The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology Program was recently honored with the Engagement Award from the University Professional Continuing Education Association at the UPCEA Central Region Conference held Sept. 26-28 in Columbus, Ohio. The Engagement Award recognizes an outstanding partnership between a member institution and one or more external constituents such as local communities, corporations, government organizations or associations.
Since the approval of the program in June 2021, it has focused on developing articulation agreements with numerous community college veterinary technician programs, including 25 that are out of state and all five veterinary technician programs in Missouri. Moberly Area Community College and Jefferson College, both partners of the BSVT program, provided letters of support for the award nomination.
Cindy Cravens, DVM, BSVT program director, says the established partnerships have provided opportunities for more students and are what led to this award. “These agreements allow students’ associate degree credits to transfer to Mizzou and count toward the first and second years of their bachelor’s degree,” said Cravens. “Additionally, the agreements facilitate collaboration between our BS program and various community colleges’ associate of applied science programs, elevating the level of veterinary technician education nationally.”
The UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, it now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. Cravens said that involvement in UPCEA was vital to the quality of the BSVT program. “It is important to the BSVT program that we are cultivating our curriculum and offering content in alignment with evidence-based best practices,” she said. “I personally became a member of UPCEA as soon as our program launched. The BSVT admin and instructors want to have access to resources that will help us to mold the program as it grows and matures, as well as offer the best possible student experience.”
Cravens emphasized what the Engagement Award means to the program. “This award is a huge honor for the BSVT program, and I am thrilled that we can highlight the profession of veterinary technology,” said Cravens. “We are proud to provide access and opportunity to quality education that veterinary technicians desire and will continue to develop partnerships with community colleges to promote a fair transfer of credit for these hard-working veterinary paraprofessionals.”
By Nick Childress