The Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification verifies the competencies needed to achieve employability within the veterinary science field and is transferable to health and animal science fields.
The bell tolls at 1:30 p.m. at Bartlett Yancey High School, and students begin to trickle into the hallways as they shuffle to the next class period. While their peers grab a new notebook from their lockers, get a drink at the water fountain or recount the latest gossip, a group of seven students gather their belongings as they prepare to leave campus. They walk out of the halls and drive out of the school parking lot, leaving behind traditional classrooms in exchange for a more interactive type of education.
No, they are not ditching class. These students are on their way to veterinary clinics in the surrounding area as part of the Bartlett Yancey veterinary medicine class. Under the direction of Sarah Smith, agricultural science teacher and Bartlett Yancey alumna, the veterinary medicine class is expanding the technical knowledge of students while also building their practical skills in real-world settings. When she returned to Bartlett Yancey as the agricultural science teacher in 2015, Smith wanted to add a veterinary science class to the courses list. She turned to iCEV, a division of CEV Multimedia, for resources to build the class. As Smith was designing the course for the 2018-2019 school year, she discovered the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification, tested for on the iCEV platform, complemented the iCEV Veterinary Medical Applications course she already planned to use. The Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification is designed to test for the knowledge and skills needed for a career in the veterinary medicine industry; however, the knowledge and skills are transferrable to the health and animal science fields. As she explored the certification and the associated study materials, Smith decided to use the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification as an integral part of her course design.
Smith had another innovative idea she wanted to incorporate in the class. Instead of following a traditional lecture-based format for the entirety of the semester, she reached out to local veterinarians in the surrounding area and asked if they would allow students in the veterinary medicine course to work in their clinics as a way to familiarize the students with common veterinary practices. Several veterinarians agreed, and Smith’s course design came to life. The students spent the first half of the spring semester in the classroom building their base knowledge of veterinary principles and terminology while also practicing valued skills, such as proper animal handling and care, as well as administering medicine using various injections methods. Instead of attending regular class sessions in the second half of the semester, the students were assigned to work in one of the partnering veterinary clinics to expand their knowledge and refine their skills.
Students dissecting a pig heart during an anatomy and physiology lab. Photo courtesy of Sarah Smith.
Because the class size was small, and the students were highly motivated and dedicated, Smith did not lead class lectures. Instead, she followed a flipped classroom method, in which she tasked her students to evaluate the study materials associated with the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification on their own time. Before class, the students reviewed the study materials, and during class meetings, Smith built on those lessons through demonstrations, projects and activities.
Smith’s students thrived using this innovative course design. Of the seven students in the class, six students earned the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification. Due to their outstanding performance in the clinics, some students were able to stay on in their positions at the clinics after the school year ended. Katherine Eastep was placed at the Cherryville Animal Hospital to complete her class hours. After fulfilling the course expectations, Eastep continued at the clinic as a paid veterinary assistant and stayed at the Cherryville Animal Hospital throughout her senior year.
Student practicing blood draws, injections and IV's on a dummy dog leg. Photo courtesy of Sarah Smith.
Another student, Kaleigh Grafton, had shadowed a local veterinarian in Yanceyville, NC, and because of this, she was placed with a veterinarian at the Danville Family Vet practice who wanted a student with experience. After a short time at the clinic, Grafton applied and then filled the vacant veterinary assistant position. Not only was Grafton getting paid for the hours she completed for the class, she was also gaining valuable experience in the field of veterinary medicine. Grafton’s time at Danville Family Vet reaffirmed her passion for veterinary medicine and her desire to become a licensed veterinarian. Grafton attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington to study in biology. She will eventually transfer to North Carolina State University to enroll in the veterinary science program.
Smith says the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification is the reason her students had a successful semester in and out of the classroom. Not only did the certification bolster her students’ résumés as they were submitting scholarship and college applications, it also allowed the students to be prepared for positions in the veterinary clinics. Smith said her students were able to make connections between the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification and the exams and procedures they were performing in the veterinary clinics.
As she continues to refine the design of the class, Smith plans to assign the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification as a summer project to all students enrolled in the veterinary medicine class for the coming year. This method will ensure the students will enter her class with a firm grasp of the industry standards tested for in the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification. By guaranteeing her students have a strong foundation of the principles of veterinary medicine, Smith can focus class time on activities that reinforce the topics covered in the certification, as well as practicing standard veterinary exams and procedures.
Smith also utilizes other certifications offered through the iCEV testing platform in her classes. She offered the Elanco Fundamentals of Animal Science Certification as an extra-credit option for the introductory animal science class. The successes of the students who earned certifications in Smith’s classes inspired other teachers at Bartlett Yancey to include industry certifications in their courses. In the coming years, the horticulture teacher plans to utilize the BASF Plant Science Certification and the Benz School of Floral Design Principles of Floral Design Certification in her classes.
Industry certifications provide value to a variety of stakeholder groups. By earning an industry certification, individuals can prove their proficiency in a specific skill and knowledge area. Employers can identify qualified applicants, making the hiring and training process more efficient. Teachers who implement industry certifications in their classes can use certifications to ensure students are prepared to meet workforce demands.
By earning the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification, students at Bartlett Yancey were able to operate at a higher level in the veterinary medicine class, allowing them to gain valuable experiences in the veterinary clinics. The individuals who completed the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification have set themselves on a path of educational and career success, which will continue to benefit them throughout their lifetimes.
Students practiced animal handling and care with community members' pets. Photo courtesy of Sarah Smith.