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FAQ - Loudoun - Vet Tech Program Online Part-Time

The Veterinary Technology Online Program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The Veterinary Technology Program is located on the Loudoun Campus and includes a small animal veterinary teaching clinic, laboratory, radiology, dental and surgery suites, classrooms and kennel facilities. The Online Program courses are administered through the Extended Learning Institute (ELI) at NOVA.

Below are some commonly asked questions concerning the Online Program: 

Program FAQ

Q: What is veterinary technology?
A: Veterinary Technology is an established field in which people are educated to assist in veterinary practice, laboratories, animal research and other areas requiring knowledge of medicine and animals.

Q: How does someone become a veterinary technician?
A: People become Veterinary Technicians by completing a formal college program, receiving an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and then successfully completing a national examination to become legally certified, registered, or licensed. Some states require an additional state examination.  In Virginia, veterinary technicians are licensed.

Q: How does the Veterinary Technology Online Program work at NOVA?
A: The Program begins in the Fall semester and continues for eight consecutive semesters until graduation after the last Spring semester. It takes a total of three years to complete the veterinary technology curriculum.  The Program is a combination of basic medical science course material delivered online via the Internet and practical hands-on training activities conducted at periodic on-campus visits. There are some visits and field trips to off-campus sites as well.

Q: How do I get hands-on experience in the Online Program?
A: During your time in the Program, you are required to work an average of 20 hours per week at an approved veterinary facility and be supervised on the job by a mentor who is a licensed veterinarian. Training activities also occur during the on-campus visits.

Q: How is the course material determined?
A: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) specifies what material is to be taught and tested. The specific material covered in the Online curriculum is equivalent to that covered in the On-Campus curriculum at NOVA.

Q: What type of classes are offered?
A: Some of the classes offered include topics such as: Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals, Pharmacology, Hematology, Diseases of Domestic Animals, Microbiology, Radiology, Animal Behavior, Clinical Pathology, Advanced Clinical Practices, Dentistry, and Anesthesiology.

Admissions FAQ

Q: How do you get into the Veterinary Technology Online Program?
A: Follow the application procedures listed under Apply Here on this website. Students are accepted into the Program based on credentials such as previous grades, current experience in the field, the establishment of the Mentor Memorandum of Agreement, and completion of support classes.

Q: How many students are admitted in the class?
A: Our goal is to admit 30 to 35 well-qualified, highly motivated students. For profile information, please see the Profile of Accepted Students section of this website.

Q: Why do we have to submit the Task List and Equipment List Surveys?
A: The Clinical Task List and Equipment List are several pages long and are based on AVMA documents.

The purpose of "signing off" on these survey lists is simply to provide the mentor and clinical facility serving as the practice site a good idea of what the student is required to study and the equipment and materials that will be needed. It is not expected that a veterinary facility will be able to provide all of the clinical task practice or that they will own all of the equipment. Most students will require some observation hours at other places, including emergency clinics, a large animal facility or practice, and/or a laboratory.

Q: If I don’t get into the On-Campus Program, can I be in the Online Program for a while until I get accepted into the On-campus Program?
A: The Online Program is not a "stepping stone" into the On-Campus Program. Students wishing to enter the On-Campus program must apply to that program and will be considered as part of that applicant pool. 

Program and Course Requirements FAQ

Q: Does the online program always have to be completed in three years?
A: The specific veterinary technology courses within the degree curriculum are designed to be completed in sequence and are only offered during a particular semester. Acceleration through the program courses is not permitted. However, students are encouraged to take the required general education support courses such as English, math, and chemistry prior to entering the Veterinary Technology Program if they want to minimize their academic load while taking the VET courses.

Q: What happens if I have to drop a class for medical or family reasons?
A: If you encounter difficulties with a course, whether academic or personal, you should contact your course instructor and the Head of the Online Program with your concerns to learn about all of your options.

Q: Do all the veterinary technology courses have to be taken at NOVA?
A: Yes, the VET courses must be taken at NOVA. All online courses are offered through NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI).

Q: Do I have to take the general education support courses at the Loudoun Campus?
A: No, you may take your non-veterinary technology courses at any of the six NOVA campuses or through NOVA's Extended Learning Institute (ELI), or at another community college. You can discuss this further with a counselor or your faculty advisor.

Q: Can the written exams be taken at other colleges?
A: Yes, written tests can be administered at other community colleges in Virginia using the Blackboard format. You will need to arrange for a proctor in the Testing Center at your local community college.

Q: Why do we have to come to campus two to three times a semester?
A: Hands-on laboratory review and evaluation is conducted in person by Program personnel at the Loudoun Campus. Campus visits are a requirement for many of the VET courses.

Q: Where can I obtain the required pre-exposure rabies vaccination?
A: You can obtain a rabies vaccination from most county health departments. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain it through your current healthcare provider. The pre-exposure rabies vaccine is a series of three vaccinations which must be completed prior to starting your fall veterinary technology courses. You will be required to submit proof to the Program of your rabies vaccination.

Mentor and Faculty FAQ

Q: How often will we see the program faculty?
A: An average of two or three times a semester during campus visits, and pre-arranged online meeting times can be scheduled.

Q: How do I get in touch with the faculty?
A: The best way to stay in touch with the faculty is by email.

Q: Can my mentor be a technician?
A: The primary mentor must be a veterinarian. The primary mentor can then assign a Licensed Veterinary Technician to be an assistant mentor and help with all the tasks required of the primary mentor.

Q: What exactly does the mentor do in regard to teaching?
A: The mentor provides supervision so that the student may practice skills appropriately and safely.

Q: What happens if I have to change mentors during the Program?
A: You must notify the Head of the Online Program immediately in writing if there is a change in your employment or mentor. You must maintain the mentor and employment requirement and keep the Memorandum of Agreements updated in order to remain in the Program.

Degree Progress FAQ

Q: If I already have an associate's or bachelor's degree, do I still have to take the general education courses?
A: To get credit for general education requirements from a previous degree, your transcript must go through an evaluation process. Usually, students who have completed an associate's or bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution will automatically be given credit for fulfilling all of the general education courses listed under the Program Requirements, with the exception of the Chemistry elective and the Math 126 course. Chemistry and Math 126 are evaluated separately. A specific process may be required in order for credits in chemistry and math to be transferred in to the veterinary technology degree. A faculty advisor will be assigned to help you with these issues once you have joined the Program.

Q: If I have taken a college course which appears to be similar to the degree requirements for the curriculum, must I take the same course again?
A: If you would like to have your previous coursework substituted for courses at NOVA, you will need to have your college transcript(s) properly evaluated by NOVA.  This is a process completed after you are enrolled in the Program.  This only applies to general education requirements. 

Q: Do credits earned in the Veterinary Technology Program transfer to four-year colleges?
A: The courses that will transfer vary by college. Most courses are very content-specific and are designed only for completion of the applied science degree in Veterinary Technology. Individuals interested in transferring should contact the college or university to which they plan to transfer to discuss this further. Alternately, make an appointment to meet with a transfer counselor at NOVA.

Financial FAQ

Q: Is financial aid available?
A financial aid counselor on any NOVA campus can help you. Call to confirm their walk-in appointment hours before coming to the office.

Click here to find information on the Financial Aid Offices at all NOVA campuses.

For best consideration of timely financial aid, make sure to see a financial aid counselor well before the annual Federal and NOVA priority FAFSA application deadlines. Click here to find more information on the Financial Aid FAQ.

The six-digit identification code for Northern Virginia Community College is 003727. This code must be included on the FAFSA in order for the application data to be released to the College. Failure to include the code on the FAFSA on the Web application or the paper version of the FAFSA may delay the processing of your application.

Q: How much will the total Program cost?
A: The total Program cost will depend on whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. It will also depend on how many course credits you already earned before entering the Program. Click here for details on the most Current Tuition Rate Per Credit Hour.

Examples of other expenses will be in the form of a campus parking pass and expenses associated with campus commuting, course textbooks, lab supplies and equipment, required clothing for clinical labs, and travel to field-trips.

Q: What is the employment outlook for graduates of the Program?
A: There are many job openings in this field in Northern Virginia and other parts of the country. Prospective employers often contact NOVA regarding employment.  There is a Vet Tech Career Center on the NOVA website. The most current job outlook information can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and other publications from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at http://www.bls.gov/opub/.

Q: I am a prospective student and have further questions about the requirements and/or application process - who should I contact?
A: If you need help or have questions regarding the Veterinary Technology Program requirements or the application process, Contact Us.

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