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Macomb Community College introduces new veterinary assistant program

– Tuesday, January 22, 2019 11:00AM

Nine-month certificate program prepares students for employment in growing field 

Macomb Community College is introducing a new veterinary assistant program in September, with openings for 24 students. The nine-month, noncredit certificate program has been reviewed and approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and prepares students to assist in the care of animals in a veterinary clinic or hospital as an integral part of a veterinary health care team.

“The addition of Macomb’s veterinary assistant program is an important response to the changing veterinary landscape, providing an educational pathway to employment as a vital team member in any veterinary setting,” said Lori Renda-Francis, director, veterinary technician program, Macomb Community College. “This is a great way for those who love animals to get into the veterinary profession quickly and really make an impact.”

Veterinary assistants can assist veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians in many areas of a veterinary clinic or hospital including radiology, laboratory and exam rooms. In addition, a veterinary assistant can humanely restrain animals for examination, give oral medications, collect vital information - including pulse, respiration and temperature, help educate clients about pet care and bathe animals.

The program consists of four course modules, which are a combination of lecture and lab work, and a 100-hour internship. Classes will be taught in the veterinary teaching facility on Macomb’s Center Campus in Clinton Township.

Classes will meet one or two times per week, depending on the module, allowing students to work while continuing their education. All classes will be taught by licensed veterinarians or credentialed veterinary technicians. On completion of both the coursework and internship, students will receive a Macomb Community College Workforce and Continuing Education Certificate of Completion and will be eligible to take the NAVTA-approved veterinary assistant exam.

The employment outlook for veterinary assistants is strong. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Michigan will see a 15 percent growth in the number of veterinary assistants from 2014 to 2024, with approximately 70 new job openings annually.

“In our veterinary technician program, 100 percent of our students have jobs before graduation,” said Renda-Francis. “We expect the same or very similar results with the veterinary assistant program.”

To help students in the veterinary assistant program with the costs of their education, the Mulben Memorial Veterinary Assistant Program Fund was established. The fund will cover half of the cost of the needed supplies for the program, up to $79, for each of the 24 students in the program.

Interested students are required to attend the program workshop and orientation before registration. For more information on Macomb’s veterinary assistant program, contact Lori Renda-Francis at 586.286.2096 or by email at

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,