Colby Community College Vet Tech Reviews

Last Updated on May 19, 2022

Colby Community College is a great school to attend if you are interested in becoming a vet tech. They offer the best instructors and technical training, as well as provide hands-on experience with animals. If you enjoy working with animals and like being around them, then this might be the right place for you.

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Overview of Colby Community College Vet Tech Reviews

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A Career in Veterinary Nursing

Do you enjoy working with animals as well as people? Do you see yourself working in a fast-paced career as a member of the veterinary health care team?  Do you enjoy science and health care related classes?  If so, a career as a veterinary nurse may be right for you. Colby Community College offers two ways to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Nursing: on-campus and online.

What is an Online Veterinary Science Degree?

Programs that teach how to become a vet tech provide challenging courses and practical, clinical experience requirements. There will be science, mathematics, and general education courses in any program that you choose. 

Veterinary technicians perform a wide range of complex procedures including: 

  • Collecting specimens and performing laboratory procedures 
  • Preparing for and assisting in surgery
  • Administering anesthesia 
  • Performing diagnostic imaging and educating clients 

All these technical and medical procedures require training, both in the science behind the work and in the hands-on care of animals. Vet tech programs are meant to be rigorous and challenging to produce capable, competent veterinary technicians for an in-demand profession.

Online animal science associate degree programs are either “Associate of Science” or “Associate of Applied Science” degrees, depending on what a school offers. With a high school transcript or a GED, students can begin applications. Some programs will require students to take the general education portions of the program before beginning a specialized curriculum. General education requirements will include writing, humanities, mathematics, science, and social sciences. Many programs also include coursework in communications, since this profession requires communication skills with colleagues and clients. 

The specialized portion of any online veterinary science degree will include an animal-focused curriculum and hands-on skills development under the mentorship of a veterinarian or licensed vet tech. The vast majority of these practices deal primarily with small animals, though some programs require practical work with farm and food animals too. Some programs also have exotic/laboratory animal clinicals.

Associate degree programs typically take two years of full-time study, but online veterinary classes can vary in length. If you are working, you may want to study part-time, and some programs even require you to go slower through the coursework. While much of these programs are offered asynchronously, some online veterinary science degrees will require on-site attendance to lectures and discussions. Plan to work outside of class time on each course each week, especially with the challenging courses provided to earn this professional degree.

Licensure for Vet Techs

To be licensed as a veterinary technician, you must check with your state for requirements. In most cases, you are required to pass a national exam, the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), that is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Educational programs are often accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), through their Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). Online animal science associate’s degree programs that are accredited by this board are checked for educational and institutional quality, so you can be assured of a good program if it is approved. Once a graduate passes the exam and fulfills any other state requirements, they can apply for licensure in their state.

The Best Vet Tech Schools Online

Get ready for the first step towards a career as a veterinary technician by checking out the different programs available for this growing profession online. Consider the emphasis of the program you want, in addition to cost and schedule.

1. Penn Foster College – Associate of Science in Veterinary Technician

  • Low tuition price below $100 per credit hour; Penn Foster College also offers payment plans with no interest. 
  • Award-winning faculty and a strong vet tech student community
  • Interactive coursework
  • Clinical externships can be completed with one of the national veterinary hospital partners
  • Courses include live webinars and asynchronous course elements and are mobile-friendly
  • Up to 75% of credits toward the degree may transfer from other institutions
  • Can be completed in four semesters
  • Prepares students to take the VTNE

2. San Juan College – Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology

  • Accredited by the AVMA
  • Multiple start dates—fall, spring or summer 
  • Specialized vet tech courses last 12 weeks each 
  • 100% asynchronous online program designed for working professionals 
  • Hands-on labs designed to be performed at a veterinary clinic in student’s area
  • Students work with both a companion animal site and a Food and Farm Animal site
  • Fast-track labs for large animal skills on-site in Waco, Texas or another off-campus clinical instruction site
  • One to four courses per semester
  • Full-time students can complete the program in two years and then sit for the VTNE or similar state exams
  • Open to international students
  • Prior relevant work experience or college credit may be transfer credits or allow students to test out of some course

3. Purdue University – Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology

  • Part-time program that can be completed in three to five years
  • “Veterinary nursing program” is a term that accurately represents the rigorous science-based curriculum and job duties of this profession
  • Students may already work in veterinary practice
  • Students are responsible for securing their own mentorship sites 
  • Online veterinary science degree graduates have a 90% pass rate on the VTNE
  • Open to international students
  • All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residence 
  • Hands-on skills practiced with a mentor in the student’s area; Purdue holds on-campus workshops for students seeking large animal experience 

4. St. Petersburg College – Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology

  • Accredited by the AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association
  • Training includes radiology, nursing, dentistry, anesthesia, surgical preparation, and clinical laboratory tests 
  • Students must complete 18 or 22 credits of the general education requirements and have worked or volunteered at least 40 hours in an animal hospital before applying to the online animal science associate’s degree
  • Coursework is completely online; students complete the clinical practicum with a mentor in their area
  • Most learning is asynchronous
  • Students must spend at least 20 hours per week in a veterinary clinic 
  • Florida residents pay less than a third of the tuition charged out-of-state students; there is the possibility to combine on-campus and online learning to fit the schedule needs of area students

5. Colby Community College – Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology

  • The convenience of distance learning can be combined with weekend on-campus mentorships for specialized subjects
  • All coursework can be completed online asynchronously with practicums in student’s residential area
  • On-campus weekend mentorships for large animals, laboratory/exotic animals, and microbiology
  • Online students required to work with veterinary hospitals in their area to cover hands-on skills
  • Can be completed in three years part-time or two years full-time
  • Tuition is very affordable, especially for Kansas residents, but tuition for out-of-state and international students is also very low 
  • Courses are offered three semesters per year, though not all courses are offered every semester

6. Barton County Community College – Associate of Science in Veterinary Medicine

  • Cost per credit hour is very low for all students regardless of residency
  • Transfer credits are allowed but must be verified by transcript 
  • The online animal science associate’s degree program is a total of 64 credit hours and begins with a number of general education requirements, including foundation studies, humanities, social and natural sciences, and mathematics 
  • Required courses for the Veterinary Medicine emphasis are chemistry, physics, and zoology; there are elective options in anatomy and physiology, statistics, and organic chemistry
  • Flexible scheduling allows for shorter or longer course terms, from four-week intersession courses up to sixteen-week full semester classes
  • Free online tutoring is available through this military-friendly school
  • Practicum requirements, field work, internships, and clinical experiences

7. Allen County Community College – Associate of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine

  • Tuition well under $100 per credit hour
  • Credit for prior learning or military experience is available after completing 12 credit hours of work
  • The recommended sequence of courses allows students to complete the program in as little as four semesters
  • Specialty courses for the veterinary technician program include animal science and industry, fundamentals of animal nutrition, and agricultural economics
  • Transfer agreements with public universities in Kansas for further education
  • Open to international students and out-of-state students with the same incredibly low tuition costs
  • Writing center for individual tutoring, math tutors, access to the online library, and technical assistance

Which program is best for you? 

The On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program 

The On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program at Colby Community College is one of the oldest in the nation. It was established in 1969, and became fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1974. It has maintained full accreditation since that time.

Students receive training on many advanced technologies in veterinary medicine such as direct digital radiology, class IV laser therapy, and color Doppler ultrasound.  In addition, the program has a full line of veterinary laboratory equipment that students use as part of their education.

Students in the On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program receive hands-on training throughout the two year program with a variety of college-owned animals including dogs, cats, cattle, horses, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and birds. In addition to the main 80-acre campus in Colby, the college operates a 60-acre agricultural center east of the city. Students in the On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program utilize the college farm as a hands-on laboratory for their large animal coursework.

On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program students attend classes full-time at Colby Community College and have met the selective admissions criteria.  

The Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program

Students in the Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program gain hands-on experience by working with animals such as dogs, cats, horses, cattle, rabbits, rodents, and birds in veterinary hospitals. Traditional classroom coursework for the program is completed online. Students are not required to visit the campus for any reason. However, on-campus weekend mentorships are offered during the fall and spring semesters for the large animal mentorship, laboratory animal/ exotic pet mentorship, and microbiology mentorship courses as a convenience for students who do not have those species in their area.

Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program students must be computer literate, well-organized, highly motivated, have excellent time management skills, be able to meet deadlines, be capable of reading and comprehending written materials, and take responsibility for their actions.

Starting with the second term courses, distance learning students are required to work with veterinary hospitals to complete the hands-on skills required by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Distance learning students are required to have a computer with a web cam, a headset with a microphone, and have reliable, high speed Internet access. Starting with the second term of the program, students must also have a veterinary hospital in which the mentorships and veterinary clinical experiences courses can be completed. Mentorship courses will require access to a video camcorder and tripod for use when recording hands-on AVMA essential skills.

Accreditation

Colby Community College is coordinated by the Kansas Board of Regents and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The On-Campus Veterinary Nursing Program has been fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) since 1974.

The Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program has been fully accredited by the AVMA since September 2019.

Being a graduate of an AVMA-accredited veterinary nursing program is required by most state regulatory boards and state credentialing agencies in order to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and other applicable state examinations. Interested individuals should check with their state’s licensing agency for information on specific credentialing requirements. Some states do not offer credentialing for veterinary technicians.

Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program  

Students in the Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program gain hands-on experience by working with animals such as dogs, cats, horses, cattle, rabbits, rodents, and birds in veterinary hospitals. The program is affordable, flexible, and convenient. Our students are not required to meet at scheduled times for class and may complete the coursework at times convenient for them throughout each week. Traditional classroom coursework for the program is completed online. Students are not required to visit the campus for any reason. However, we offer on-campus weekend mentorships twice during the fall and spring semesters for our large animal mentorship, laboratory animal/ exotic pet mentorship, and microbiology mentorship courses as a convenience for students who do not have those species in their area.

Distance learning veterinary nursing program students must be computer literate, well-organized, highly motivated, have excellent time management skills, be able to meet deadlines, be capable of reading and comprehending written materials, and take responsibility for their own actions.

Starting with the second term courses, distance learning students are required to work with veterinary hospitals to complete the hands-on skills required by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program has been fully accredited by the AVMA since September 2019. 

Distance learning students are required to have a computer with a web cam, a headset with a microphone, and have reliable, high speed Internet access. Starting with the third term of the program, students must also have a veterinary hospital in which the mentorships and veterinary clinical experiences courses can be completed. Mentorship courses will require access to a video camcorder and tripod for use when recording hands-on AVMA essential skills.

Curriculum

The DLVNP curriculum consists of 22-26 credit hours of prerequisite coursework and 60 credit hours of core program coursework. A total of 82 credit hours are required to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Nursing.

The online DLVNP core program coursework consists of didactic courses, mentorship courses, and veterinary clinical experiences. During the mentorships, students practice and then demonstrate the successful completion of AVMA Essential Skills under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician by making video recordings of themselves successfully completing the tasks. These videos are reviewed by program faculty members to ensure successful completion of each skill. During the veterinary clinical experience courses, students gain additional hands-on experiences in a veterinary hospital setting.

Cost of attendance

Total cost of attending Colby Community College including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses, minus the average grant/scholarship aid


Average annual cost$7,866per year

By family income levelAvg, ann. cost
$0 – $30,000$6,058
$30,001 – $48,000$7,341
$48,001 – $75,000$9,337
$75,001 – $110,000$10,650
$110,000+$11,109

Net price is the amount a student pays to attend an institution for one academic year after subtracting a student’s scholarships and grants. Source: College Scorecard, 2019.

Graduation

Graduation rate and salary earned after graduation at Colby Community College



Median Salary$32,50010 years after graduation


Graduation rate for rate for first-time, full-time students at four-year institutions (150% of expected time to completion). Median earnings of students working and not enrolled 10 years after entry. Source: College Scorecard, 2019.

Loans and student debt

Student debt after graduating from Colby Community College


Median total debtAfter graduation$10,382


Monthly loan paymentsfor 10-year loan$108


26%Sudents receiving federal loans26 of all undergraduate students receiving a federal student loan


Median debt of completers. Median debt expressed in 10-year monthly payments. Percent of all undergraduate students receiving a federal student loan. Source: College Scorecard, 2019.

Popular degrees

These are the most popular categories of degrees awarded at Colby Community College


51%Health Professions and Related Programs


37%Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities


5%Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


4%Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences

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