Veterinary Science Certificate Program

Impact statement


The Veterinary Science Certificate Program offers a sound platform for students who wish to pursue an associate, undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in veterinary sciences.

This national program addresses a need in the veterinary paraprofessional workforce by providing training toward eventual professional certification. It offers job-placement assistance for veterinary paraprofessionals who come out of the program. The program also contributes to economic development in urban and rural areas. Adoption and expansion are ongoing in multiple states.

The challenge

The United States faces a national shortage of paraprofessionals who are trained in the One Health approach to provide support for professionals in human, environmental and animal medicine. Additionally, One Health and laboratory science and technology are new areas of interest at the high school and community college levels. The National Academy of Sciences Veterinary Workforce Study identified that “primary veterinary services are still needed in rural areas, but often these communities cannot financially support positions for full-time food animal veterinarians, leaving gaps in animal care and raising concerns about the level of animal disease surveillance in the field. The veterinary professional should formulate new ways of delivering cost-effective services to rural America, using veterinary technicians to extend animal health services to underserved areas.”

The solution

The Veterinary Science Certificate Program is designed to educate, train, and certify secondary education students as paraprofessionals for human, environmental, and animal health. The program includes a One Health component that integrates human, animal and environmental health sciences. It emphasizes the public health and regulatory aspects of zoonotic and transboundary diseases. Currently, no other secondary veterinary science program in the United States has the depth and scope of the developed FAZD Center curriculum, which integrates and includes core sciences, clinical medicine, One Health and laboratory science in 150 lessons.

Features and benefits

  • Provides students with the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to pursue their educational and career goals.
  • Offers a sound platform for students who wish to pursue an associate, undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in veterinary sciences.
  • Open to students at participating high schools, 4-H programs, and also as an independent self study program.
  • Designed for eventual use at three levels: youth organizations (such as 4-H and FFA), high schools, and community colleges.
  • Ranks among the largest sets of resources available to students and teachers who wish to enter the paraprofessional realm.

Technology transition

The program has been made available to state-level education leaders, the national FFA, state veterinary associations and credentialing committees, 4-H directors, and veterinary technology program leadership.

The curricula will be integrated in career education projects of 4-H programs, secondary vocational education courses of public and private schools, and in post-secondary vocational education courses of community colleges across the country.

The Veterinary Science: Preparatory Training for the Veterinary Assistant now available as an e-publication. Read more HERE.

 Fact sheet