Vet school admissions increase sharply for College graduates
Stephanie Goldstein, left, is attending the University
of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and
Britanny Banning is attending the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.
By Kim Markesich
Despite the fact that gaining admission to veterinary school is a difficult process, students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been faring very well. While five graduates were accepted from the Class of 2009, and six from the Class of 2010, twenty students from the Class of 2011 gained admittance to a wide range of veterinary schools, including the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, Ross University, University of Wisconsin, Tufts University, University of Missouri, Colorado State University, University of Tennessee, Oklahoma State University, Cornell University and University of Florida.
Why are UConn College of Agriculture students so successful? One reason, according to Steven Zinn, professor of animal science, is that students are coming to UConn better prepared to handle the difficult science classes required for vet school. However, several other factors come into play for College graduates:
• Students are benefiting from increased accessibility to veterinary schools. Contracts with Iowa State give Connecticut students in-state status, so they are not competing in an out-of-state student pool. Additional schools are available to students, including Ross University in the Caribbean, which is now accredited by the American Veterinary Association, and several schools in the United Kingdom.
• “Really good advising,” points out Sandra Bushmich, professor of pathobiology. “We have several advisors in both the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science and the Department of Animal Science. We tell students as freshman exactly what they have to do to be successful, and then we keep track of them along the way. We show them how to balance their course load so that they will be successful. We teach students how to make their application stand out.”
• Experiential learning. “We maintain farm species right on campus,” Zinn says. “Students have the opportunity to work with horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, chickens, pigs, and sheep, as well as the laboratory species.” Students gain experience in biomedical research with vaccines and infectious diseases, through access to the diagnostic laboratory where they can work in the testing area or the necropsy division. Students also receive research training in physiology and nutrition.
• Additional benefits for College students include the First Year Experience classes, the Pre-Vet Club, and the College Ambassador program, which allow students to network and support one another.
"UConn is a good choice in the Northeast for students who want to go to vet school, to get an appropriate education and direct interaction with faculty,” Zinn says. “Success breeds success, and veterinary schools look at UConn students more favorably. We care about our students, and we care about their success."