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Veterinary Assisting Distance Education Program on Hawaii Island

Vet Assist Hawaii Community College Palamanui

Program Mission

The mission of the program is to increase the quality of veterinary care in Hawaii by providing students with essential skills and knowledge that will enable them to obtain rewarding, living-wage jobs in the animal care field.

Hawaii Community College Palamanui VETA Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTIONS: Please Contact VETA DEC program coordinator, Dani Carico, at 808-236-9165 or email

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This program was created in collaboration with Hawaii Community College and is intended for Big Island residents. In order to complete the program, students will need to enroll in classes at both institutions. To view a complete list of required courses, please click on Hawaii CC Palamanui VETA curriculum.

The Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to perform effectively as an assistant in a veterinarian’s office, animal shelter or animal research facility. The 2-semester program includes coursework in the life sciences as well as hands-on experience through internships at local veterinary clinics.

This cohort program is a 2-semester program that will run from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018. Students should plan to complete all core classes during this time. Plans to offer another cohort of this program are pending availability of funding.

If you are interested in Veterinary Assisting and live on Hawaii island, please complete the following checklist to receive important information.

  1. Email with your full name, address, and ask to view the online information session. This is required to enter the program.

    Information Session topics:

    • Tuition
    • Program costs
    • Prerequisites
      • You MUST view an online infosession video and complete a quiz about the infosession. For more information, contact
    • Courses
    • Internships
    • Uniforms
    • Program procedures
  2. Once you have completed the information session, you will be asked to complete a quick quiz to verify that you have viewed the information session. A link will be sent to you via email.
  3. We will send you the VETA program information session confirmation form which will need to be filled out and submitted to Geri Imai at the WCC Registrar’s Office.
  4. Once the confirmation form is processed, you will be able to register for classes.

Program Outcomes

After completing the program, students will be able to:

  • Effectively communicate with clients and veterinary staff.
  • Perform routine business transactions and maintain patient and facility records.
  • Ensure the safety of patients, clients, and staff and maintain compliance with regulatory agencies.
  • Identify common breeds of companion animals, list their nutritional requirements and husbandry needs, and describe the anatomy and functions of major body systems.
  • Assist with physical exams and obtain patient histories.
  • Perform routine nursing procedures including first-aid, wound-management, and administration of medications and vaccines.
  • Develop a working knowledge of common companion animal diseases and their medical treatments.
  • Collect biological samples and perform diagnostic laboratory tests.