Frequently Asked Questions For Prospective Students

Program Specifics

Accreditation

Admissions

Credit Transfer

Tuition/Financial aid

Working with a veterinary practice

Hands-On Skills

Exams/Proctoring

Mentors

 

Program Specifics

How does the program work?

The program is essentially split into two parts – the online didactic courses and the clinical mentorships. The online courses are what constitutes the "book knowledge" and consists of completing assigned readings, homework assignments, paper/projects, exams, etc. The clinical mentorships are where you demonstrate to the VTDL faculty and staff that you have mastered all of the hands-on skills required of an entry-level veterinary technician. All VTDL graduates must document acquisition of basic skills, typically by submission of video documentation that will be assessed against a standard set of performance criteria.  You can access an overview of the VTDL curriculum by clicking here.

The mentorships are task-based, rather than time-based and are intended to be completed at a veterinary facility at which you are working or volunteering. There are 17 clinical mentorships that must be completed and each one has a specific list of hands-on tasks that you must complete as opposed to spending a certain number of hours working at a practice. Each clinical mentorship has a logbook that lists all of the tasks associated with that mentorship, along with the standardized criteria that must be met to successfully perform each task. Please view the logbooks by clicking here.

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How long does the program take to complete?

Starting in Fall Semester  2017, the program may be completed in as little as three years of continuous enrollment.

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Why are the classes only 1-2 credits per class?

The VTDL was designed to be taken on a part time-time basis. Many of our students are working full-time and cannot take a large credit load in any given semester. The program was developed by taking the on-campus courses and creating smaller courses for the VTDL. For example a 3-credit on-campus course was split into two, 1.5-credit VTDL courses. Similarly, most 2-credit on-campus courses were split into two, 1-credit VTDL courses. This was done to make it easier to take a smaller credit load per semester.

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How much time should I plan for studying?

Students should expect to spend a minimum of three hours a week studying for each credit hour they take in a semester. So, if you enroll in five credit hours in a semester, you should expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours a week studying.

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Will I need to buy textbooks?

Yes, many of the courses will require you to purchase textbooks.

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Will I get a Purdue email address?

Yes. Once you are admitted to Purdue University, you will receive the information you will need to set up your Purdue email address.

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Will I get a Purdue student ID card?

Yes. During your first semester in the program, you will receive a Purdue student ID card. However, the card will not contain your picture.

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What is a VTNE score and why is it important?

The VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) is used to evaluate entry-level veterinary technicians’ competency to practice and to be credentialed. Most states and provinces require a passing score on the VTNE as one criterion for credentialing. The AVMA  (American Veterinary Medical Association) requires that all veterinary technology programs make available on their website the 3 year VTNE pass rate. For further information, please refer to the AAVSB website.

Currently, Purdue's VTDL program has the highest 3 year pass rate (89.5%) among comparable distance learning programs.

Accreditation

Is your program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)?

Yes, the program is accredited by the AVMA's Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). Being accredited by AVMA/CVTEA means that graduates from the program are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and become credentialed in the state in which they live.

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Who is the AVMA?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is a national professional organization representing over 88,000 veterinarians in the United States. The AVMA is a not-for-profit association that helps to provide a collective voice for its members and the profession.

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Admissions

How do I apply for admission to the program?

This link will take you to a page that guides you through the admissions procedure for the VTDL. Along with completing the online application for admission, you will need to submit all high school and college transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions. If you have questions about the admissions process, requirements, or transcripts, please contact Diana Mitchell in the Office of Admissions (admissions@purdue.edu) or you can go directly to the Office of Admissions website for more information.

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Can I take this program if I live outside the United States?

Yes. Any student who meets Purdue's admissions requirements and has access to the Internet can take courses in the program.

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Can I take this program if I am in the military and stationed outside the United States?

Yes. We currently have students in the program who are in the military and stationed outside the United States.

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Credit Transfer

What college credits can I transfer to Purdue?

In most instances, the only credits you would have an opportunity to transfer to Purdue towards an Associate in Applied Science degree in Veterinary technology would be the three-credit English course and the two-credit elective.

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Will my credits from another veterinary technology program transfer to Purdue?

If the credits are from courses in veterinary technology, they probably will not transfer to Purdue's veterinary technology program. While the AVMA dictates the subject matter that must be taught in a veterinary technology program, each school determines how they deliver the content. This results in each veterinary technology program setting up their courses differently. For example, many programs combine topics like microbiology and parasitology together in a "clinical pathology" course. Purdue's program has three separate courses for clinical pathology, microbiology and parasitology.

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Can I get credit for my experience working in a veterinary practice?

While having experience working in a veterinary practice will most certainly be helpful to you while you work your way through the program, neither Purdue nor the AVMA allows the program to award college credit for life experiences.

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Will my Purdue credits transfer to another veterinary technology program?

This depends on the other institution – it is their decision when it comes to accepting credits earned in other veterinary technology programs. Purdue University's Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the AVMA and the University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which may be beneficial when attempting to transfer credits from Purdue to another institution. However, in order to answer this question, you will need contact the institution you are interested in attending.

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Tuition/Financial aid

How much is tuition?

Currently, tuition is $270/credit hour and is the same for all VTDL students, regardless of whether or not you live in the state of Indiana.

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Can I get financial aid?

Yes. Unlike some other schools that offer an online degree in veterinary technology, students enrolled in the program may be eligible for student aid. However, in order for most students to qualify for federal financial aid, they must be enrolled in at least six credit hours.

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Working with a veterinary practice

Do I have to work at a veterinary practice to start the program?

You may start the program even if you are not currently working or volunteering at a veterinary practice. However, at some point, you will need to establish a relationship with a veterinary practice (either as a paid employee or a volunteer). This is required for completion of the clinical mentorship part of the program during which you will complete your hands-on skills.

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Do I ever have to work in a veterinary practice during the program?

Yes. In order to complete your clinical mentorships (hands-on skills), you will need to be either working or volunteering at a veterinary practice.

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Do I have to work with all species of animals?

Yes. The AVMA/CVTEA requires students in all accredited veterinary technology programs to learn about and work with companion animals (dogs and cats), food animals (cows, pigs, etc.), horses, and laboratory/exotic animals (rodents, birds, etc.).

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Hands-On Skills

How do I complete my hands-on skills/tasks?

You complete the hands-on skills in the clinical mentorship part of the program. All of the hands-on skills that are required in the program are completed at a veterinary facility where you work or volunteer.

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Do I ever need to come to Purdue’s campus?

There is no requirement to come to Purdue's campus in order to complete the program.

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Are there opportunities to come to Purdue’s campus to complete the hands-on skills?

The program offers workshops in May/June each year. The workshops allow for a limited number of students to come to campus for the opportunity to complete hands-on skills related to large animal and laboratory animal.

There is no requirement that you come to campus to attend these workshops. However, many students who only work with small animals have taken advantage of the workshops in order to complete their large animal and laboratory animal tasks.

Due to limited space, supplies, and faculty/staff, the program does not offer any other opportunities to come to campus to complete hands-on skills.

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Exams/Proctoring

What is a proctor?

All VTDL course have exams. Proctors monitor students as they complete exams to insure exam integrity.  Proctors may not be family members or your VTDL academic advisor. Proctors are required to provide a student with a quiet place to complete the exam. The student should not have access to resources during the exam unless instructed otherwise by the course instructor. All of the exams are computer based and available in Blackboard.

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How do I find a proctor?

If you are currently working in a veterinary practice, we recommend that you ask a licensed veterinarian or credentialed (RVT, CVT, LVT) veterinary technician to act as your proctor. 

If you are not currently working in a veterinary practice, we recommend that you contact your veterinarian, explain your educational and career goals and ask them to proctor your exams.  This gives you an opportunity to get to know people in the profession and potentially gain some clinical experience.  

If neither of these options work for you, then testing centers are permitted but please be aware that there may be a fee associated with testing centers.  For most courses you may also utilize on-line proctoring services such as Remote Proctor Now.  There may be fees associated with this service.

If you are in the military, you may utilize a base education or testing center.   

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Can I use a proctoring service for exams?

Yes. Students may utilize Remote Proctor Now for all VTDL course exams.  There is currently a fee of $15/exam and this is paid for by the student at the time of the exam.

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Mentors

What is a mentor?

For the VTDL, a mentor is either a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed (RVT, LVT, CVT) veterinary technician who can guide/coach you when you are completing your hands-on skills. You can find out more about the mentor's role here.

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How do I find a mentor?

If you are currently working in a veterinary practice, we recommend that you ask a licensed veterinarian or credentialed (RVT, CVT, LVT) veterinary technician to act as your mentor. If you are not currently working at a veterinary practice, the first place we usually recommend a student look for a mentor is at the practice to which the student takes their pets.

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