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Purdue awarded $3M grant to expand DVM diversity, opportunity

Vet Up! to address shortage of public health, rural veterinarians and underrepresented students

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Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded a $3.18-million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand access to the veterinary profession for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and address the need for more rural/food safety veterinarians.

The Vet Up! National Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy for Veterinary Medicine will address the national shortage of veterinarians in public health and rural/food animal practice in the state and beyond, as well as the lack of underrepresented individuals entering the veterinary profession.

Vet Up! will leverage the university’s history of diversity programming and partnerships with high schools as well as historically black colleges, universities, and state entities to design and deliver curricula that provide otherwise-inaccessible opportunities to students. Purdue’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center will assess the impact of the programming on participants and the veterinary profession.

The Vet Up! National Academy consists of three areas:

  • Vet Up! Champions is a yearlong program to prepare high school students, working adults, and undergraduate students to attain their next level of education on the path toward a veterinary medical degree
  • Vet Up! College is a summer immersion program to prepare undergraduate students to competitively apply to a veterinary medical degree program.
  • Vet Up! DVM supports Purdue veterinary medical students throughout their professional degree program and prepares them for careers in veterinary shortage areas.

“It is very exciting for our college to be selected for this major federally funded initiative that seeks to address an issue we have been working on for several years within our college and the veterinary profession,” said Willie Reed, DVM, PhD, dean of the college. “We believe we are a natural choice to help achieve the objective of increasing the number of underrepresented individuals in veterinary medicine while also addressing the serious shortage of veterinarians in public health and rural/food animal practice.”

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