ACC recognizes first Veterinary Technology grads

Amber McDonald celebrates the degree she worked hard to achieve, but it’s the unique experience she gained in a real-life setting that has started her career caring for animals.

McDonald is one of the first eight students to graduate from Austin Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program. She and her fellow vet tech grads will be recognized at the college’s spring commencement ceremony Thursday, May 12.

“I have learned so much ― not only how to be a strong veterinary technician, but how to be a leader and voice for my industry in the community,” McDonald says. “Learning and working hands-on in a small group setting with other vet tech students was the best environment.”

McDonald says that completing the vet tech program has shown her that she can do whatever she sets her mind to. With the support of her professors, she started an internship at a veterinary clinic during the summer of 2015. The clinic hired her when the internship ended and not long after promoted her to Emergency and Critical Care Lead Veterinary Technician.

“Learning and working hands-on in a small group setting with other vet tech students was the best environment”


Vet Tech student Amber McDonald checks canine patient.

“For so long, all I could say is I can’t, I can’t place an IV catheter, I can’t speak to clients and doctors, and here I am with a great future ahead,” she says.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19 percent increase nationwide in jobs for veterinary technologists and technicians by 2024. ACC’s vet tech program combines classroom and laboratory coursework with hands-on clinical training to prepare students to work in a variety of settings. Students can earn the Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology and become eligible to take state and national certification exams.

“As our first graduates, these students have worked through challenging curriculum,” says Dr. Kerry Coombs, chair of the Veterinary Technology Department. “While the program continues to grow, it will provide the trained personnel who are needed in the Austin area and will play a role in the development of the profession.”

ACC will extend its capability to offer hands-on learning opportunities with expanded Elgin Campus facilities, one of the capital improvement projects approved by voters in 2014.

McDonald and the other vet tech graduates are among the more than 1,600 ACC students invited to ACC’s spring commencement ceremony.

“Students and their families will treasure this moment for years. It’s the beginning of the career they have imagined and worked so hard for,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “They are proving to younger generations that anything is possible. We are proud of their achievements.”

To learn more about ACC’s Veterinary Technology Program visit, or contact Dr. Coombs at [email protected] or 512-223-9428. For details on spring commencement visit

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