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What you get:

  • Scholarship for leading veterinary training or degree program
  • Mobile-friendly access for anytime, anywhere learning
  • Access to dedicated and award-winning faculty

VCA has partnered with Penn Foster to offer our employees scholarships to career-focused programs! Through this partnership, you can now apply for a sponsorship for one of the four programs below to increase your skills, earn a credential, and advance your veterinary career while working at VCA. Offered online, Penn Foster’s programs allow you to train at home or on the go and receive support from our dedicated Veterinary Academy faculty of practitioners, technicians, and industry experts.

Whether you’re looking to become a Credentialed Veterinary Technician or pass the CVPM exam, we have a program for you. Apply today!

Veterinary Academy Programs

Veterinary Technology Bachelor of Applied Science Degree

The Veterinary Technology Bachelor of Applied Science Degree is perfect if you are looking to accelerate your career in the veterinary technology or veterinary nursing field. The AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited completion program is specifically designed for students who have already earned an AVMA-accredited associate degree. This program concludes with a Veterinary Technology Capstone Course in which you'll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in either the Veterinary Practice Management or Veterinary Technician Specialist tracks.

Course Details

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Display a high level of analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and integrate all aspects of patient surgical management in a variety of animal species 
  • Possess an understanding of a Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) or of a Certified Practice Manager (CVPM)
  • Exhibit an understanding of leadership and management skills as a manager of a veterinary practice or a research/corporate institution 

Advanced Pharmacology

  • Drug identification and dosage calculation methods
  • Drug administration benefit and side effect explanations
Veterinary Practice Management
  • Appropriate design, technology, diagnostic laboratory, and marketing strategies
  • Compassionate communication methods
Advanced Anesthesia and Nursing
  • Pre-anesthetic workup protocol, dosage calculation, and anesthesia preparation strategies
  • Anesthesia communications including describing anesthesia monitoring, recovery, and complications
  • Anesthesia and perioperative surgical care plan ideas 
Preventative Healthcare
  • Preventative healthcare and life stage guidelines
  • Integrative medicine fundamentals
  • Preventative and integrative medicine practices for birds, small mammals, and horses
Critical Care
  • Key wound management techniques
  • Emergencies, traumas, and CPR best practices including the care and nursing of urologic, reproductive, ocular, and neurologic emergencies
Leadership Methods
  • Planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling management techniques
  • Effective team development strategies
Financial and Marketing Strategies
  • Basic financial procedures including analyzing transactions that affect current assets, interpreting financial statements, and analyzing cost-volume-profit relationships
  • Basic marketing tactics including analyzing marketing plans and performing SWOT and STP analyses

Veterinary Technician Associate Degree

Penn Foster College’s Veterinary Technician Associate Degree is AVMA-CVTEA accredited and can help you gain the skills you need on your pathway to becoming a licensed veterinary technician. In this program, you'll study a wide range of topics and gain real-world vet technician experience during the clinical externship portions of the program. For additional program flexibility, you will also have the ability to participate in digital proctored exams. Graduates of the veterinary technician program will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) in order to be credentialed as a licensed veterinary technician.

Course Details

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
    • Office and Hospital Procedures, Client Relations, and Communication
      • Participate in facility management utilizing traditional and electronic media and appropriate medical terminology and abbreviations
      • Communicate in a professional manner in all formats—written, oral, non-verbal, and electronic
        Follow and uphold applicable laws and the veterinary technology profession's ethical codes to provide high quality care to patients.
    • Pharmacy and Pharmacology
      • Safely and effectively administer prescribed drugs to patients.
      • Accurately dispense and explain prescribed drugs to clients
    • Nursing
      • Demonstrate and perform patient assessment techniques in a variety of animal species
      • Understand and demonstrate husbandry, nutrition, therapeutic and dentistry techniques appropriate to various animal species.
    • Anesthesia
      • Safely and effectively manage and maintain patients in all phases of anesthesia
      • Safely and effectively select, utilize and maintain anesthetic delivery and monitoring instruments and equipment
    • Surgical Nursing
      • Understand and integrate all aspects of patient management for common surgical procedures in a variety of animal species
      • Understand and provide the appropriate instruments, supplies and environment to maintain asepsis during surgical procedures
    • Laboratory Procedures
      • Properly package, handle and store specimens for laboratory analysis
      • Properly carry out analysis of laboratory specimens
    • Imaging
      • Safely and effectively produce diagnostic radiographic and non-radiographic images
    • Laboratory Animal Procedures
      • Safely and effectively handle common laboratory animals used in animal research
    • Avian, Exotic, Small Mammals and Fish Procedures
      • Understand the approach to providing safe and effective care for birds, reptiles, amphibians, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and ferrets

Veterinary Assistant Career Diploma

Take the first step in your veterinary career with the NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant program from Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster’s program is 1 of only 3 online Veterinary Assistant Programs approved by the NAVTA! In this program, learn important on-the-job skills like handling and restraint, providing emergency first aid to animals, using veterinary terminology, and more.

Course Details

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy skills
  • Office and Hospital Procedures:
    • Front Desk procedures, including basic veterinary medical record keeping procedures and basic invoicing skills
    • Demonstrate knowledge of basic cleaning techniques of animal kennels and bedding, examination rooms, hospital facilities, and surgical suites
  • Communication and Client Relations:
    • Develop effective client communication skills
    • Write business letters and professional electronic communication with clients
    • Understand ethical conduct in relationship to the day to day operations of a vet hospital
    • Describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of the veterinary health team and the important part that each plays in the delivery of excellent care
    • Professional Conduct: Understand the human-animal bond, Demonstrate professional and appropriate appearance and language in the workplace
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology:
    • Legal Issues: Recognize legal issues involving drugs in the workplace, recognize general types and groups of drugs and demonstrate proper terminology
    • Filling medications and inventory control: Label and package dispensed drugs correctly, Store, safely handle and dispose of biological and therapeutic agents, pesticides, and hazardous waste
    • Vaccinations: Reconstitute vaccines and be familiar with proper protocols
  • Examination Room Procedures:
    • Restrain patients: small animals, restrain birds. rabbits, pocket pets, and exotics, large animals
    • Basic Procedures: Determine and record temperature, pulse, respiration, body condition score, and weight of patients
    • Express anal sacs using the external method, Identify external parasites: mites, lice, fleas, and ticks, Recognize AKC dog breeds and CFA cat breeds,
  • Small Animal Nursing (Large Animal Nursing--Optional):
    • Safety Concerns: Demonstrate knowledge of basic normal and abnormal animal behavior, Utilize patient & personnel safety measures
    • Animal Care: Provide routine record-keeping, and observation of hospitalized patients, i.e. stress importance of notations made when cleaning and feeding, Demonstrate a basic understanding of common diseases and medical conditions,
    • Monitor/restrain patients for fluid therapy and record observations, Perform hand pilling (dog, cat), Demonstrate understanding of treatment plan
  • Surgical Preparation and Assisting:
    • Assist in performing surgical preparations
    • Facility and Equipment Cleanliness
    • Have knowledge of: Surgical equipment, Surgical room and prep area, Instrument cleaning and care, Proper disposal of hazardous medical wastes
  • Laboratory Procedures:
    • Assistance in the laboratory
    • Record Keeping: Ensure all laboratory results are accurately recorded, Stock laboratory supplies, File laboratory reports
  • Radiology and Ultrasound Imaging:
    • Follow recommended safety measures, Assist the veterinarian and/or the veterinary technician in the completion of diagnostic radiographs and ultrasound

Vet Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate

Working as a Veterinary Practice Manager is ideal for those who want to work in an animal care setting, but would prefer an administrative or managerial role rather than a clinical role. The Penn Foster Veterinary Practice Management Certificate program fulfills the formal education requirement to sit for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) exam, offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA). For additional program flexibility, you will also have the ability to participate in Penn Foster’s digital proctored exams.

Course Details

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the senses of a canine and know how they function, and define the learning theory and classical and operant conditioning
  • Describe common behavior problems and strategies for prevention and treatment, identify the pros and cons of punishment versus reinforcement, as well as the signals and displays that dogs use to communicate with each other and with humans
  • Apply knowledge of behavior problems by recommending behavior modification plans for the dogs in the three given scenarios
  • Define dog testing, state the functions of the American Kennel Club, and list its seven major groups of dog breeds
  • Apply knowledge of dog selection by selecting an appropriate breed for the persons in the case studies as well as selecting an inappropriate breed
  • Identify the various types of canine training, know the commands to teach dogs basic obedience, and recognize types of dog-training equipment
  • Apply knowledge of agility training by examining agility course diagrams and indicating correct and incorrect sequences and identifying handling techniques
  • Identify what dog tricks are and know how to use them, describe what play is and why it's important for a domesticated dog, as well as name recreational activities involving dogs
  • Name the exercises required for classes of competition and describe the ways dogs are used to assist humans
  • Describe basic nutrition, reproductive function, and caring for a dog in old age, as well as know first-aid procedures for shock and wounds
  • Outline a dog training business plan, describe effective advertising and marketing strategies, and describe how canine day care centers are run
  • Apply knowledge of the dog training business by writing an evaluation of the demographics as they pertain to starting a dog training business and providing information necessary to develop a business plan

Is Penn Foster College accredited?

Penn Foster College is nationally accredited. This form of accreditation means that Penn Foster has met the high standards required by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.


Are the Veterinary Academy programs accredited?

Penn Foster College's Veterinary Technician Associate Degree and Veterinary Technology Bachelor of Applied Science programs are fully accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a program for educating veterinary technicians and technologists. This accreditation "represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review."

The Veterinary Assistant Career Diploma is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). It is one of only three online Veterinary Assistant programs with this approval.

The Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate program is applicable toward the formal education requirement for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) program offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA). The CVPM designation is recognized by many veterinary practice leaders as the highest level of credential for professional veterinary managers and is often preferred or required when applying for a veterinary manager position.


Are there online classes?

There are no physical classrooms, since Penn Foster is an online and self-paced school. However, there are some programs that have webinars that students must log into and attend.


How does the online program work?

After enrollment you will receive an email with instructions to create your login credentials to access your account. This will give you access to all your online materials and you will receive your hardcopy books in the mail in 5-7 business days if you did not choose the eBooks option. You will be contacted by a Penn Foster Student Success Coach to help get you started with the program. Assessments are taken through the student portal and other information is available there. If you need to contact your instructors for academic help or have other questions, use the “Contact Us” feature from the student portal.

What resources are available to me?

You have access to Penn Foster’s teachers and learning materials through your student portal. We also strongly encourage students to join the Penn Foster Community. It is a great place to connect with other students.


Will there be instructors to help me, and how do I contact them?

Yes, instructors are available over the phone (1-888-427-1000) Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Eastern Time. They are also available through email by clicking on the “Contact Us” button in the Student Portal and typically respond within 24 hours. 


Can you tell me more about the Penn Foster Veterinary Technician Program?

The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician Program is both exciting and challenging. It is lots of hard work and also lots of fun, as you learn the fundamentals of becoming a great veterinary technician. The program is four semesters long and graduates can sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Both semesters two and four include a clinical externship during which the student gains hands-on experience applying what they’ve learned in a veterinary hospital under the supervision of a veterinarian.


How do Penn Foster Veterinary Technician graduates do on the VTNE?

Penn Foster Graduates have a 80% pass rate on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).