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Programs of Study

Veterinary Technology

Program Objective
The Veterinary Technology program prepares students to join an animal-care team as entry-level technicians. Technicians collect samples, perform lab tests, take radiographs, prepare the surgical suite, assist in surgery, monitor anesthesia, provide general nursing care to patients, and assume other clinical duties. Second-year students complete clinical rotations in the Animal Care Center, a pet wellness center on the campus of Johnson College. The program prepares students to become Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT) upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).


Total July 1st 2015 – June 30th 2018
Number of first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE 54
Number of eligible first-time candidates 59
Three-Year Pass Rate on VTNE Percentage – Johnson College 46%
Three-year National Average Pass Rate 70%


Admissions Requirements
-1 year of Algebra with a “C+” or higher
-2 years of English with a “C+” or higher
-2 year of Biology or a Life Science with a “C+” or higher
-1 year of Chemistry with a “C+” or higher
-GPA of 3.0 or higher
-SAT scores of 900 or above (combined scores of Math and Verbal)
-ACT scores 18 or above
-Accuplacer score of a 70 or higher for each section
-Veterinary Questionnaire
-Letter of Recommendation (from a Veterinarian or Animal Husbandry Professional)
-10 Hours of Observation at a Veterinary Clinic

Career Opportunities
Graduates work in many areas of veterinary medicine such as small and large animal clinics, research facilities, academia, zoos, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Program Goals

Goal 1: To prepare graduates to function as an entry-level veterinary technician in a variety of clinical settings.

Student Learning Outcomes – Students Will:

  • Demonstrate competence in the skills needed as outlined by the CVTEA, Policies & Procedures Manual, Appendix I, and required tasks for licensure/certification as an entry level Veterinary Technician.
  • Conduct themselves in a manner in accordance with the standards set forth by the AVMA-CVTEA & the Johnson College Veterinary Technology Program for a Veterinary Technician.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Understanding the approach to providing safe and effective care for birds, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits and ferrets.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Small animal dentistry, patient assessment and patient care.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Basic husbandry, handling, medicating and clinical procedures for equine and bovine patients.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Safely and effectively handle common laboratory animals used in animal research and their husbandry needs.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Laboratory/clinical pathology; sample collection, perform lab tests, and prepare samples for off-site testing.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Radiography; perform radiographs, process radiographs, determine diagnostic quality.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Pharmacology/ anesthesiology; proper administration, mechanism of action and related side effects of medications, monitoring of general/light anesthesia, how to employ critical thinking skills for medical calculations.
  • Demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Surgical; surgical suite preparation, surgical assistance, proper aseptic and sterile techniques.
  • Students/graduates will demonstrate competence in the following skills to include but not limited to: Other clinical duties; general office skills, public relations, public communications.

Goal 2: To prepare students to pass the Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE) and to obtain employment as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT.)

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Graduates will pass the VTNE at a rate consistent with AVMA-CVTEA requirements.

Goal 3: To ensure that educators of the program, both didactic and clinical, provide instructions and guidance that meets the needs of the students and the program.


  • Faculty will maintain current licensure in PA
  • Faculty will participate in continuing professional competence related to teaching responsibilities.
  • Faculty will utilize effective instructional methods during didactic and clinical laboratory courses.

Goal 4: To provide students with a curriculum and resources that are current and in compliance with the standards set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), by the Committee of Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), by the International Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), and by the institution.


  • The program director will review all requirements and update program documents accordingly
  • The curriculum will be reviewed annually by the Program Advisory Committee to ensure it is aligned with current practice trends.
  • The program resources will be reviewed annually to ensure adequacy to meet the needs of the program.

Programmatic Accreditation
The Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Recommended Courses
Recommended courses in high school include math courses at a level of Algebra II or higher.

Special Admissions Requirements
Applicants must take 2 years of Biology and/or Life Sciences, and Inorganic Chemistry and attain a grade of “C+” or higher.  A completed Veterinary Technology questionnaire must be submitted and ten hours of observation at a veterinary clinic is required.


Physical Demands
In order to fulfill the requirements of the Veterinary Technology program at Johnson College, students must be able to meet the physical demands associated with the veterinary technician profession. Examples of these requirements include but are not limited to the following:

Code: F = frequent
O = occasionally
n/a = not applicable

Standing1 F Stooping2 O
Walking1 F Kneeling2 F
Sitting1 O Reaching O
Lifting (up to 125 pounds)2 O Manual Dexterity3 F
Carrying (up to 50 pounds)2 F Feeling3 F
Pushing F Talking F
Pulling F Hearing F
Balancing2 F Seeing F
Climbing n/a  Communicating4 F
Crawling O Crouching F


1Very little time is spent sitting down except for writing charts.
2The ability to lift a patient from the floor to waist height, moving patients from stretchers to tables, and using good body mechanics is important.
3Posses fine motor skills and precise movement for phlebotomy, IV catheters, and diagnostic specimen collection.
4The ability to read and understand clinical instructions and apply them to patient’s charts, notes or records.

The ability to assist in surgical areas, including patient positioning, assisting with the care of exposed tissues, operating suction/cautery instruments, assisting with anesthesia and maintaining proper operating room conduct and sepsis.  Must be able to work around strong chemicals used for developing radiographs.

The ability to maneuver on slippery floor surfaces, withstand loud working conditions (barking, constant beeping alarms)

Should not be allergic to domestic animals to the extent that would prohibit working in a facility that has them.

A student must be able to speak intelligibly, to hear adequately, and to observe closely patients in order to elicit and transmit information.  A student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with persons in need of care for their animals, with faculty, clinical staff and veterinarians. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. In addition, the student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. A student must possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients. The student must be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents and plans according to protocol and in a complete and timely manner. Must be able to communicate successfully with the faculty, clinical staff and veterinarians.  Students should be able to hear various equipment sounds and must be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner to owner’s as well as clinicians.

Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function
Individuals applying for admission, progression to clinical courses, and graduation from a program in Veterinary Technology must be able to meet the physical and emotional requirements of the academic program. A student must have sufficient sensory and motor function to elicit information from animal patients by a variety of diagnostic maneuvers. A student must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Behavioral and Social Attributes
In addition, students admitted to the programs in Veterinary Technology must possess the following qualities:

  • The emotional maturity and stability to approach highly stressful human and/or animal situations in a calm and rational manner.
  • The ability to make clinical judgment using critical thinking.
  • The ability to adhere to ethical standards of conduct as well as applicable state and federal laws.
  • The ability to provide effective written, oral, nonverbal communication with clients and their families, colleagues, health care providers, and the public.

Because of the unique responsibilities involved in all Veterinary Technician professions, each department reserves the right to require that the student who appears to be unsuited for any program therein withdraw from the program.

An individual who poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, themselves, or animal patients may be denied admission, progression, or graduation. The College’s determination that a person poses a direct threat will be based on an individualized assessment that relies on current medical evidence or on the best available evidence to assess the nature, duration, and severity of the risk and the probability that the potential injury will actually occur.

Although it is extremely rare, an animal health care worker may become exposed to this virus through accidental transmission from an infected animal.  An effective means of reducing the chance of a rabies infection is through the rabies prophylaxis vaccine.  Once vaccinated, the student would be required to take a reduced amount of vaccines post viral inoculation as opposed to a student who was not protected.  As a potential student who will be providing direct patient care, you will be required to obtain rabies inoculation (See Rabies Vaccine Policy).

Veterinary Technology students are required to maintain a cumulative 2.33 GPA (76% or higher) in VET courses.  Additionally, a student must receive an average grade of “C” (76%) or higher in each VET course. If a student receives a grade below 76%, the student must re-take the course at his/her own expense.  If the student’s GPA falls below 2.33, the student will be placed on academic probation. Please review to the Veterinary Technology Program Syllabus for details concerning academic progress and probation details.

VET 204 and VET 208, Senior Clinical Rotations I and II are capstone courses.  The clinical experiences are to provide an environment allowing students to incorporate and enhance all AVMA required tasks.  Students must receive a score of 76% or better on Clinical Rotation written final exams, oral/practical exams, and instructor evaluations of students.  Students who do not obtain a minimum score of 76% in any of the three evaluations will receive a letter grade of “F” for the rotation and must repeat the course.  Students are also required to adhere to strict guidelines on patient neglect or cruelty.

See Academic Progression Policy.

Internship Education Experience
A five-week internship or cooperative education experience at an approved site must be completed after the last semester of the second year.  Students must satisfy the internship requirements of both Johnson College and the internship provider as a condition of graduation.

Some internship sites may require a criminal background check and/or a drug test.  Internship sites may bar students from an internship if a criminal record exists or a drug test has a positive result.  Costs for travel to and from an internship site are the responsibility of the student.

Animal Care Center
The Johnson College Animal Care Center offers veterinary services to dogs and cats. For more information, click here.

Pregnancy Policy
Students should contact the Veterinary Technology Department Chair for a copy of the program’s pregnancy policy.

Rabies/Tetanus Medical Inoculations

  • The Center for Disease Control considers individuals working with animals (including veterinarians and their staff) to be in the high-risk category. The CDC’s recommendation for these individuals is to obtain a primary course of rabies vaccinations followed by serologic testing or booster vaccination every two years.
  • Vaccination against tetanus and against rabies is required for all Veterinary Technology students. Proof of rabies and tetanus inoculation prior to program orientation is required.

Potential Employers

Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital
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Citywide Animal Clinic
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Kimberly Konopka BS, AS, CVT
Program Director

Dr. Jayne Kubat, DVM
Clinical Veterinarian

Jolynn Lawler, CVT
Instructor/Veterinary Technician

Amanda Melnyk, CVT
Instructor/Veterinary Technician


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