Starting this fall, students in the veterinary technology program at Middlesex Community College will take on a more active role at Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital and Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center. For the first time, MxCC students will work with clients and patients at the Pieper hospitals under the supervision of MxCC faculty and the certified and licensed staff of the hospitals.

This recent change shows the continuing evolution of the veterinary technology associate degree program. Before this change, MxCC students participated in workshops and attended lectures and clinical experiences at the Pieper hospitals. In these clinical rotations, students mostly learned didactically and had some hands-on learning with non-patient animals.

“By observing and working with the highly qualified staff at the Pieper hospitals, students will see the practice of veterinary medicine and the role of certified veterinary technicians at both a busy general practice and a state-of-the art veterinary specialty, referral, emergency, and critical care center,” said Dr. Steven Levy, VMD, veterinary technology program coordinator at MxCC. “As the students learn new skills, they will be able to use them in patient care and client service under the careful supervision of highly trained and experienced veterinary professionals. This experience will aid the students in their goal of becoming certified veterinary technicians.”

By revamping the hands-on experience for students, Pieper-Olson staff will take on an active teaching role in training up-and-coming veterinary technicians. Because of this change, students graduating from MxCC’s veterinary technology program will have direct, practical experience with animals, and will enter the workforce with the certification needed to be employed in the field of animal healthcare.

“The veterinarians of today realize the urgent need for a team of a trained technical support staff to deal with the growing complexities of veterinary care,” said Dr. Virginia Nunez, DVM, co-owner of Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital. “Pieper Memorial has always strived to offer the highest quality service and patient care for owners and their pets and is now honored to be involved in leading the clinical training of the next generation of veterinary technicians.”

The veterinary technology associate degree program is offered in collaboration between Middlesex Community College and Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital, both located in Middletown. General education courses are held at the College, while those courses requiring specialized laboratories, equipment, and hands-on practical experience are held at Pieper-Olson. To learn more about the veterinary technology program, or the collaboration between Middlesex Community College and Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital, contact Dr. Steven Levy at slevy1@mxcc.edu.

Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College (mxcc.edu) is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. In all it does, Middlesex Community College strives to be the college of its community. By providing high quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, the college enhances the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. MxCC, recently named a “Great College to Work For” by “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at the main 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, the shoreline, and online.