Frequently Asked Questions
What are my chances of being accepted into the Veterinary Technology Program at Cedar Valley? How tough is the competition?
In general, we have a full class of students (about 45) that start the program in the fall of each year. If you have all of the prerequisite courses completed with a C or better grade, it is very likely that you will be accepted into the program. We strive to place all qualified students (meaning that they have the prerequisite courses) into the program.
What are the class hours like?
As a general rule, students in the first year of the program (1st years) have classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Depending on which lab group you are in as a 1st year, you may also have a lab on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon. Second years have class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
When you are at the college, we try to maximize your time. Classes are scheduled so that you don't have large gaps of time between them. You can expect to be in class from 8a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. on most days when you are at the college. We do allow time for breaks and lunch.
How rigid is the curriculum? Can I schedule courses when I want them?
The curriculum is very rigid. Because we have limited facilities and staff, we offer most courses in one time slot and only once per year. In addition, most classes are prerequisites for courses in later semesters because the curriculum builds on itself as you progress through it. Because of that, you must follow the curriculum precisely in order to graduate in two years.
How long does the curriculum take?
It takes two complete years to complete the VTP at Cedar Valley College. Once accepted into the program, you will attend courses year-round until graduation. We work on a trimester system with fall, spring, and summer semesters. The summer is not divided into two sessions as in other programs. Summer courses generally begin in early June and end in mid-August.
Do I have to finish in two years?
Not necessarily. The curriculum is set-up to take two years, but some students extend this over three or more years by reducing their course load.
Can I finish the curriculum in less than two years?
No. It is not possible to speed up the process. Because of the stepwise nature of the courses, you cannot take an increased academic load to speed up the process.
Will my general studies courses from other colleges and universities transfer to Cedar Valley? Will other courses transfer?
In general, like courses from other regionally accredited colleges and universities will be accepted for transfer. Courses intended to substitute for degree requirements must be nearly identical in course content and outcomes. Substitution for degree requirements is at the discretion of the Veterinary Technology Program director, the Dean of Math, Science and Allied Health and the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs of the college.
When requesting substitutions, it is important to include course descriptions from the college catalog where the course was completed. This does not guarantee acceptance, but it is important for verifying course content and outcomes. Course descriptions should be included when submitting transcripts for evaluation.
What are the courses like? Are they difficult?
The VTP is a technical program, meaning that there is a great deal of technical knowledge and skills that must be learned by the VT student. As such, a great deal of time is spent on learning and practicing technical skills and tasks. In addition, we expect students to have a fundamental knowledge in many areas of veterinary medicine. The difference between a registered technician and an on-the-job trained assistant is knowledge. The RVT not only knows how to do technical tasks, but why it is being done in a specific manner, what to do if something goes wrong, and how to improvise when appropriate.
How much will the program cost?
The cost for the program is variable depending on your residency status. Tuition in the Dallas County Community College District is based on residency and is classified as in-county for students residing in Dallas, out-of-county for students residing anywhere else in Texas and out-of-state/country for anyone residing outside of Texas. The tuition schedule can be found on the web at www.dcccd.edu. In most semesters, students will be taking an average load of 12 semester credit hours. Use the tuition guide at the web site above to calculate exact costs for tuition. Other costs include textbooks, uniforms, and other needed supplies. On average, it will cost approximately $4000 for an in-county resident for the entire program.
Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is available for qualifying students. Contact the Cedar Valley College Financial Aid office at (972) 860-8280 for details on applying for and obtaining financial aid.
Once I graduate, will I be able to find employment?
The employment outlook for Registered Veterinary Technicians is great. RVTs are scarce in Texas and nationwide, and veterinarians are searching to hire them. On average, we post 2 to 3 jobs on our jobs listing for every student that we graduate from the program. Jobs are readily available in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, across Texas and nationally.
Is this a hands-on program?
As a technical program, students can expect a great deal of hands-on learning. From your first semester in the program, you will begin working with the college owned animals as well as the equipment you will encounter later in your career as a veterinary technician. On average, you will be in lectures approximately 8-10 hours per week and in labs another 8-10 hours per week.
Can I get into the program if I don't have all of the prerequisite course requirements?
It is possible to be accepted into the program if you have completed three of the four prerequisite courses. Students can be "conditionally" accepted into the program. The condition is that you successfully complete the remaining prerequisite course while you are in your first semester of the VT program.
Can I continue in school after earning the Vet Tech degree and earn a bachelor's degree?
The VT program is a technical program and is not designed for university transfer. You can continue you studies, but it is likely that a substantial portion of your courses will be accepted as elective courses only at a university. An articulation between the VT program and the University of North Texas allows students to apply all of their courses toward a bachelor's degree in Applied Technology and Performance Improvement.