successfully completing a course of study (100 lessons, lesson questions, and 50 activities) in veterinary science along with an apprenticeship (500 hours, clinical or non-clinical) in veterinary medicine.
Students may choose from the following career tracks:
– Veterinary assisting in clinical practice (pet, livestock, and exotic animal health care)
– Veterinary assisting in laboratory practice (animal health research and diagnostics)
– Veterinary assisting in One Health (integrated animal, human, and environmental health)
Print and eBooks are available through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Bookstore.
Web-Based Resources are available through Texas A&M Conference Services and hosted at eXtension Online Campus.
To satisfy the apprenticeship component, student must be accepted into a VA trainee position, paid or unpaid, in a clinical or nonclinical career field of the veterinary profession.
After sufficient observation hours, student must gain a minimum of 500 hands-on work hours acquiring the skills and competencies nesessary to complete the certificate program. Completion of the clinical skill hours fulfills the apprenticeship requirement.
High School Implementation:
Curriculum: 1 year (10th grade)
Apprenticeship: 2 years: (11th and 12th grade)

  • 1 year (11th grade) 200 skill hours attained under teacher supervision in the classroom
  • 1 year (12th grade) 300 skill hours attained under supervision of a clinical, One Health, or laboratory science professional

Certificates:

Upon completion of the curriculum and apprenticeship, graduates are eligible for state certification by examination through the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).
For assistance or for more information:
Joe W. Mask, PhD
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD)
joe.mask@ag.tamu.edu
(979) 845-4353