Slave Lake high school student graduates with vet tech assistant certificate

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

A Slave Lake student is graduating high school with a college certificate.

Brie Hoover is a student at Roland Michener Secondary School in Slave Lake. She completed a dual credit course which earned her a veterinary technical assistant certificate, through Olds College of Agriculture and Technology.

Hoover’s High Prairie School Division (HPSD) career counsellor connected her with a summer course at the college. When the college started the pilot dual-credit certificate, she was invited to join.

The summer program was a taste of what the job might entail. The certificate equips her to work in a vet clinic, pre and post surgery preparation, and assisting in the surgery.

“I can hand them stuff,” says Hoover, “but not get my hands in and do stuff.”

To do that, she’ll need to do a 16-month vet tech course. A vet tech can spay and neuter animals, handle the anaesthetic, etc.

Hoover has applied to the local vet clinic. In a few years, she plans to do the vet tech diploma and may eventually become a vet. However, becoming a vet takes seven years, so she’s not sure on that one.

On May 14, Hoover gave a speech at TAVE Trades and Technology Symposium. One of the members of the audience was Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

Hoover spoke about the benefits of dual credit.

Taking a dual credit course in high school means students can get “a head start on their career,” she says. “I really enjoyed it. I use a lot of the skills I learned with my dog. It was a lot of fun.”

The experience also gave Hoover a sense of what a college course is like.

“I feel like I’m ahead,” she says. “I know what I want to do now … I recommend this to anyone who’s interested in veterinary.”

The course was a mix of online courses and tests and in-person labs. There were about two labs a month on Saturdays for six hours. Hoover’s parents drove her the 4.5 hours to the college. Hoover was the student living the furthest away. Many students were from Olds. Students also came from Red Deer, Innisfail, Fairview, and Sundry. There were two cohorts with a total of 80 students, all of whom graduated.
HPSD offers dual-credit courses from a variety of post secondary institutions.

Roland Michener Secondary School student Brie Hoover at her Olds College graduation on June 1. She did a dual-credit veterinary technical assistant certificate through the college in high school.

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