High School Program

The preparatory training for the veterinary assistant provides students with the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to pursue their education career goals. The program also provides a sound platform for students who wish to pursue an associate, undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in veterinary science.
Graduates of this program receive the title classification of Veterinary Assistant (VA) by successfully completing a course of study in veterinary science along with an apprenticeship (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)
The program curriculum provides the preparatory training for the veterinary assistant and fulfills the curriculum requirement.
Print and eBook resources are available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Bookstore.
Web-Based Resources are purchased through Texas A&M Conference Services and hosted at eXtension Online Campus.
To satisfy the apprenticeship training necessary for the program, students must be accepted into a VA internship trainee position, either in a paid or unpaid role in a clinical or nonclinical career fields of the veterinary profession.
After sufficient observation hours, student must gain a minimum of 500 hands-on work hours acquiring the skills and competencies to complete the certificate program apprenticeship requirement.
High School Implementation:
- Curriculum 1 year (10th grade)
- Internship 1 year (11th grade)
- Externship 1 year (12th grade)
- Clinical Veterinary Assistant Certificate
- One Health Veterinary Assistant Certificate
- Laboratory Veterinary Assistant Certificate
Upon completion of the curriculum and apprenticeship, graduates become eligible for state certification by examination through the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).
For assistance or for more information:
Dr. Joe Mask, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD)
(979) 845-6574