Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi
Mercy College Technology Veterinary Technology Program trains students to enter this professional field immediately upon graduation. The focus of the program is predominantly clinical; therefore, students will spend much of their time in hospitals and clinics.
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Agroup of students and faculty members from Mercy College’s Veterinary Technology Program spent two days at Animal Medical of New City, NY providing free dental cleanings for shelter animals as part of their pre-clinical training.
“It’s important to give vet tech students a hands-on experience with live animals before they enter clinical rotations,” said Sandra Bertholf, MS, LVT, assistant professor of veterinary technology. “It helps them connect the dots between what they learn in their didactic training and what actually happens in the vet clinic.”
To adhere to social distancing guidelines, the class of 23 students was divided into three small sections, each supervised by faculty members who are practicing veterinary technologists and veterinarians. Students paired off in teams to prepare their canine patients for the dental procedure.
Bertholf, along with Program Director and Assistant Professor Dr. Lisa Schenkel, both of whom work at Animal Medical when not teaching at Mercy, have partnered with local shelters to provide free services for the animals in their care. “We use shelter animals for both our dental and spay-neuter labs,” said Bertholf. “It makes them healthier and more adoptable if they have clean teeth and fresh breath!” The labs help students develop crucial skills, such as radiography and anesthesia procedures, testing and treating the animals for parasites, administering vaccines and assisting veterinarians with spay-neutering.
“Most of our teaching has moved online since the pandemic, but some skills can only be learned by working with a patient,” said Bertholf. “The students are practicing in a low-risk environment before going out on their own during fourth-year rotations. The shelter animals they treat are receiving needed health services. And Mercy is building relationships with people and organizations that make a difference in the community. It’s truly a win-win situation.”
Schenkel added one more “win” to the list: “The veterinary technology program is extremely successful in preparing students for careers,” she said. “Most receive multiple job offers prior to graduation, often from one or both of their externship sites. The Mercy program has such a great reputation that our graduates are highly sought after.”
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Bachelor of Science
General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements* 60 credits
Veterinary Technology 58 credits
Veterinary Technology Elective 2 credits
Total 120 credits
Students who choose the major concentration in veterinary technology must complete:
VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science
VETC 110 – Applied Animal Behavior
VETC 140 – Veterinary Management
VETC 256 – Anatomy of Domestic Animals
VETC 256A – Anatomy of Domestic Animals Laboratory
VETC 258 – Animal Handling and Restraint
VETC 300 – Physiology of Domestic Animals
VETC 306 – Clinical Laboratory Techniques and Analysis
VETC 306A – Clinical Laboratory Techniques Laboratory
VETC 320 – Pharmacology and Toxicology (cc)
VETC 340 – Clinical Veterinary Team Communication
VETC 341 – Small Animal Diseases: A Case Based Approach
VETC 350 – Applied Clinical Veterinary Nursing Lecture
VETC 350A – Applied Clinical Veterinary Nursing Practicum
VETC 360 – Fundamentals of Animal Research
VETC 375 – Principles of Large Animal Medicine
VETC 495 – Externship I: General Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
VETC 496 – Externship II: Veterinary Specialty
The following related courses in Natural Science and Mathematics:
Students must complete these courses as part of their General Education Requirements*
BIOL 160 – General Biology I Lecture
BIOL 160A – General Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 161 – General Biology II Lecture
BIOL 161A – General Biology II Laboratory
BIOL 265 – Microbiology Lecture
BIOL 265A – Microbiology Laboratory
CHEM 160 – General Chemistry I Lecture
CHEM 160A – General Chemistry Laboratory
CISC 120 – Introduction to Computers and Application Software
MATH 116 – College Algebra
VETC 295 – Special Topics in Veterinary Technology
VETC 305 – Global Veterinary Experiences
VETC 397 – Independent Study in Veterinary Technology
VETC 380 – Workplace Experience in Veterinary Science I
VETC 381 – Workplace Experience in Veterinary Science II
There is a 15-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of Veterinary Technology.
*Students must complete these courses as part of their General Education Requirements.
The recommended course sequence can be found in the Veterinary Technology Program Student Handbook.
Additional Program Information
Students in the Veterinary Technology Program must earn a minimum letter grade of C or better in all veterinary technology and natural science courses (except BIOL 160 / BIOL 160A), and a minimum letter grade of B or better in ENGL 111 and in MATH 116 and a minimum grade of C+ IN BIOL 160 / BIOL 160A. Students must maintain a 2.75 cumulative index in veterinary technology courses for admittance into clinical courses VETC 340, VETC 341, VETC 350, VETC 350A, VETC 360, VETC 375, VETC 495, and VETC 496.
Students enrolled in the undecided – veterinary technology, or the veterinary technology major may not repeat a course required in the curriculum more than once.
Students enrolled in the undecided – veterinary technology, or the veterinary technology major are fully responsible for compliance with all requirements, policies and procedures contained in the Veterinary Technology Program Student Handbook. A link to the Veterinary Technology Program Student Handbook can be found on the Program page on the Mercy College website https://www.mercy.edu/degrees-programs/bs-veterinary-technology.
Students should anticipate taking the didactic portion of VETC 375 – Principles of Large Animal Medicine course online during the spring semester followed by a one-week, hands-on portion at SUNY-Delhi in the summer. Students are responsible for transportation to and accommodations in Delhi. No other Veterinary Technology courses are offered in the summer semester.
NOTE: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to attain state licensure.
The Veterinary Technology Program is accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) located in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Graduates of the Mercy College Veterinary Technology Program are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Successful completion of this examination is required for licensure as a veterinary technician by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Licensure information can be found at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/vetmed/vtlic.htm.
Veterinary Technology Program Admission Criteria (Prior to Fall 2018)
Admittance to Mercy College.
Satisfactory completion of VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science, BIOL 160 – General Biology I Lecture, BIOL 160A – General Biology I Laboratory with a grade of C or better, and ENGL 111 – Written English and Literary Studies I and MATH 116 – College Algebra with a grade of B or better. All courses that are required for admission into the Veterinary Technology program may not be repeated more than once.
Please note: prior to satisfactory completion of VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science, BIOL 160 – General Biology I Lecture, BIOL 160A – General Biology I Laboratory with a grade of C or better, and ENGL 111 – Written English and Literary Studies I and MATH 116 – College Algebra with a grade of B or better and admission into the Program, students will be enrolled with a major concentration in undecided-veterinary technology.
Veterinary Technology Program Admission Criteria (As of Fall 2018)
Admittance into Mercy College
High School Assessment Criteria
≥85% overall GPA required with upper 1/3 of class rank preferred
Minimum of two years high school math with ≥85% (B) average
More than two years high school math preferred
Preference for one year of algebra
Minimum of two years high school English with ≥85% (B) average
More than two years high school English preferred
Minimum of two years high school laboratory science with ≥85% (B) average
More than two years high school laboratory science preferred
Preference for one year each in biology and chemistry
Students that meet the high school assessment criteria will be admitted as undecided-veterinary technology (VTPR). Admittance is competitive; therefore, students accepted as undecided-veterinary technology majors (VTPR) are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $200 to reserve their spot in the Veterinary Technology Program. This fee will be applied to tuition payment.
Students that do not meet the high school assessment criteria will be required to take additional courses.
Application to Veterinary Technology Program
Students that are admitted as undecided-veterinary technology (VTPR) and taking the VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science course must submit an application to the Veterinary Technology Program for admittance as a veterinary technology major (VTNS). The application must include short essays in response to the given prompts on the application. The application must also demonstrate that the student has met the following criteria:
Overall minimum GPA of 2.75 for the first academic year at Mercy College.
Satisfactory completion of ENGL 111 – Written English and Literary Studies I and MATH 116 – College Algebra with a grade of B or better, BIOL 160 – General Biology I Lecture/BIOL 160A – General Biology I Laboratory with a grade of C+ or better, and VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science with a C or better. A required course in the curriculum can only be repeated once.
Volunteer hours or shadowing experience in a veterinary practice is preferred.
The application deadline is February 15 for students admitted as undecided-veterinary technology (VTPR) in the fall semester.
Pending the final grade in VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science and the calculation of the overall GPA for the first academic year, students will be informed of a provisional acceptance no later than April 15. Students will be informed of full acceptance into the Veterinary Technology Program no later than two weeks after the end of the semester.
The link to the application can be found on the Program page of the Mercy College website.
Veterinary Technology Major Concentration Standards
Students must earn a minimum letter grade of C or better in all veterinary technology courses, a grade of C+ or better in BIOL 160/BIOL 160A General Biology I Lecture/Laboratory, a minimum grade of C in all other natural science courses, and a minimum grade of B or better in ENGL 111 – Written English and Literary Studies I and MATH 116 – College Algebra.
Students must maintain a 2.75 cumulative index in veterinary technology courses in order to be admitted into clinical courses VETC 340, VETC 341, VETC 350, VETC 350A, VETC 360, VETC 375, VETC 495, and VETC 496. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is also required for graduation from the Veterinary Technology Program.
Students may not repeat a course required in the curriculum more than once. Two withdrawals from a course are equivalent to one full completion of that course.
Any student who earns a grade less than the required minimum grade in a course required in the curriculum must repeat the course the next semester it is offered at Mercy College in order to progress to any course for which it is a prerequisite .
Any student who receives less than the required minimum grade in a course required in the curriculum more than once will automatically be dismissed from the Program.
For any veterinary technology lecture course that has a laboratory course as a corequisite, both the lecture and laboratory courses must be taken concurrently. In the event that a student must withdraw from the lecture course, the student must also withdraw from the corequisite laboratory course. Students who wish to take the lecture or laboratory course alone will require Program Director authorization and may be required to participate in relevant labs or audit relevant lecture topics.
Other than VETC 375 Principles of Large Animal Medicine ,Veterinary Technology courses within the Veterinary Technology curriculum are not offered in the summer semester.
Students who receive an unsatisfactory evaluation in any category, including but not limited to professional and ethical behavior, or required skill in clinical courses VETC 340, VETC 341, VETC 350, VETC 350A, VETC 360, VETC 375, VETC 495, and VETC 496, or who are dismissed from any externship site, will receive an “F” in the course and will have their records reviewed by the Veterinary Technology Faculty. The faculty will determine if the student will be given the opportunity to repeat the experience in a future semester, and/or be placed on probation, or be dismissed by the Program.
If a student is dismissed from any externship site because of an inability to demonstrate content knowledge, the faculty may require the student to pass a competency exam and either retake or audit the course covering the content prior to reassignment to an externship site.
Any student that has been dismissed from the Veterinary Technology Program is not eligible to reapply to the Veterinary Technology Program.
Minimal Technical Standards
The following technical standards, which serve to protect the student and patient and are deemed essential for performance as a competent veterinary technologist, are required for admission, continuation and graduation from the Mercy College Veterinary Technology Program:
Capable of frequently lifting and/or carrying up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level.
Ability to tolerate walking and standing for sustained periods of time.
Capable of handling, positioning and restraining live animals.
Capable of using hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials.
Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs, including auscultatory sounds, alarms, animal vocalizations, cries for help and warning sounds from animals and humans. Ability to perceive and understand the natural or amplified human voice when lips, facial expressions and/or other visual clues are not able to be seen.
Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and to perform nursing duties.
Eyesight capable of viewing small visual images and reading instrumentation.
Amenable to learning the safe handling and restraint of all Program-required species of domestic and exotic animals without a level of fear that interferes with satisfactory performance.
Capacities to read, hear, understand and quickly execute complex verbal and written instructions given in English.
Willingness to assist with or perform a wide variety of medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures in the veterinary setting, including humane euthanasia.
Ability to act in a professional and ethical manner.
Ability to respond promptly and appropriately in emergency situations.
Ability to speak English and be understood by others who speak English.
Ability to handle and/or be exposed to a wide variety of animal species and their environments without adverse medical consequences (e.g., allergic reaction).
Veterinary Technology Student Essential Skills
Mercy’s program requires that students successfully acquire specified, essential skills in order to complete the Veterinary Technology Program. A link to these skills may be found on the Program page of the Mercy College website.
Veterinary Technology Program Goals and Outcomes
The Veterinary Technology Program goals and outcomes can be found on the Program page on the Mercy College website.
Veterinary Technology Program Transfer Policy
The policy for acceptance of transfer credits to satisfy Veterinary Technology Program courses are in addition to the requirements for transfer credits as outlined in the Mercy College Undergraduate Catalog.
Course descriptions and course outlines of any veterinary technology course for which the student is requesting acceptance of transfer credits must be submitted to the Program Director for review. In addition, for any veterinary technology course in which essential skills are taught, the student must also submit a signed skills list for that course to the Program Director.
Acceptance of transfer credits for a veterinary technology course will only be considered if the course was taken within the last two years at an AVMA-CVTEA accredited veterinary technology program, the credit hours are equivalent and the final grade in the course is C or better.
Transfer students must submit evidence of successful essential skills acquisition if relative to the course that is under consideration for acceptance of transfer credits.
Fifteen residency credits at Mercy College in the major is required.
VETC 101 – Introduction to Veterinary Science and VETC 320 – Pharmacology and Toxicology (cc) must be taken at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry.
Transfer credits for VETC 300 – Physiology of Domestic Animals and VETC 306 – Clinical Laboratory Techniques and Analysis require program director approval and will be accepted if the following criteria are met:
taken within the last two years at an AVMA-CVTEA accredited veterinary technology program
the course content and credit hours are equivalent
the final grade in the course is C or better
the student has successfully passed a competency exam, administered by Mercy College Veterinary Technology Program faculty, with a 75 or better.
the cost of each competency exam is $25.
Acceptance of transfer credits to satisfy prerequisite course requirements will only be considered if the course was taken within the last four years at an accredited college institution, the course content and credit hours are equivalent and the final grade in the course is ‘B’ or better for satisfaction of MATH 116 and ENGL 111 prerequisites, ‘C+’ or better for satisfaction of the BIOL 160/BIOL 160A prerequisite and C or better for all other prerequisite course requirements.
Graduates of AVMA-CVTEA accredited veterinary technology programs must submit their transcripts to the Program Director for review. Graduates of other veterinary technology programs are required to take VETC 101 and VETC 320 at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry.
Transfer students that are graduates of other accredited veterinary technology programs will be required to complete all of the requirements of the Mercy College Veterinary Technology Program courses that they take at Mercy College. This may include successful acquisition of essential skills as listed in the Mercy College Veterinary Technology Program Essential Skills List for that course.
Program Dismissal Review
In cases which a student has been dismissed from the Veterinary Technology Program, the student may request a dismissal review when he/she believes that extenuating circumstances effected his/her academic performance in the program. The student must follow the SHNS Program Dismissal Review Policy detailed at the beginning of the School of Health and Natural Sciences section.
Students Interested in Applying to Veterinary Medical School
Although the majority of veterinary medical schools do not require students to obtain a specific degree, students are more attractive candidates if, in addition to completing the required prerequisite courses, they complete a degree that includes courses in humanities and social sciences as well as animal sciences. The Veterinary Technology major uniquely prepares a student for veterinary medical school by offering many of the courses required to apply to veterinary medical school, including animal science courses. However, the student may be required to complete 28 credits in addition to the Veterinary Technology major courses to meet the veterinary medical school admission requirements (please refer to http://www.aavmc.org/data/files/vmcas/prereqchart.pdf for more information). Students may be able to take some or all of these courses along with their Veterinary Technology major courses at Mercy College if they meet the College criteria for taking a higher credit course load during any term. Enrolled students may also be able to complete some of these courses during the summer terms, however, financial aid may not cover the tuition for summer courses.
Courses typically required for Veterinary Medical School Application:
|Courses offered as part of Mercy College’s Veterinary Technology Major
|Courses offered at Mercy College outside the Veterinary Technology Major
|ENGL 111 Written English and Literary Studies I
|MATH 201 Precalculus*
|ENGL 112 Written English and Literary Studies II
|MATH 122 Statistics*
|MATH 116 College Algebra
|BIOL 360 Genetics
|BIOL 160 General Biology I Lecture / BIOL 160A General Biology I Laboratory
|CHEM 161 General Chemistry II Lecture / CHEM 161A General Chemistry II Laboratory
|BIOL 161 General Biology II Lecture / BIOL 161A General Biology II Laboratory
|CHEM 260 Organic Chemistry I Lecture / CHEM 260A Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
|BIOL 265 Microbiology Lecture / BIOL 265A Microbiology Laboratory
|CHEM 261 Organic Chemistry II Lecture / CHEM 261A Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
|CHEM 160 General Chemistry I Lecture / CHEM 160A General Chemistry Laboratory
|CHEM 354 Biochemistry
|VETC 101 Introduction to Veterinary Science
|PHYS 160 Physics for the Life Sciences I
|VETC 256 Anatomy of Domestic Animals / VETC 256A Anatomy of Domestic Animals Laboratory
|PHYS 161 Physics for the Life Sciences II
|VETC 300 Physiology of Domestic Animals
The Veterinary Technology Program courses may provide students with an advantage when applying to veterinary medical school by offering a total of 60 credit hours of veterinary based courses including two 360 hour externships (360 hours in a general small animal medicine and surgery hospital and 360 hours in a specialty or referral veterinary facility). In addition, the faculty of the Program provides the Program students with specific academic advisement as well as assistance in the veterinary medical school applicaion process.
Students interested in applying for veterinary medical school, may also choose to pursue a Biology major which would include many of the required science courses for application to medical school. Those students who pursue the Biology major may be able to take a few veterinary technology courses as electives to fulfill their Biology degree and strengthen their veterinary medical school application.
Graduate of the Veterinary Technology Program earn a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology and are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) for licensure as a Veterinary Technologist.