University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Instructional Annual Report of Program Data (ARPD)

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Review Year: College: Program:

College: Windward Community College
Program: Veterinary Assisting

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The last comprehensive review for this program was on 2010-2011, and can be viewed at:
http://www.hawaii.edu/offices/cc/arpd/instructional.php?action=analysis&year=2011&college=WIN&program=142
STEM Program

Program Description

No Content.

Part I. Quantitative Indicators

Overall Program Health: Cautionary

Majors Included: VETA,VETT     Program CIP: 51.0808

Demand Indicators Program Year Demand Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
1 New & Replacement Positions (State) 5 14 18 Unhealthy
2 *New & Replacement Positions (County Prorated) 4 9 14
3 *Number of Majors 33.5 54.5 85
3a     Number of Majors Native Hawaiian 10 21 25
3b     Fall Full-Time 30% 33% 29%
3c     Fall Part-Time 70% 67% 71%
3d     Fall Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 3% 0% 2%
3e     Spring Full-Time 22% 35% 38%
3f     Spring Part-Time 78% 65% 62%
3g     Spring Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 14% 2% 3%
4 SSH Program Majors in Program Classes 262 433 872
5 SSH Non-Majors in Program Classes 215 387 144
6 SSH in All Program Classes 477 820 1,016
7 FTE Enrollment in Program Classes 16 27 34
8 Total Number of Classes Taught 13 21 27

Efficiency Indicators Program Year Efficiency Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
9 Average Class Size 16.4 20.2 14.5 Cautionary
10 *Fill Rate 72.4% 71% 68.8%
11 FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 0 0 2
12 *Majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 0 0 42.5
13 Majors to Analytic FTE Faculty 31.2 32.7 32.8
13a Analytic FTE Faculty 1.1 1.7 2.6
14 Overall Program Budget Allocation $97,901 $197,000 Not Reported
14a General Funded Budget Allocation $48,823 $75,622 Not Reported
14b Special/Federal Budget Allocation $49,078 $90,000 Not Reported
14c Tuition and Fees $0 $31,378 Not Reported
15 Cost per SSH $205 $240 Not Reported
16 Number of Low-Enrolled (<10) Classes 1 1 11
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014

Effectiveness Indicators Program Year Effectiveness Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
17 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 79% 68% 85% Cautionary
18 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 6 27 19
19 *Persistence Fall to Spring 70% 76.4% 63.9%
19a Persistence Fall to Fall     32.5%
20 *Unduplicated Degrees/Certificates Awarded 9 7 27
20a Degrees Awarded 0 0 3
20b Certificates of Achievement Awarded 9 7 27
20c Advanced Professional Certificates Awarded 0 0 0
20d Other Certificates Awarded 0 0 0
21 External Licensing Exams Passed   Not Reported Not Reported
22 Transfers to UH 4-yr 0 1 3
22a Transfers with credential from program 0 0 0
22b Transfers without credential from program 0 1 3

Distance Education:
Completely On-line Classes
Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
23 Number of Distance Education Classes Taught 2 7 2  
24 Enrollments Distance Education Classes 18 178 13
25 Fill Rate 32% 73% 29%
26 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 89% 61% 92%
27 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 0 12 1
28 Persistence (Fall to Spring Not Limited to Distance Education) 72% 51% 88%

Perkins IV Core Indicators
2011-2012
Goal Actual Met  
29 1P1 Technical Skills Attainment 90.00 90.91 Met  
30 2P1 Completion 50.00 45.45 Not Met
31 3P1 Student Retention or Transfer 74.25 71.43 Not Met
32 4P1 Student Placement 60.00 0 Not Met
33 5P1 Nontraditional Participation 17.00 8.51 Not Met
34 5P2 Nontraditional Completion 15.25 0.00 Not Met

Performance Funding Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
35 Number of Degrees and Certificates     30  
36 Number of Degrees and Certificates Native Hawaiian     4
37 Number of Degrees and Certificates STEM     30
38 Number of Pell Recipients     34
39 Number of Transfers to UH 4-yr     3
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014
Glossary | Health Call Scoring Rubric

Part II. Analysis of the Program

Program Summary: The Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting and Associates in Science in Veterinary Technology are designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to perform effectively as an assistant/technician in a veterinarian’s office, animal shelter or animal research facility. Over the 2012-2013 academic year, the Veterinary Assisting (VETA) and Veterinary Technology (VETT) program offered 26 classes (1,016 SSH) and had a total of 85 majors (86% SSH). Class fill- and completion rates were 69% and 85%, respectively, and fall-to-spring persistence was 64%. During the past academic year, 27 students (31.8% of majors) received the certificate and >70% of graduates received offers of employment.  Although >70% receive job offers, currently 40% are employed which reflects the fact that some of the VETA graduates have continued on to the VETT program and their time constraints prohibit employment.  The overall health score for the program is 5/6 (healthy). Program weaknesses include: a high number of majors relative to estimators of local workforce demand (n= 18 positions) and excessive majors-to-FTE faculty (85:3 for 2012-2013). This weakness is offset somewhat with the program's practice of employing lecturers (2) that have taught a total of 12 credits for 2012-2013 and casual hires (1) that assist in lab classes. We also belive the EMSI data used to gauge workforce demand greatly underestimates the number of annual job openings, as greater than 70% of our current and past graduates have been able to receive offers of employment in the local veterinary industry. Program strengths include sustained levels of student demand, high employment rate of program graduates, and recent allocation of funds to purchase equipment and renovate facilities. In response to the program analysis, we plan to implement the following changes during the 2012-2013 academic year: 1) continue efforts to more-accurately track program students, 2) offer tutoring or SI sessions for gatekeeper classes, 3) conduct additional surveys of workforce demand, and 4) monitor workload of FTE faculty.

A. PROGRAM DEMAND

Table 1. Calculation of demand indicator for Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting and Associates in Science in Veterinary Technology

 

Measure

Calculation

Score

Benchmark

Health Score

Demand

Demand= Majors (85) /Vacant Positions (18)

4.7

Healthy: 1.5-4.0

Cautionary: .5-1.49 or 4.1-5.0

Unhealthy: <.5 or > 5

 

Cautionary (1)

 

Strengths:

  1. Student Demand & Enrollment in VETA  and VETT Classes: Based on the data, student demand for the Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting and Associates in Science in Veterinary Technology is quite high. Over the 2012-2013 academic year, 85 students officially declared a major in VETA and VETT (vs. 55 majors in 2011-2012), resulting in 872 Student Semester Hours (SSH) taken by majors (up 101% from 2011-2012) and 144 SSH taken by non-majors. In part, we believe this increase may reflect our efforts to encourage students who intend on completing the program to formally declare themselves as VETA or VETT majors.

Weaknesses:

  1. Workforce Demand for Veterinary Assistants & Technicians: According to the EMSI data, only 18 county prorated workforce positions became available during the 2012-2013 survey period. If this information is correct, it suggests that there is a risk that the number of program graduates may soon outpace local workforce needs (Table 1). However, as stated in the 2011-2012 report, we believe the EMSI data presents a gross underestimation of the local workforce need for this field. In a 2006 survey of 50 Oahu veterinary clinics, we found that the annual demand for trained technicians and assistants on Oahu alone exceeds 20+ positions per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also lists Veterinary Technology & Veterinary Assisting as high-growth fields, with growth in Vet Tech expected to increase 52% over the 2010-2020 projection period. Although the BLS data do not include projected openings for Hawaii, they do estimate Hawaii employment for veterinary assistants and technicians to be 320 and 230 respectively (Table 1). In addition, the EMSI website lists Veterinary Technology among the top-three fastest-growing professions that require an associate degree, with Hawaii ranked 11th out of 50 states with 308 jobs in 2010 (>15% growth). Given the current local employment statistics for veterinary assistants and technicians (550 in 2011) and projected growth of these professions (>15%), we are unclear as to why the local job openings predicted by EMSI are so low. It is possible that the EMSI data used in this analysis may have underestimated the number of job openings because veterinary paraprofessionals (assistants and technicians) are often classified into multiple job categories (e.g., lab animal technicians, animal care technicians, kennel help, vet technicians, receptionists and office managers) and thus some job openings may have been missed by the EMSI surveys. Based on our own student tracking data and employer surveys, we do not think that there is an immediate risk that our program will over-saturate workforce demand. As evidence of this, seven of the nine program 2010-2011 graduates (%77) and 11 out of 27 program 2011-2012 graduates (41%) are currently employed in veterinary hospitals or other animal-care industries. Another of the graduates has opted to postpone employment in order to attend Veterinary School to obtain her DVM degree. The overall employment rate for program graduates is 71.4%.  Finally, it should be noted that a significant number of our students (10-15%) are military dependants who expect to transfer to another state within the next 2-3 years. This emigration will further reduce the risk that the program will saturate the local veterinary workforce.

Table 2. 2011 Employment Statistics for Veterinary Assistants & Technicians in Hawaii. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov )

 

Occupation

SOC Code

Employment

Employment %relative SE

Hourly mean wage

Annual median wage

Wage % relative SE

Hourly median wage

Annual mean wage

Veterinary Assistants & Lab Animal Caretakers

319096

320

30.3

$11.34

$23,120

5.9

$11.12

$23,590

Veterinary Technologists &Technicians

292056

230

31.1

$12.85

$26,730

4.5

$12.45

$25,890

B. PROGRAM EFFICIENCY

Table 3. Calculation of Efficiency Indicators for Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting.

 

Measure

Calculation

Score

Benchmark

Health Score

Class Fill Rate

Fill Rate= Enrollment/Capacity

68.8%

Healthy: 75-100%

Cautionary: 60-74%

Unhealthy: <60%

 

Cautionary (1)

Majors to FTE

=Majors (85)/#FTE BOR Appointed Faculty (3)

28.3

Healthy: 15-35

Cautionary: 36-60 or 7-14

Unhealthy: 61+ or 6 or fewer

 

Healthy (2)

OVERALL EFFICIENCY HEALTH

Assign each element a score and sum:

2= Healthy

1= Cautionary

0= Unhealthy

1.5

Healthy: 1.5-2

Cautionary: 0.5-1.0

Unhealthy: 0.00

Healthy (1.5)

 

Strengths:

  1. Funding Equipment & Curriculum Design: Over the past year, the VETA and VETT program has received $41,000 in grant funds. This funding will result in the purchase of several key pieces of equipment (e.g., microscopes and hemocytometer) which will enable us to better teach industry mandated skills. Agreements with industry partners have also yielded over $35,000 of valuable equipment and supplies for program use (e.g., blood chemistry analyzer).  Our curriculum has solidified with course development in Clinical Laboratory Techniques II, Diagnostic Imaging, and Anesthesiology & Dentistry.  We are also currently designing online and hybrid courses in an attempt to do outreach to neighbor island students.
  2. On-Campus Facilities: Several of the VETA/VETT classes require the use of live animals (cats or dogs). Until recently, WCC had no on-campus facilities for handling or examining live animals. To address this, WCC has allocated $2.1M in CIP funds to complete construction of a 1,900 ft2 veterinary medical facility. This facility will contain an exam/treatment room, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, x-ray, surgery, surgical scrub, faculty office, and animal boarding and recovery area. Construction of the facility has begun as of July 1, 2013 and is anticipated to be completed by December, 2013. In the mean time, we have created a temporary exam and animal treatment space (600 ft2) in a vacant classroom in Hale Iolani. This space is being used to teach nursing, clinical skills, and anesthesia/dentistry classes until the new building is completed.  We also created a veterinary x-ray facility in Imiloa 137B. This space is currently used to teach ANSC 152- Diagnostic Imaging for Veterinary Technicians.
  3. Full Time Faculty: Two full-time tenure tract faculty and one full-time temporary hire have been formally appointed. As such, the majority of core classes will be taught by a licensed veterinarian (DVM) or credentialed veterinary technician (RVT). The DVM faculty will serve as the program director and teach key program classes (e.g., Anesthesiology, Dentistry, Laboratory Techniques II, and Small Animal Diseases). The Veterinary Technician faculty member will teach classes in Clinical Lab Techniques, Small-Animal Nursing, Diagnostic Imaging, and Lab & Exotic Animal Procedures. They will also coordinate and supervise student internships.
  4. Accreditation:  In March, 2013 the veterinary technology program at WCC received accreditation from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).  As such, program graduates are now eligible to take the national boards exam offered by the NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) which is a step towards credentialing.
  5. Adequate Operational Funds: Many of the VETA lab classes require the use of expensive supplies and reagents. Supplies costs for most ANSC lab classes typically run $1500-$2500 per course. In order to ensure the sustainability of the program, we have instituted professional fees of $100/semester for VETA students and $300/semester for VETT students. At this time, the collected fees seem to be keeping up with expenses.

Weaknesses:

  1. Class Fill Rate: On average, VETA classes filled to 68.8% capacity (down from 71% in 2011-2012) . The reduction in fill-rate may be due to the roll-out of several new upper-level classes (e.g., ANSC 251/253, ANSC 252, ANSC 263) which are not required for the VETA students, but are intended for students continuing on into the A.S. in Veterinary Technology.

C. PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

Table 4. Calculation of Effectiveness Indicators for the Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting.

 

Measure

Calculation

Score

Benchmark

Health Score

Certificates vs. Majors

=certificates (27)/majors (85)

 

31.8%

Healthy: >20%

Cautionary: 15%-20%

Unhealthy: <15%

 

Unhealthy (2)

Certificates vs. Vacant Positions

=certificates (27)/Positions (18)

1.5

Healthy: .75-1.5

Cautionary: .25-.75 or 1.5-3.0

Unhealthy: <.25 or >3.0

 

Healthy (2)

Persistence

 

 

Student Persistence (Fall to Spring)

63.9%

Healthy: 75-100%

Cautionary: 60-74%

Unhealthy: <60%

 

Cautionary (1)

OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS HEALTH

Assign each measure a score and sum:

2= Healthy

1= Cautionary

0= Unhealthy

4

Healthy: 5-6

Cautionary: 2-4

Unhealthy: 0-1

Healthy (5)

 

Strengths:

  1. Class Completion, Persistence: Course completion rates remain high at 85% which is an increase from 68% in 2011-2012. Fall-to-spring persistence has decreased 12.5% (63.9% in 2012-2013 vs. 76.4% in 2011-2012) which still compares favorably to other STEM certificate programs that do not have admissions requirements.
  2. Certificates Awarded vs. Vacant Positions:Based on the EMSI data, the number of certificates awarded (27) should not out-pace the number of workforce positions that become available each year (18 in 2012-2013). Still, we believe that this is a gross underestimate of the local workforce demand. As evidence of this, 77% of students who graduated in 2010-2011 have obtained employment in the veterinary industry. The overall employment rate for program graduates is 71.4%.
  3. Withdrawal Rates: Withdrawals have decreased from 27 (2011-2012) to 19 (2012-2013). This is encouraging given that there were a greater number of students enrolled in the program in 2012-2013 compared to 2011-2012. When divided by the SSH (820 in 2011-2012 vs 1016 in 2012-2013) the withdrawls have decreased from 0.033 to 0.019 (a decrease of 1.7 x). This decrease may be attributed to intradepartmental counseling of students and the use of TRIO tutors.
  4. Graduation Rates: The number of degrees awarded (27 in 2012-2013) has increased over the previous year (vs. 7 in 2011-2012).

Weaknesses:

  1. On-time completion: The majority of students take three semesters to complete the VETA program which is needed to enter into the VETT program. In part, this is because many students attend classes part-time. However, many students are forced to take remedial Math classes in order to gain entry into Math 101 (Mathematics for Veterinary Assistants), a key program course. We plan to work with Math faculty and administrators to address the lack of student preparation in mathematics. One possibility is to create an online primer module so that students can review and enhance their math skills before taking the Math placement exam. We hope this additional training will allow the majority of students to place directly into Math 101.

Part III. Action Plan

Under the guidance of the Veterinary Technology Advisory Committee we propose to institute the following changes to the VETA/VETT program over the next two years.

  1. Create an online math primer module. Because of poor math skills, many of our students are forced to complete remedial math classes (e.g., Math 22, Math 24 & Math 25) before enrolling in Math 101 (Mathematics for Veterinary Assistants). As a result, most students take three semesters to complete the certificate. We plan to create a non-credit, online math primer module so that students can review and enhance their math skills before taking the Math placement exam. We hope this additional training will allow the majority of students to place directly into Math 101 and complete the certificate on time.
  2. Offer tutoring or S.I. sections for classes with low completion rates. In order to complete the program, VETA and VETT students must master several difficult topics including clinical calculations, animal physiology, and clinical pathology. Although the overall completion rate for program classes is good (85%), we hope to increase these numbers by offering tutoring or S.I. sections for the classes with the lowest completion rates.
  3. Obtain more accurate data about workforce demand. ESSI predictions of local workforce openings are much lower than indicated by our previous industry surveys or current job placement rate (>70%) for program graduates. In order to address this disparity, we plan to electronically re-survey local veterinary clinics and shelters to get a better estimate of local workforce demand.
  4. Maintain AVMA Accreditation. Accreditation of Veterinary Technology Programs is governed by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities(CVTEA). In order to maintain accreditation, WCC will be required to submit interim reports to the AVMA and respond to any concerns put forth by this governing body.
  5. Complete construction of a veterinary instructional facility. The AVMA requires that most live-animal classes are taught in a clinical setting that meets USDA requirements. The facility should include: a treatment area, working surgery, x-ray & developing, animal-holding facility, & surgical scrub room. WCC is currently building a suitable facility to be constructed in the back of the current Natural Sciences building. Funds for design and construction of this facility ($2.1M) have already been allocated. The facility is expected to be completed by December, 2013. In the interim, animal nursing classes will be taught in existing campus classrooms (e.g., Iolani 116).
  6. Form partnerships with local animal shelters- A total of nine classes will require the use of live animals. Four of these (Lab Animal Nursing, Clinical Procedures for Large Animals, Clinical Internships I and II) will occur at off-campus locations. The remaining five classes (radiology, small animal nursing, anesthesiology, surgery, and dentistry) will require occasional on-campus use of live animals. These animals would be dropped off by shelter personnel in the morning and picked up in the evening after lab. This should be a win-win situation for both the student and the animal. The students will receive vital hands-on experience under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and the animal will receive free medical care (e.g., physical exam, vaccinations, and parasite screen).
  7. Continue the development of online courses. The unique geographic challenge posed by being a state composed of 8 islands makes distance learning a necessity. As the central hub for veterinary technology, we can offer a great opportunity to our sister campuses within the UH system. This would not only increase our enrollment but help to satisfy the need for more qualified individuals in the animal care industry.

Existing Infrastructure and Support:

WCC already has much of the infrastructure and support necessary to offer a Veterinary Technology degree. These include:

Relationship to WCC Mission and Strategic Plan

The proposed program will fulfill the following goals outlined in the WCC mission statement and Strategic Plan (Action Outcomes listed in parentheses):

Part IV. Resource Implications

In order to accomplish the above action plan, the following resources will be needed:

Table 5. Resources required to institute action items for Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting and Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology.

 

Resource

Start-Up Costs

Annual Costs

Veterinary Teaching Facility

$2,100,000

 

Lecturer Funds

 

$64,500

 Annual Accreditation Renewal

 

$500

Supplies/ Operating Funds

 

$17,500

IACUC Inspection Fees

 

$1,160

 Total

$2,100,000

$83,660

Funding for the new veterinary facility has been secured through CIP funds. We expect to cover the remaining equipment needs through grant funds (Perkins and C3T) and professional fees assessed to the students majored in veterinary assisting and veterinary technology.

Table 6. Resources available from professional fees assessed as of Spring semester 2013.

Resource Annual Funds (Income)
Veterinary Assisting fees ($100 per student per semester) $12,000 per year assuming the current maximum of 60 majors
Veterinary Techonology fees ($300 per student per semester $21,600 per year assuming the current maximum of 24 majors
Total $33,600
 

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Program SLOs:

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

Program Student Learning Outcomes

For the 2012-2013 program year, some or all of the following P-SLOs were reviewed by the program:

Assessed
this year?
  Program Student Learning Outcomes

1

(Yes)
  Perform routine business transactions and maintain patient and facility records.

2

(Yes)
  Ensure the safety of patients, clients, and staff and maintain compliance with regulatory agencies.

3

(Yes)
  Identify common breeds of companion animals, list their nutritional requirements and husbandry needs, and describe the anatomy and functions of major body systems.

4

(Yes)
  Assist with physical exams and obtain patient histories.

5

(Yes)
  Perform routine nursing procedures including first-aid, wound-management, and administration of medications and vaccines.

6

(Yes)
  Develop a working knowledge of common companion animal diseases and their medical treatments.

7

(Yes)
  Collect biological samples and perform diagnostic laboratory tests

A) Evidence of Industry Validation

No content.

B) Expected Level Achievement

No content.

C) Courses Assessed

No content.

D) Assessment Strategy/Instrument

No content.

E) Results of Program Assessment

No content.

F) Other Comments

No content.

G) Next Steps

No content.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

For the 2012-2013 program year, some or all of the following P-SLOs were reviewed by the program:

Assessed
this year?
Program Student Learning Outcomes

1

No
Perform routine business transactions and maintain patient and facility records.

2

No
Ensure the safety of patients, clients, and staff and maintain compliance with regulatory agencies.

3

No
Identify common breeds of companion animals, list their nutritional requirements and husbandry needs, and describe the anatomy and functions of major body systems.

4

No
Assist with physical exams and obtain patient histories.

5

No
Perform routine nursing procedures including first-aid, wound-management, and administration of medications and vaccines.

6

No
Develop a working knowledge of common companion animal diseases and their medical treatments.

7

No
Collect biological samples and perform diagnostic laboratory tests

A) Evidence of Industry Validation

No content.

B) Expected Level Achievement

No content.

C) Courses Assessed

No content.

D) Assessment Strategy/Instrument

No content.

E) Results of Program Assessment

No content.

F) Other Comments

No content.

G) Next Steps

No content.