Students in the veterinarian technology program at Central Oregon Community College will now have a way to gain hands-on experience as part of their training.
The COCC program is working on a partnership that would allow their students to learn skills while helping the Redmond Brightside animal shelter, according to Lynn Russell, director of the veterinarian technician program.
“Partnering with a non-profit like Brightside opens up tremendous possibilities for both our students and the animals there. The more kind and compassionate handling and interaction these animals can the better,” Russell said. “Our students benefit by experiencing a large variety of species, breeds, temperaments, behavior issues, health issues and all the stories behind them.”
Most other Veterinarian tech programs don’t require students to go outside of campus to have hands on learning experience, according to Russell.
“We came up with this idea because it was a perfect fit in many ways,” Russell said. “COCC supports collaborative efforts in the community. This partnership involves cooperation and collaboration among many different community interests.”
Russell calls the partnership a “win-win” situation for both Brightside and the vet tech program.
“This is an exciting opportunity to bring a lot of good to a lot of animals and people, never forgetting our primary goal of training excellent veterinary technicians,” Russell said.
To start this project, COCC will purchase a building directly behind Brightside where they hope to create a mock veterinarian facility, according Rich Brecke, project coordinator.
There will be two phases of remodeling done on the building. The first rudimentary stage will get the facility to a functional level.
“The remodeling required is not extensive; it is very minimal,” Brecke said. “As soon as the land and building is acquired we can start that phase… It won’t be a long project, perhaps just a matter of months to get it ready.”
The second phase will be a one million dollar development to get the building fully equipped as a veterinarian facility.
“The second phase is dependent on funding,” Brecke said. “The first phase will get the building to functionality.”
To raise money for the second phase, the program will rely on grants and donations, according to Russell.
Russell hopes the students will be able to be in this facility by January 2014.