GREAT FALLS — In many cases, prospective veterinary technicians have to go out of state for their studies, but a program in the works at Great Falls College-MSU is hoping to change that.
"There is a huge need for educated veterinary technicians in the state of Montana," said Julie Barnwell, the Health Science Division Director. "That need is going to grow over the next few years, and so we are hoping to help meet that need in our community and also across the state.
The vet tech program will consist of online classes, and a chance to work alongside veterinarians to gain hands-on experience.
"Students will be able to stay at home in their area and work with a vet partner, hopefully close to where they live," Barnwell said. "They will do all their clinicals and all of their lab work with that veterinary partner and all the didactic will be done with us online."
Great Falls College-MSU dean Stephanie Erdmann explained the importance of the program.
"The Veterinary Tech program is important to Great Falls College and to the state of Montana because we're closing that industry gap for workforce needs."
Great Falls College-MSU said the Montana Department of Labor & Industry has estimated a 45% anticipated growth of veterinary technicians.
Additionally, the program is geared to help students not having to travel out of state to pursue their studies, but rather stay in their hometown and pursue their career goals.
"The students will be able to remain at home, wherever that is, across the state of Montana," Erdmann said. "They can take their classes through Great Falls College and with their industry partner, complete the work-based learning component of the program."
Great Falls College-MSU is gearing up to launch the program in the Fall of 2024.
Erdmann said, "We need to continue with the program approval process and have everything ready for admissions by the Spring of 2024.
For more information on the program, visit the school website.
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