Kirkwood opens new Veterinary Technology Center

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:36 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Kirkwood Community College unveiled its new Veterinary Technology Center on Thursday.

The school has had a vet-tech degree since the mid-80s and shared the space with another program. Kirkwood leaders said this would give students a better education and help fight a growing shortage of professionals to care for animals.

“We have a good number of students that just didn’t get as many hands-on practices, and really space was the biggest factor,” said Erin Dahlstrom.

Dahlstrom said the new technology was great, but this new building helps fill a bigger need to provide veterinary care.

“We’re noticing not just in the Cedar Rapids area, but nationwide, the shortage has veterinarian practices are starting to have to limit hours,” she said.

Dean of Agricultural Science and Hospitality Arts, Brad Kinsinger, said over the next 10 years the need was only going to continue to grow. He said they’re expecting to see the demand for veterinarians grow by 13% in just the surrounding area.

“These are the folks that are going to support those vets and vet techs and these folks who are doing that day-to-day work,” said Kinsinger.

This new space is giving these students a more hands-on experience working with smaller animals like cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds.

“Veterinarians are definitely looking for students to have more hands-on experience with the live animals, and this building allows us to do that,” said Dahlstrom.

The building is the final construction project related to the college’s $60 million bond measure that voters approved in 2017.