Aspiring licensed veterinary technicians (LVTs) will have expanded opportunities in the near future, as Appalachian State University (App State) announced the addition of a 4-year online degree program for LVT candidates. The university expects to welcome its first class in fall 2022.
The program, which App State says “will combine Bachelor of Science credentials with preparation for veterinary technician licensure,” is the result of a multimillion dollar commitment from Banfield Pet Hospital. The partnership is part of Banfield’s effort to address a shortage of veterinary professionals; this program is designed to help expand veterinary medical coverage in rural communities.
“App State excels in developing visionary academic programs that address professional workforce shortages in rural communities and help advance industry standards,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts in a news release. “With graduation and licensure achievement rates that far exceed national averages, our university is uniquely positioned to develop and deliver a signature program that will help advance the profession, elevate the role of the licensed veterinary technician and address the market demand for skilled, rural veterinary professionals.”
The online program will fall under App State’s College of Arts & Sciences. The university plans to have faculty members from multiple disciplines create a “rigorous, signature program” for LVT candidates.
This partnership between App State and Banfield comes after a Banfield study found that 75 million pets could go without medical care in the U.S. by 2030. The company put a focus on increasing diversity within veterinary medicine and growing the profession. Elsewhere in the industry, IDEXX made an investment in veterinary students of color by donating $3.6 million for scholarships and other improvements at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.