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June 01, 2020

TAMU 2+2 program receives approval

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Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences received approval from the AVMA Council on Education in April to develop a 2+2 program with West Texas A&M University.

The 2+2 program will be run through the Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach program, a partnership between the TAMU veterinary college and WTAMU. The VERO facility, projected to be completed in the fall, is being built adjacent to WTAMU’s new Happy State Bank Academic & Research Building in Canyon, Texas. That’s where veterinary students will complete the first two years of a four-year veterinary curriculum. The first cohort of up to 18 first-year veterinary students from TAMU will start taking classes on the WTAMU campus in 2021.

Dr. Eleanor M. Green
Dr. Eleanor M. Green, dean of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, speaks at a press conference in September on the 2+2 program with West Texas A&M University. Construction on the Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach facility at WTAMU is projected to end in the fall. (Courtesy of Texas A&M University)

The following year, there will be two cohorts cycling through the Canyon campus, bringing the total number of enrolled students within the veterinary college to 180. The WTAMU campus location will grant veterinary students more exposure to livestock and rural veterinary medicine, according to a university press release.

Dr. Paul S. Morley, an epidemiologist and director of research for the VERO program, spoke at the 2019 AVMA Economic Summit about how the number of private-practice veterinarians who work with food animals dropped 30% from 2008 to 2018 (see JAVMA, Dec. 15, 2019).

“The 2+2 program helps fulfill a 10-year goal to increase large animal veterinary medicine in the Texas Panhandle,” said TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp in the university press release.

“While the launch of the VERO program has already tripled the number of applicants from WT (West Texas) being admitted to the CVM’s veterinary curriculum, this approval brings us one step closer to being able to admit even more students from WT and the Texas Panhandle region who can then, close to home, receive an education from one of the best veterinary schools in the nation,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, dean of Texas A&M’s veterinary college, in the press release. “We anticipate that many of these veterinary graduates will choose to return home to serve their hometown communities.”

TAMU System officials also announced a $5 million commitment to the 2+2 program in January, which is in addition to a $90 million commitment to build the VERO facility. The new funding will be used to increase faculty members from five to 23 for the VERO program, according to TAMU.

The 2+2 program will be monitored by the COE. The approval requires a site visit to the WT campus, which is tentatively scheduled to occur in 2022.