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Veterinary Technology Expansion

The History of the Program

The Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program first opened its doors in 1976, providing a comprehensive education for students and saving the lives of rescued animals in Jefferson County.

Fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association since 1978, the Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program is the 25th oldest such program in the nation. This two-year program combines the study of college-level general education courses and extensive coursework in science and animal health theory. The program is designed to prepare graduates for careers as registered veterinary technicians.

The Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program receives eight dogs and six cats from the Jefferson County Animal Control (JCAC) every eight weeks during the fall and spring semesters. Students demonstrate top-notch care for the animals, providing excellent nutrition, first-rate living quarters, and large amounts of socialization and play time with the other animals. After the eight-week time period, all of the animals are available for adoption.

Reaching Capacity

Housed in the lower level of the Career & Technical Education building on the Hillsboro campus, the Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program still uses the same facilities it started with nearly 50 years ago. Designed for the original 1976 cohort of 15, the space is inadequate to meet the workforce training necessary to increase the number of graduates each year.

The veterinary technology space limits laboratory sections to 12 students with 2-3 students per examination table. The Clinical Pathology Suite exceeds capacity, and students have to relocate equipment to complete required skills. The Surgical Suite is limited to three students with the veterinarian. 

Jefferson College has maintained a quality program with continuous AVMA accreditation and US Department of Agriculture approval since 1978, but the most recent recommendations  from AVMA included the need for “contemporary veterinary experience.”

Program Demand Beyond the Local Region

Jefferson College is the only public educational provider of veterinary technology on the eastern side of Missouri, serving from north of St. Louis, south to Cape Girardeau, and reaching out into Illinois, Arkansas and Kentucky.

The demand has greatly increased for educated and skilled veterinary technicians to assist the practicing clinician, particularly in:

  • specialty and referral centers
  • emergency centers
  • critical care centers

Veterinary Technologists perform a wide range of nursing tasks, from assisting in surgery to calculating preoperative anesthetic medications.

Campaign Overview

The Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program has been training veterinary technicians for almost 50 years, and the time has come to update the facilities that house the program. Jefferson College’s vision is to build a larger veterinary clinic-style facility, expanding the cohort size and helping to address the urgent need for veterinary technicians in our region.

This facility, which will include a veterinary clinic, classroom, laboratory, animal housing, and faculty offices, will allow the Veterinary Technology Program to increase cohort sizes from 36 to 48 students, and will alleviate the concerns raised by the AVMA.

Building features:

  • Approximately 7,400 square feet
  • Modern radiology, surgery, and exam rooms
  • Larger Clinical Pathology Suite and Surgery Suite


  • 16 students per lab section
  • Two students per exam table
  • More students participating in hands-on learning
  • Enhanced student learning and engagement

Double your impact!

Direct and in-kind gifts to the campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a MoExcels grant from the State of Missouri, up to $2 million.

Join the Campaign!

Jefferson College is a community resource, and through your support, together we can achieve this vision.

The Jefferson College Foundation is leading the fundraising efforts. We are inviting our friends and supporters to join this effort while we expand this campaign to area veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, veterinarians, and pet supply vendors. 

Make your gift or pledge of support today!

Please consider making a Leadership or Major gift to the campaign. Gifts may be direct cash, appreciated securities, or other valuable assets easily converted to cash. Please check with
your employer on any matching gift program with your company.

If you prefer, the Jefferson College Foundation is happy to establish a three or five-year pledge for the campaign. 

Your gift will allow Jefferson College to grow the number of students in the program, grow the physical facilities to improve education, and grow the number of pet adoptions into the community each year.

Tell us your story! 

Did you graduate with a Veterinary Technology certificate?

Did you adopt a dog or cat through the Veterinary Technology program?

Have you hired Veterinary Technology students?

During this campaign Jefferson College would like to tell the stories behind the Veterinary Technology program, stories that provide encouragement and inspiration to help fulfill its vision.

You are invited to submit your Veterinary Technology story and images, and your submission will only be used with your permission. 

Thank you for your support of Jefferson College Veterinary Technology!

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