CVTEA releases accreditation decisions, schools post updated test scores

Published on September 25, 2019
Vet techs preparing a patient for surgery
Veterinary technology students prepare a patient for surgery. Pima Institute has worked to improve the scores of its Tucson, Arizona, and Aurora, Colorado, campuses over the last year. (Courtesy of Pima Medical Institute)

The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities recently granted initial accreditation to two programs—Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Cape Fear Community College in Castle Hayne, North Carolina—and withdrew accreditation from two others—Argosy University-Twin Cities in Eagan, Minnesota, and Vista College in Lubbock, Texas. The committee made these decisions during its April 25-28 meeting in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The CVTEA also placed three schools on terminal accreditation—The Vet Tech Institute at International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which will close in February, and the Baker College programs in Flint and Clinton Township, Michigan, which will both close this coming May.

Along with these accreditation decisions, the CVTEA made changes to its Standards of Accreditation policy, specifically in Standard 9e, Standard 10d, and Standard 10e. In addition, the committee made changes to its essential and recommended skills list. The committee is requesting feedback regarding its standards and sections of Appendix H, equipment and instructional resources list, and Appendix I, essential and recommended skills list, for January 2020. Those comments and feedback can be sent to jhorvathatavma [dot] org (Julie Horvath), CVTEA accreditation manager in the AVMA Education and Research Division

Now that we have increased our VTNE pass rates, our students are even more motivated to take and pass the VTNE.

Kate Arnold, a certified veterinary technician and veterinary technician program director at Pima Medical Institute-Aurora

There are currently 204 AVMA CVTEA–accredited programs in veterinary technology, including 10 distance learning programs. The CVTEA's next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7-10.

VTNE Scores update

As previously reported by JAVMA News, the CVTEA made a change to its Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual to require that every veterinary technology program publicly report the number of students who took the Veterinary Technician National Exam for the first time and the three-year mean pass percentage. Programs are no longer required to post the number of eligible first-time candidates.

The VTNE evaluates whether graduates of veterinary technology programs have the entry-level knowledge needed to practice and be credentialed.

Based on publicly available information, several programs have improved their three-year mean pass percentage. The following 12 programs have improved their pass rate to above 50% for the most recent period of July 2016-June 2019:

  • Platt College-Ontario (California): 53%.
  • Platt College-Riverside (California): 75%.
  • Pima Medical Institute-Aurora (Colorado): 60.5%.
  • Northeast Iowa Community College: 61.5%.
  • Pima Medical Institute-Tucson (Arizona): 77.77%
  • Carrington College-Pleasant Hill (California): 62.71%.
  • Carrington College-San Jose (California): 68.86%.
  • Colby Community College (on-campus students) (Kansas): 66.67%.
  • Murray State College (Kentucky): 82.58%.
  • Miller-Motte College (North Carolina): 59.6%.
  • Wilson College (Pennsylvania): 62.5% (July 2014–June 2017).
  • McLennan Community College (Texas): 74%.

Pima Medical Institute, a private for-profit medical career college that operates veterinary technology programs at 12 locations, has worked to improve the scores of its Tucson, Arizona, and Aurora, Colorado, campuses over the past year. These institutions have increased their scores partly by implementing weekend and evening tutoring sessions and creating a curriculum with an increased focus on math and pharmacology, according to Pima Medical.

"We have also spent significant time concentrating on the emotional side of taking a board exam. We focus on exam preparation, stress management, and other exam performance techniques. Now that we have increased our VTNE pass rates, our students are even more motivated to take and pass the VTNE," said Kate Arnold, a certified veterinary technician and veterinary technician program director at Pima Medical Institute-Aurora.

The following programs are publicly reported as below the 50% pass rate for the period of July 2016-June 2019:

  • Platt College-Alhambra (California): 49.49%.
  • San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno (California): 32.33% (July 2015-June 2018).
  • Fort Valley State University (Georgia): 46% (July 2015-June 2018).
  • Independence Community College (Kansas): 35%.
  • Northshore Technical Community College (Louisiana): 38.88%.
  • Ross College-North Canton (Ohio): 37.50%.
  • Pierpont Community and Technical College (West Virginia): 40% (July 2015-June 2018).
  • Southern Regional Technical College (Georgia): 46.4% (July 2015–June 2018).

If these school don't make improvements within the next year, they may face a change in their accreditation status.

Veterinary technology programs must update their VTNE information on the program's website by Sept. 1 of each calendar year, according to the CVTEA. If a program fails to update its scores by the deadline, CVTEA staff will send a letter to notify the program that it needs to update its information. Typically, programs are given 30 days to do so; however, there are some challenges with updating a webpage as website maintenance usually falls beyond the direct purview of the program.

Some programs had not received the official results of the last VTNE testing window, as of publication, and could not update the scores.

Related JAVMA content:

Assessing veterinary technician education (May 01, 2018)

Veterinary technology programs hit by turmoil at for-profits (April 01, 2017)