Cascade Veterinary Clinics
On October 25th, 2022, the Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council unanimously approved the Cascade Veterinary Clinics Licensed Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant Apprenticeship Program!
The first round of acceptance into the 2023 CVCAP has concluded, but we are still accepting application materials for qualified candidates! Acceptance into the Program will be needs-based until the next recruitment period opens up in the Fall of 2023.
Employment with Cascade Veterinary Clinics is a pre-condition for qualifying for both Apprenticeship Programs.
External candidates will send in application materials for a Veterinary Assistant position for the LVT Program and Veterinary Assistant or Kennel Attendant position for the Veterinary Assistant Program, and the Apprenticeship Committee will review materials for acceptance into the Apprenticeship Program. Candidates may be hired as a Veterinary Assistant or Kennel Attendant without acceptance into the Apprenticeship Programs this upcoming acceptance round and an opportunity to be accepted the next round.
LVT Program: This 3-year “earn while you learn” program is exceedingly rigorous, with 766 hours of WVC courses, classroom and laboratory instruction taught by veterinary instructors, and 6,000 of on-the-job training.
VA Program: This 1-year, or longer depending on employment status (full-time or part-time), “earn while you learn” program is especially conscientious, with 100 hours of WVC courses, 50 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction taught by veterinary instructors, and 2,000 of on-the-job training.
- Any transcripts from previous higher education courses (an unofficial transcript is acceptable)
- Cover Letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a Veterinary Assistant or Licensed Veterinary Technician and why you are a suitable candidate to join this ground-breaking program.
Please send all application materials to [email protected].
The first Licensed Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship Program
Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVT) and Veterinary Assistants are the engines of efficient veterinary practice, but current Washington State LVT graduates will fill only one-quarter (27%) of the projected job openings. Cascade Veterinary Clinics has developed the first employer-sponsored & registered Licensed Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship Program in the nation, as well as a Veterinary Assistant program! The LVT program provides a rigorous, approved pathway for applicants to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) for licensure without attending a traditional veterinary technician school.
What is the Licensed Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship Program?
This program consists of three years (6,000 hours) of On-The-Job training (OJT) supplemented with 766 hours of classroom and lab instruction approved by the Veterinary Board of Governors (VBOG). Apprentices train within Cascade Veterinary Clinics as paid employees with one on one mentors gaining crucial skills and knowledge within the field of veterinary medicine. This is a small-scale, local program to address the needs in our community. Current programs are not meeting the demand, especially in rural areas like ours. This program will allow our employees who otherwise are unable to attend LVT school due to financial, educational, geographical, or socio-economic factors.
Who We Are
Cascade Veterinary Clinics is a locally owned general practice and urgent care center located in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, and Leavenworth. We are a group of 15 DVMs along with an outstanding support staff who practice progressive medicine and surgery while developing innovative solutions to difficult problems and emphasizing teaching and learning at our three local locations.
Why can’t CVC employees take advantage of current programs? LVT programs already exist in Washington state. Why is this needed?
CVC developed the program to address the need for a local training solution that combines rigorous instruction with practical, hands-on experience. Developing a registered apprenticeship program is the preferred approach for several compelling reasons:
Will the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) allow students in an approved registered apprenticeship program to take the required Veterinary Technical National Examination (VTNE)?
Is the program approved by the regulatory licensing body?
Yes, the Washington State Department of Health Veterinary Board of Governors (VBOG) is the regulatory body responsible for licensing veterinary technicians and has approved the program as an acceptable pathway to the national licensing examination (VTNE) and LVT licensure in Washington State. On December 5th, 2022, the VBOG ruled on WAC 246-935-060 to submit a CR101 to make registered apprenticeship a pathway for sit for licensure and approve CVCAP by providing licensing exemptions under RCW 18.92.060.
There is high demand for LVTs in Washington state. Why not expand current offerings at the five accredited programs instead of creating a new apprenticeship program?
How much does your program cost?
Are the training standards equivalent to the national LVT standards?
Will the skill standards be assessed for OJT competency?
Will there be time-based requirements and learning objectives to measure the acquisition of knowledge?
Who will assess whether students are achieving the training standards and how will that be measured?
Is this a return to the previous OJT licensing model discontinued by the VBOG in 2015?
Will this set back the veterinary technician profession and demean the credentials of veterinary technicians that have been/are being/will be trained in rigorous CVTEA-accredited programs with high educational standards?
Why doesn’t CVC use currently available college or online options?
There are no local community college program options available (the closest program is two and a half hours away in Yakima). Wenatchee Valley College will be providing 200 hours (20 credits) of courses and has expressed interest in offering additional veterinary courses. Online programs in our view do not sufficiently provide the critically important, practical hands-on experience that is integral to a registered apprenticeship and our training philosophy.
We are not alone in our decision to adopt an apprenticeship model. Other high-skill healthcare professions in Washington state have similarly recognized the need for apprenticeship and have successfully adopted registered apprenticeship programs, including:
- Licensed Dispensing Optician
- Medical Assistant
- Peer Counselor
- Behavioral Health Coordinator
- Mental Health Professional
- Medical Assistant
- Central Sterile Processing Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
If you have any questions regarding the Apprenticeship Program, please use the form below.