Posted 6:22 PM 9/27/2012 : UA one step closer to offering veterinary program
TUCSON- The University of Arizona is one step closer to starting a veterinary program.
The Arizona Board of Regents voted to allocate $3 million to study the feasibility of the program. If Governor Brewer approves the motion, U of A could be the first and only university in the state to offer a full veterinary program.
Right now, the U of A only offers a pre-veterinary program, and with only 28 universities in the country offering full programs, the competition is fierce leaving many U of A students disappointed.
Kristyn Sakurai's dream is to be a veterinarian. She applied for veterinary programs last year.
"I didn't get accepted at all," she said. But it's not because she's a bad student. "I had a high GPA, I had a good amount of experience and volunteer hours, but when I got my review back for my application, they wanted even more," said Sakurai.
The competition is fierce. "We're just going to cross our fingers and hope for the best," said Abby Fedderan, another pre-vet student.
There are only 28 schools nationwide with veterinary programs.
U of A has about 350 pre-vet students looking to apply for those programs.
"It's kind of a numbers game. There are not many schools, so there are not many opportunities," said Noble Jackson, veterinary professor.
For now, Sakurai is working as a lab assistant while she makes her next move. "I did apply with the WICHE scholarship this year," said Sakurai.
WICHE is short for Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Professional Student Exchange Program.
"It cooperates with other schools on the west coast to allow students from Arizona and other schools that don't have Veterinary schools to be able to get into those other state schools," said Fedderan.
The program gives $30,000 to the selected students to help with out of state tuition costs.
Only about 10 to 12 students are selected for this program each year which is why the university is pushing to get their own veterinary school to help local students realize their dreams while building a greater network of veterinarians in Arizona.
Faculty from U of A's veterinary sciences department is hopeful that the governor will approve the motion.
Once they can start the study, they hope to have a plan in place within a year.
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