Veterinary Science Program Flourishing in Center for Advanced Careers

  • Thanks to the Veterinary Science program housed at the new Center for Advanced Careers, students in Alief ISD now can obtain their Certified Veterinary Assistant Certification. This allows them to go directly to veterinary clinic and begin working.

    This is all possible through the Veterinary Science Program housed at the new center. This program, open to juniors and seniors, allows students to obtain certification and begin working right away in veterinary clinics.

    “We went door-to-door to every veterinary clinic within a 35-mile radius before this program even started,” said instructor Erica Santillan. “We introduced the program to every vet clinic that would give us time. I think that introduction has paid off as we have a few students already working part-time in veterinary clinics, and they come back with excellent stories and advice for other students who are pursuing a similar path.”

    Students begin their quest in the program in ninth grade by taking principles of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and then advance to Livestock Production, Equine Science and Small Animal Management as sophomores before advancing to the Center for Advanced Careers.

    “Even though we don’t offer services for livestock here at the Center for Advanced Careers, these courses do help students prepare for a career in veterinary science,” said instructor Phyllis Sams. “We do offer grooming services and physical exams for small animals here.”

    The center’s clinic opened in November 2018, and the number of community members taking advantage of the services has far exceeded expectations. At this time, students at the clinic cannot administer annual vaccinations to small animals but can perform grooming services.

    “We thought we would only have enough animals to be open a few days a week,” said Santillan.

    “We now have people dropping their dogs off at 6:30 a.m. for doggie day care, the affordable grooming services we offer or a physical exam. We also offer a chance for your dog to have play time and be walked. This is very important for our students to see first-hand just how important exercise is for an animal.”

    Doggy Daycare begins at just $15 per day for the first dog and $5 for each additional dog. This includes a bath upon request. Drop off times for both daycare and grooming services are as early as 6:30 a.m. and pick up time is 3:00 p.m. Community members interested in taking advantage of these services must make an appointment at www.aliefisd.net/vet. There is also a link in the form to upload digital copies of vaccine records so that you don’t have to bring them in.

    “This new facility makes this program possible. We have the space needed to offer all these services for small animals and the structure to make it all work,” Sams added. “Getting first-hand experience in veterinary science is much more beneficial to a student than just listening to us lecture for two class periods.”

    Taylor High School student Stephanie Ramos says she is glad she pursued Veterinary Science at the Center for Advanced Careers.

    “I chose this program because I wanted to learn more about animals, their body functions and how to properly handle them. I have an interest in learning how to treat animals for illnesses and becoming a veterinary assistant,” she said. “This class helps prepare you for all of the basic and safe animal handling procedures which is important, especially around needles and other veterinary equipment.”

    Like many students in the program, Ramos will pursue veterinary science following high school.
    “My plan after high school is to go to a four-year university and study animal science as my undergraduate degree. After undergrad work, I then hope that I will be accepted into vet school. My dream has always been to become a veterinarian for large and small animals. I’d love to own my own practice one day.”

    Santillan added that students take a great deal of pride in taking part of the program.

    “Students just love wearing their scrubs, and they wish they could stay longer. We hear ‘Oh man is class over ALREADY,’ when our two periods are over. I think quite a few of these students will pursue veterinary science as a career after high school and college.”

  • Students in the Alief ISD Veterinary Science program with dogs

    Students in the Alief ISD Veterinary Science program are earning their Certified Veterinary Assistant Certification. The program, housed at the Alief Center for Advanced Careers, now houses grooming services where students learn grooming techniques. Community members interested in taking advantage of these services can make an appointment at www.aliefisd.net/vet.

  • Student wearing googles during a Vet Science lab project

    The Alief ISD Veterinary Science program housed at the new Center for Advanced Careers, is open to juniors and seniors and allows students to obtain certification and begin working right away in veterinary clinics.