Iowa Lakes Board Reviews Vet Tech
The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees met at the Emmetsburg Campus Tuesday, April 19 to discuss several issues including the Veterinarian Technologies Program, bids on a drainage project and other important topics.
Julie Williams, Executive Dean of Students for ILCC, was on hand to give an overview of how the Vet Tech program has been doing since it began in the Fall 2011. She told the Board that most of what she hears that brings students to ILCC is because it is close to home and the hands on experience students get at ILCC.
“When the program began, there were 18 students. This year there are 17 freshmen and 14 sophomores. Dr. Rentschier and Annette Lundquist have focused on student learning and skill development while working with extensive regulation requirements from the American Veterinary Association, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency,” Williams began. “They also work with local groups for experience with animals such as Camp Foster for horses, People for Pets, and the Emmetsburg County Animals Shelter for cats and dogs, and of course the college farm for cattle and hogs in addition to others.”
“They provide students with real world direct hands on experience. They operate a clinic on campus that offers the same services as a veterinarian office, including surgery, radiology, clinical pathology and animal nursing.”
Williams went on to explain that the program initially was accredited by the AVA before introducing the program instuctors.
Dr. David Rentschier, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and Annette Lundquist, Certified Veterinary Assistant, both instructors of the Veterinary Technology Program, along with two students were on also hand to talk with the Board and explain the program to them.
“Initially, we are looking strong again next year for enrollment. Currently, we have 10 students accepted for next fall and look to have at least 18 students. We can have a maximum of 24 students and like to push the 22 student enrollment every year,” Rentschier began. “Retention rate is about 85 percent for ILCC while the national rate is 50 percent.”
“Something we thought you might like to hear is some of the reasons that our students choose ILCC. Just some given to us has been: being close to home, small class size, small campus size, affordable, and the hands on experience. These seem to be the most important reasons students choose ILCC,” Lundquist said. “Of course they are here because they like working with animals. They work on dogs, cats, horses, cattle, hogs and of course smaller animals like mice, rats, rabbits and birds.”
“Do you find the students internships or do they find their own?” Trustee Robert Jennings asked.
“It is the students responsibility to find their own internship. They find them locally here or in the area they are from. Most of the time, once they have completed the program, they have jobs where they completed their internships,” Lund replied.
“Do you have clinics that contact you requesting interns?” Jennings asked.
“We get a lot of calls from Nebraska with internship opportunities,” Lundquist responded.
“What is the majority of your students wanting to work with, the larger or smaller animals?” Jennings asked
“Most students are looking to work with a mixed size of animals, but there are a few who prefer large animals over the small ones,” Rentschier said.
“What are your requirements for the program?” Jennings asked.
“Students have to meet a minimum requirement on either the COMPASS, ASSET or ACT tests, have a grade point average of 2.5 in high school and have obtained a “C” grade in Biology and Chemistry in high school,” Rentschier said.
Student Darby Peters told the Board that she already had a career as a Zookeeper when she decided to return to school to obtain her degree as a vet tech. She hopes to one-day return to a zoo and combined her prior experience and education to become even better with animals.
Student Hannah Gardner said she chose ILCC because it was close to home and for the hands on experience you get. Her favorite animals to work with are the larger animals.
“Are there any procedural issues with drugs?” Jennings asked.
“Not really. The FDA and Drug Enforcement spell everything out. We have everything locked up and it takes multiple keys to open cabinets containing the controlled drugs,” Rentschier said.
Dr. Rentschier brought along his dog Chloe, an Irish Setter and Lundquist brought her dog, Portia, a 6-year old Boxer for the Board to meet.
In other business, The Board heard from Delaine Hiney, Executive Director, Facilities Management regarding a drainage project and bids.
“The Emmetsburg Drainage Project is one of the bond projects and has an estimated cost of $296,537. The drainage project is a partnership with the City of Emmetsburg. The low bid for the project was Valley Contracting of Estherville in the amount of $228,038 and the highest bid was from Reddings Gravel of Algona in the amount of $334,512,” Heney began.
She recommended accepting the bid from Valley Contract in the amount $228,038. In a roll call vote, unanimous approval was given.
Kathy Muller, Director, Human Resources was on hand to get approval for new hires, which the Board gave unanimously.
“I also have a recommendation by the College President to terminate the continuing contract for Steve Farnsworth, due to low enrollment in the evening Welding Program. Farnsworth had five days from March 29, the delivery date for proof of service, to notify the college for a hearing, which he did not do,” Muller said.
Muller asked for the approval to terminate the continuing contract of Steve Farnsworth at the end of his current contract. The Board in a roll call vote gave unanimous approval.