When Southeastern Illinois College and Rend Lake College teamed up to offer a single semester veterinary assistant program in August, they did not anticipate the high level of interest it would generate.
Originally, the program was slated to run for a single semester once every couple of years at SIC’s David L. Stanley Center in Carmi. However, due to continued interest, the program will be offered again in January.
Registration has already begun at both SIC and RLC, and space is limited, so those interested are urged to register early. Eligible students may also receive financial aid for this program.
Instructor Adrea Petro, who works at Sesser Animal Hospital as a certified technician, says her class provides the foundation for students to learn the basic job skills needed to perform veterinary assistant tasks and prepares them for an internship or apprenticeship, where they will further their on-the-job training. Much of the class is hands-on, including a CPR dog, as well as front office skills and “client communication with a smile.”
The program also trains students in animal grooming, making them more marketable for a variety of jobs. This hands-on class with furry clients is taught by Jane Welborn of Tanglewoods Spa and Salon of Harrisburg. Students interested in only the animal grooming class are welcome to take that class alone, even for those interested in simply learning to groom their own pets.
This certificate program can also be a stepping stone to a degree in veterinary technology and veterinary science.
“For students who are unsure of their future aspirations in veterinary science, this class is a great way to explore the field to see if it is truly a career option they want to pursue professionally, before launching into a full-blown veterinary program,” said Gina Sirach, Executive Dean of Academic Services at SIC.
After the spring class, plans are to offer the certificate program again in the fall of 2019. For additional information, visitwww.sic.edu/VetAssistant or call an advisor at 618-252-5400, ext. 4130. Register by phone at ext. 4120 or online at www.sic.edu/mysic. Students in RLC district should call (618) 437-5321, ext. 1251.