BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University received approval from the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors on Jan. 20 to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary technology beginning in fall 2022.
The new online program, which is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will provide a four-year degree with on-site clinical training that will prepare students for meaningful employment in the growing veterinary medical profession and lead to career advancement opportunities for those already working in the field.
The program was developed through a partnership between App State and Banfield Pet Hospital® — the leading provider of preventive veterinary care in the U.S. and part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of practices. A recent study from Banfield found that an estimated 75 million pets in the U.S. may not have access to the veterinary care they need by 2030, with an important factor being a critical shortage of veterinary professionals.
As part of the partnership, Banfield made a multimillion-dollar commitment toward the development of the new four-year online veterinary technology degree program at App State.
“We are proud to engage in such an innovative partnership to address the market demand for skilled veterinary professionals, especially in rural areas,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “Many thanks to Banfield, the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC System for their ongoing support of this visionary academic program, which will advance the profession and elevate the role of licensed veterinary technicians. We are excited to welcome our first class of students in fall 2022!”
The App State Online program will be housed in the Department of Rural Resilience and Innovation within the College of Arts and Sciences and will combine Bachelor of Science credentials with preparation for veterinary technician licensure. An interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and external collaborators has worked to develop a curriculum — based on the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities standards — that will become a model for developing veterinary professional talent.
App State names director of new program
Dr. Virginia Corrigan has been appointed as director of App State’s veterinary technology program. Corrigan brings more than a decade of experience as a companion animal veterinarian and educator focusing clinically on rehabilitation, hospice/palliative care and pain management for dogs and cats.
“Dr. Corrigan brings an impressive combination of experience, skill and vision to build a new outstanding program that seeks to fundamentally change how veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses are trained, employed and compensated,” said Dr. Mike Madritch, interim dean of App State’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Since 2016, Corrigan has been an assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, where she completed a three-year postdoctoral residency program in advanced canine and feline practice, earning diplomate status with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2015.
Corrigan earned a Master of Public Health degree with a focus in human–animal bond studies from Virginia Tech in 2016 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in zoology with a minor in neuroscience from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
She was enrolled in one of the inaugural classes of the American Veterinary Medical Association Future Leaders program and is currently a member of the AVMA Steering Committee on Human–Animal Interactions. She has also served as a facilitator with the Veterinary Leadership Institute.
“Veterinary medicine is a phenomenal career choice; veterinary professionals have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the health of animals, people and the environment,” Corrigan said. “There are many exciting opportunities arising for veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses in the profession, along with a surging market demand for their skills, knowledge and expertise.”
For more information on the program or to apply, visit the App State Online veterinary technology program page.
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First-of-its-kind program will help meet surging demand for pet care
About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Banfield Pet Hospital® was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955 and today is a pioneer in preventive veterinary care with more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More than 3,600 Banfield veterinarians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care to 3 million-plus pets annually. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, Banfield is committed to its purpose — A Better World for Pets™ — because pets make a better world for us.
About App State Online
Recognized as one of the top online education destinations in the country by U.S. News & World Report, App State Online (formerly known as Distance Education) is designed to meet students wherever they are — whether they are seeking a degree, a credential or looking to sharpen their personal and/or professional skills. Through App State Online, Appalachian State University offers innovative, flexible and accredited undergraduate and graduate programs through two modes of teaching delivery: online and off campus. Learn more at https://online.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.