Students in the veterinary dental lab at Windward CC

Windward Community College is preparing more graduates to enter Hawaiʻi’s veterinary workforce by expanding its vet assisting certificate program to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The Windward CC veterinary assisting program will begin at Hawaiʻi Community College—Pālamanui in August 2017.

The certificate of achievement in veterinary assisting on Hawaiʻi Island—offered from August 2017 through May 2018—is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to perform effectively as an assistant in a veterinarian’s office, animal shelter or animal research facility. The 2-semester, 31-credit hybrid program includes online coursework in the life sciences, as well as hands-on experience through labs and internships at local veterinary clinics.

“Historically, 80 to 90 percent of students get jobs right away, and some students in the program are getting hired by clinics even before they graduate,” said Windward CC Chancellor Doug Dykstra.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Hawaiʻi Community College to bring Windward Community College’s veterinary assisting program to students on the Big Island,” said Jenny Kelly, Windward’s vet tech program director. “This is the only program of its kind in the state. By expanding to the neighbor islands, we hope to provide essential training to veterinary staff and increase the standard of animal care throughout Hawaiʻi.”

Completion of the certificate is required for admission to the veterinary technology associate in science degree—accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)—at Windward CC.

Free informational session

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

The information sessions will be held at 
Hawaiʻi CC–Pālamanui, Room 102
. Students will learn about the curriculum and requirements.

More information 
can be found on the Windward Vet Facebook page or email program coordinator Dani Carico at

Read the Windward CC news release for more information.

—By Bonnie Beatson