Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program Helps Propel Purdue University Online to New Milestone

Friday, December 9, 2022

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Purdue University recently hit a major milestone in its efforts to make a world-class online education accessible to students around the globe. During the 2021-2022 school year, Purdue celebrated eclipsing the mark of awarding 1,000 degrees and over 200 graduate certificates to online students.  Contributing to Purdue Online’s success is the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program (VNDL).

The rise of home internet services in the 21st century made designing and delivering distance education possible on a large scale. The College of Veterinary Medicine led the way in developing what was then called the Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program, which enabled the university to offer the Associate of Science degree in veterinary technology as its first fully online undergraduate degree in the early 2000s. That’s when Purdue joined the Indiana College Network – an organization devoted to expanding E-learning opportunities at Indiana colleges.

“The VNDL Program is the only undergraduate program offered by Purdue Online,” said Paige Allen, MS, RVT, assistant director of academic advising and recruitment in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We have had 140 students graduate from the VNDL, with our first graduate in 2005,” Paige explained. “Our VNDL graduates consistently perform well on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), achieving a current three-year pass rate of 92.1 percent.” Moreover, the VNDL program now boasts nearly 700 active students.

Though Purdue University’s online course catalogue has expanded dramatically in the last couple of decades, Purdue has been involved in distance education for over 100 years. The university’s first venture into distance education started in 1922, when the university began broadcasting engineering courses over WBAA, which at the time was an educational radio station operating out of West Lafayette, Indiana, and serving the greater Lafayette area. Purdue continued to invest in distance education throughout the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. By the late 1960s, Purdue was offering master’s degrees in engineering throughout Indiana and neighboring states by filming lectures and broadcasting them on closed-circuit television. In the following decades, improvements in digital technology helped Purdue’s distance learning opportunities reach even more people.

Now, 100 years after Purdue University first ventured into distance education, the Purdue system has a robust and innovative online catalogue. Purdue offers over 200 fully online and hybrid programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels – as well as many certificate and professional programs. In 2022, Purdue was ranked as the #3 Top Online College in America by Newsweek, and many of Purdue’s online degree programs have achieved their own top rankings.

As Purdue’s online programs continue to grow, the Purdue community has invested in creating a world-class educational experience for the thousands of online students who pass through Purdue’s (virtual) doors every year. Online students have become an integrated part of Purdue’s long legacy of academic excellence, and many have gone on to become innovators in their fields.

Click here to read a complete article by writer Rachel Barton about the history of Purdue University Online and plans for the future.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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