Education is not only about imparting knowledge and completing the designated course. It is about transforming students into able and seasoned professionals who can change the landscape with their focused endeavours. The leading veterinary institutes leave no stone unturned to ensure that they provide students with excellent educational facilities. They build a bright career path for the emerging generation of veterinarians. One of the prominent veterinary institutes providing excellent educational and career-development opportunities is Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®).
Founded in 1963 as Ohio’s first and largest community college, it is committed to providing affordable and high-quality education to its surrounding communities. The college strives toward diversity and inclusion for students, staff, and faculty. It has provided high-quality, affordable education and programs to more than one million community members.
Tri-C offers more than 1,000 credit courses each semester in more than 200 career and technical programs. It also grants short-term certificates, certificates of proficiency, and post-degree professional certificates.
The college offers more than 600 non-credit workforce and professional development courses each year. It serves students at four campuses and numerous off-campus sites strategically located throughout the county.
Emphasis on Skill-Based Learning
Tri-C’s Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Therefore, its overarching goal is to align its course objectives and learning outcomes to AVMA requirements. Essential hands-on skills — required for students to graduate from the degree program — are linked to courses within the curriculum. These skills are invaluable in ensuring the graduates’ success in the working world. The college also promotes soft skills to ensure the success of the students.
The Eminent Forerunner
Tri-C is marching toward academic excellence under the ardent leadership of Carrie Harviel, Program Director of Veterinary Technology. Though she has only been with the Vet Tech program for a year, she truly hit the ground running and has been a great asset to the program, campus, and institution.
Not only had the college’s brand-new facility just opened when Carrie joined, but the pandemic had just begun as well. Regardless, she never missed a step. She has helped expand Tri-C’s outreach into the campus and community. Several new partnerships have been established under her supervision, including partnerships with local shelters as well as regional government agencies.
Upholding Academic Excellence
Tri-C’s instructors and staff are all committed to delivering high-quality education. It is an established program with a long-term reputation for training outstanding veterinary technicians within the community and beyond. The college’s VTNE passage rates are consistently higher than the national average due to the quality of the educational experience and training that the students receive. Its brand-new, state-of-the-art facility — completed just this past year — was designed to mirror what students experience in the veterinary workplace. Tri-C has a high approval rating from area employers. A graduate of the college’s program serves as an on-staff tutor to assist students on their academic journey.
Excellent Infrastructure and Career-Oriented Initiatives
Tri-C’s brand-new state-of-the-art facility mirrors what students will experience in the working world, featuring equipment such as centralized oxygen; digital radiography for small animals, large animals, and dentistry; anesthetic monitoring equipment; and much more.
Students begin a practicum and seminar course in the summer session between their first and second year. On Mondays, they visit an assigned veterinary facility to participate in daily interactions and procedures. They meet with the preceptor, Monica Bode, once a week to discuss soft skills, potential obstacles within the field and how to manage them, and other information that helps them maintain professionalism in the working world.
The students continue practicum and seminar through their second fall semester, followed by an internship in their final semester. These experiences provide valuable insight into what to expect in the field. Tri-C’s students are exposed to many different facilities during this process, immersing them in the field and imparting valuable real-world experience. This helps to reinforce their education and often piques their interest in specific areas within veterinary medicine.
The Saga of Triumph
Tri-C has always made a mark in the field of education through its dedicated endeavors. Throughout its celebrated run in the education sector, it has made many significant achievements.
Founded by Barbara Musalf, DVM, and Audrey Kukwa, RVT, in 1988, the program’s high standards and exceptional educational experience were established and maintained under the leadership of managers John Thomas, DVM, and Linda Kuenzer, RVT.
AVMA initially accredited Tri-C’s Veterinary Technology program in 1998. Since then, VTNE passage rates are consistently higher than the national average due to the quality of the educational experience the students receive. Its program received a new state-of-the-art facility and student scholarship in memory of the college president’s late wife, Mrs. Daphne Johnson, and her commitment to animal health and welfare.
The college’s program received the Rising Stars College Readiness Academy Award in 2019 for its commitment and dedication to students in the Rising Stars College Readiness Academy at Cuyahoga Community College in partnership with the Warrensville Heights City School District and the OMNOVA Foundation.
The Pandemic Dynamic
Tri-C took essential steps to ensure seamless educational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The college had to pivot to online learning during the initial lockdown phase. As it returned to on-ground classes in summer and fall 2021, it adopted classroom occupancies and furniture arrangements while implementing robust quarantine protocols.
Additionally, the college has made COVID-19 testing and vaccination events available at its campus locations in partnership with a local community health clinic. Tri-C leveraged existing technology services and platforms and implemented new online services and technologies. It used technology to distance students and professors during on-site classes and labs using video conferencing and web conference services.
As a program, Tri-C incorporated videos from On the Floor @ Dove for training purposes. It also incorporated WebEx lectures and continued on-ground labs during most of the pandemic. The college relied on community partners to help ensure continued high academic performance for students.
The Road Toward Endless Possibilities
Speaking about the plans of Tri-C, the management states, “Our new facility, our dedicated faculty and staff, and our supportive administration have allowed our program to thrive. The demand within our profession for registered/licensed/certified veterinary technicians is very high and likely to increase over time.” The college also has a very supportive advisory committee that helps it to keep its program aligned with current needs.
“Our rigorous program prepares students not only to pass their tests but also for the day when they are the only thing standing between their patient and the grave. This tremendous responsibility is something we take very seriously at Tri-C.”
—Katie Mooney, VT adjunct faculty.
“The Tri-C Vet Tech program is a comprehensive educational experience for our students. The facilities — from the kennels to the labs to the classrooms — feature state-of-the-art equipment, allowing us to deliver a top-notch curriculum. The program’s team are educators who love the profession and love to teach! Our students enter the field with excellent skills and a thorough knowledge of veterinary medicine. Upon graduation, students are ready to pass their VTNE and join the workforce as productive veterinary technicians.”
—Dr. Tiffany Meyer, VT lecturer
“Throughout my years of employment and education in the field of veterinary technology, I have encountered many graduates of the Tri-C program. I have come to recognize that Tri-C students are of high caliber and very well-educated. I am honored to be a part of this program, helping new RVTs become all that they can be.”
—Barbara Shell, VT adjunct faculty.