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University of Arizona approved for state’s first public veterinarian school

(University of Arizona Photo)

PHOENIX — The University of Arizona received approval to open the state’s first public veterinarian school, it was announced Friday.

The American Veterinary Medical Association will continue to monitor the College of Veterinary Medicine until 2023 while it pursues full accreditation, according to a press release.

The three-year program will partner with the university’s Campus Agriculutral Center and more than 250 veterinary practices to allow students to work at clinical training sites.

“Our goal is that students will have their hands on animals in the first week and all the way through the curriculum,” Dean Julie Funk said in the release.

“We have a real focus on making sure that students are learning veterinary medicine in context, looking at what they’re learning in the classroom and how that relates to what they’re going to do in practice.”

The first class is expected to enroll in the Oro Valley school, about 12 miles north of Tucson, in 2020. Applications are not yet open.

The school will help fill veterinarian shortages around the state, especially in rural areas, according to the release.

College officials said this is the third accreditation attempt after the American Veterinary Medical Association cited deficiencies in 2016 and 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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