Jul 18, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

Veterinary Assistant Certificate

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Jennifer York, 413.552.2459, jyork@hcc.edu


The Holyoke Community College Veterinary Assistant Certificate program prepares students to become effective, knowledgeable, and compassionate members of the veterinary medical team in a variety of animal healthcare settings. The HCC Veterinary Assistant Certificate program is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). A student who obtains the HCC Veterinary Assistant Certificate is eligible to sit for the exam to become an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA).


Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • provide customer service to the client and assist with front desk appointment scheduling, client and patient intake, and patient discharge
  • demonstrate and employ canine, feline, and exotic animal behavior and restraint techniques
  • comply with OSHA standards and liability protection within the veterinary practice
  • identify common diseases and medical conditions
  • identify basic anatomy and physiology, along with common diseases and medical conditions that the assistant may encounter in a veterinary practice
  • assist the veterinary technician with preparation for laboratory procedures including restraining animals and preparing needed supplies
  • assist in preparation of the patient for surgical procedures and providing post-operative care
  • assist the veterinary technician with restraint for radiographic images and management of files
  • provide appropriate care for the hospitalized patient under the direction of the veterinarian


The Veterinary Assistant Certificate Program has selective admissions, with one class admitted per year, beginning in the fall.  Please refer to the following link for additional admission requirements: Veterinary and Animal Science.  As admissions requirements periodically change, students interested in this program should contact the Office of Admissions (413.552.2321) for current details.



This program is not eligible for financial aid at this time.


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