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On-Campus vs. Online Courses

Students have the option of taking courses online, on-campus, or a combination of both, no matter if a student chooses the full-time or part-time program.

When deciding whether to take courses on-campus or online, students should consider the time and dedication that is required when taking courses online.

Online courses are administered using Canvas and Zoom. Students use class lectures from the online course site and textbooks to study and complete course assignments. Students participate in online class discussions and communicate regularly with faculty. Proctored examinations are taken at a local community college testing center. Laboratory review and practical examinations are held at NOVA's Loudoun Campus. Program instructors employ many methods to evaluate clinical skills that include: video recordings; student product evaluations, such as radiographs and blood slides; assignments; and examinations conducted during campus visits.

Online courses require approximately three visits to the Loudoun campus each semester. Some courses will have field trip requirements, as well.

What it Takes to Succeed in the Veterinary Technology Program

This program is designed for the student who is working as a veterinary assistant. Please consider the following factors in deciding whether the Veterinary Technology Program is right for you.

Dedication: This is a difficult and rigorous curriculum, especially when courses are online. It is important for student success that a long-range commitment be made toward your educational goals.

Self-motivation and independence: Students who prefer to study in groups and have companionship or camaraderie with classmates may prefer to take their courses on campus. Students who prefer to study on their own and have excellent time management skills may prefer to take their courses online.

Support structure: Making connections with other students who live nearby is very helpful for studying and carpooling. For the online courses, there will be some small group assignments during campus visits so students can get to know each other.

Communication: Staying in touch with the instructors is essential to success in our courses. Following directions and accessing Canvas on a consistent basis is required. If an assignment is missed or a student is having difficulty, contacting the instructor directly for help and advice in a timely manner is very important. It is also important to check your NOVA email account frequently to avoid missing any important messages from the instructors or program administration.

Time management: Our courses are not self-paced. Most courses have weekly assignment deadlines to meet; the student must stay on schedule.

Students taking online courses should plan to devote at least 3-4 hours of studying for each credit hour in which they are enrolled. That means a student should dedicate 9-12 hours of studying each week for a 3-credit online course, in order to do well.

It is estimated that students should spend at least 2-3 hours studying each week for every credit hour for classes taught on campus.

Attendance requirements: There are specific times a student will be required to attend campus activities outside of class time for a grade in a course. The student will need to arrange their work schedule to accommodate the campus visits and any field trips that are required.