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Seats open for students interested in Pharmacy Tech, Vet Assistant at RLC

Two Rend Lake College Allied Health programs have seats available for the Spring 2018 semester. Pharmacy Technician and the new Veterinary Assistant programs are seeking applicants to start classes Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

The Pharmacy Technician program is a one-semester, 16 credit hour program offered in a night class format, making it a practical option for both new students and working adults looking for a career change. Graduates will be qualified to practice in a variety of pharmacy settings and will have the knowledge to pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.

Classes meet at 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays on the Ina campus with clinical hours varying by clinical site. Kim Wilkerson, Dean of Allied Health, said the program is a great first step for those considering a career in the industry.

“Rend Lake College also has an Associate in Science Degree that offers the foundation needed to transfer into a five-year bachelor’s degree program,” she said. “Pharmacy is a rapidly growing and evolving field, and our program offers students the tools to start a fulfilling career.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. This will be due in part to an aging population, necessitating more medications, but also because of increased access to insurance coverage by more people and because of the greater range of services pharmacies are beginning to offer their customers.

For additional information, visit, or contact the Allied Health Division at 618-437-5321 Ext. 1251.

One of RLC’s newest certificates, the Veterinary Assistant program, is back this spring thanks to a cooperation between RLC and Southeastern Illinois College (SIC). The one-semester, 17 credit hour program prepares students for a career working with animals in a variety of settings, such as veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, grooming salons, pet shops, and animal shelters. Classes are set for all day Mondays on the Ina campus with day and night classes on Tuesdays at SIC. Clinical and intern times will vary by location.

Wilkerson added the program is a perfect fit for students interested in starting their own businesses. She said, “Students will be trained in animal grooming, making them more marketable for many different jobs. That class is hands-on with live animals, and will give students who want to start their own animal grooming business the experience and knowledge to do so.”

The BLS states job openings for non-farm animal caretakers in general, including pet groomers, will increase by 19 percent between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also reported strong job opportunities for pet groomers due to the increasing number of households that own pets and high turnover in grooming positions.

Courses are offered on RLC’s campus in Ina, with some training at SIC’s David L. Stanley Center in Carmi. For additional information,, or contact the Allied Health Division at 618-437-5321 Ext. 1251. Students in SIC’s district should call 618-252-5400, ext. 4130.