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Home > Campuses & Centers > Loudoun > Academic Divisions > Natural and Applied Science Division > Veterinary Technology Program > Online Part-Time Program > Requirements & Pre-admissions Checklist > Program Requirements: Mentor Information

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Program Requirements: Mentor Information

1. Mentor Requirements:

Those serving as the primary mentor for the student are required to be licensed graduate veterinarians in good standing with the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

The mentor is required to sign an agreement called a Memorandum of Agreement. This Memorandum is not a binding or legal contract. Its purpose is to document credentials and clarify the mentors’ responsibility. Part of the agreement is to complete a survey regarding clinical tasks and equipment at the mentoring site. The surveys are based on documents that all veterinary technology programs are required to submit to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for accreditation.

The mentor is required by NOVA to send a copy of their transcript from their college of veterinary medicine to the Head of the Online Program who notifies the Dean of the Natural and Applied Science Division of the Loudoun Campus. After approval, the mentor is then recognized as an honorary adjunct professor and receives an official letter of notification from the college. The college retains the transcript and the mentor should retain their official letter which may be presented to the hospital inspector from the State Board of Veterinary Medicine to verify that the student technician is under proper supervision. Student technicians in the online program are allowed to perform many tasks often reserved for licensed veterinary technicians, but only after they have received training in the program and under supervision of the mentor.

The mentor can assign another qualified individual to assist the student, either another licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician. This person may help document the practice of clinical tasks and help with supervision of the student.

2. Facility Requirements:

The veterinary facility should be registered with the state.

3. Mentor Responsibilities:

Mentors are a key to the student’s success and ultimately the program’s success. Mentors will be responsible for assuring that the student practices the various clinical skills required for program completion under appropriate circumstances. If filming or photographs are required for documentation of clinical skills, the mentor is also expected to ensure that this activity is done under appropriate circumstances. The mentor will also "sign off" (initial) the student’s clinical skills list after observing that the student performs the task adequately. Each semester, the student will have a group of clinical skills to accomplish for those courses with a clinical component. The course skills list is provided by the student to the mentor, and if applicable, the skills list should be completed and signed off by the mentor before the course deadline.

Mentoring Suggestions:

Mentors may also participate in the students’ education in other ways including:

  • Regular meetings with students to evaluate progress and work on problem areas.
  • Helping students, if needed, with advice on class assignments or study skills.
  • Informal teaching sessions, discussing current cases and how they relate to current online course material.
  • Informal presentations or quizzes relating to current classes.
  • Sharing resource material with students such as text books and journals.
  • Regular communication with college faculty, by phone, email or faculty visits.

4. Time:

There is no set time requirement to spend on any one course. The time required to complete the course requirements will vary depending upon the semester and student.

Some semesters, the classes may require minimum clinical work or the clinical tasks required might be things the student is already doing on a regular basis. Other semesters might require much more time from the student. For example, if the student or hospital does not regularly do complete blood counts, during the semester that VET 131 (Hematology) is taught, the student may need more time with hematology materials and equipment to become proficient at the required skills for that course.

Students are told to plan for two to three hours of study/practice for every credit hour of a course. Most of the time they will be taking the equivalent of six to seven credit hours per week of course work, which would mean another 12-20 hours a week of study outside of class. These are only guidelines and will vary among students. During midterm and final exam time, the student is often under additional pressure for time to study and prepare.