Abstract #478

# 478
“Pre-Veterinary Academy” course exposes and inspires.
Andrew Fidler*1, 1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.

In the competitive environment of professional school admissions, and with the massive time, effort, and financial commitment of a professional school program, students benefit from experiences that either reinforce their decision to pursue a professional degree or cause them to change their career path. The “Pre-Veterinary Academy” course exposes students to a veterinary school-like learning experience and delivers a range of subject matter for students to evaluate their interest in and preparation for veterinary school. The course utilizes a condensed 9-d intersession period, providing a unique opportunity to present a large-volume, fast-paced curriculum. Having the full academic attention of the students allows for more intensive lectures, case studies, and hands-on opportunities that are less practical to achieve during a full semester course. The condensed schedule also allows for visiting veterinary college faculty to provide several lectures in a single day, giving the students a more realistic veterinary school-like learning environment. All 10 students enrolled in the course in January 2015 completed a survey following conclusion of the course. All 10 students were either planning on or considering attending veterinary school, with no significant change following completion of the course. All 10 students believed they had at least “some,” with 7 believing they had “most,” and 1 believing (s)he had “all” of the skills, knowledge, and dedication to be successful in veterinary school. All 10 students indicated at least some improvement in their ability to perform and analyze a clinical examination of a veterinary patient as well as their ability to understand and apply research and clinical evidence to a medical case following completion of the course. Seven of 10 students described at least some improvement in their ability to understand and analyze lecture material as well as their ability to work with classmates to achieve learning objectives. The “Pre-Veterinary Academy” course provides students a brief taste of a veterinary curriculum to inspire commitment to and confidence in their pre-veterinary education.

Key Words: veterinary, education, teaching