L.R. Kogan1,*, S.M. Stewart1, R. Schoenfeld-Tacher2 and P.W. Hellyer2
1College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 1601 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1601, USA
2College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Dr, CVM Main Building, Box 8401, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Veterinary admission committees are asked to create and implement a fair, reliable, and valid system to select the candidates most likely to succeed in veterinary school from a large pool of applicants. Although numerous studies have explored grade point average (GPA) as a predictive value of later academic success, there has been little attention paid to how and where an applicant acquires his/her undergraduate coursework. Quality of academic program is an important component of applicant files, and it is suggested that the source of a candidate’s coursework might influence admissions committee decisions, perhaps even outside of the committee’s immediate awareness. Options for undergraduate education include taking classes at a traditional four-year institution, a community college, or online. This study provides an overview of the current state of online courses and community colleges in the US as a foundation to explore the views of veterinary admissions committee members pertaining to coursework completed at traditional residential 4-year schools or at community colleges and whether they are delivered on campus or online (at either type of institution). Survey participants reported a pattern of preference for traditional four-year residential coursework compared to online or community college courses. These results are interesting given the exponential growth of students taking online courses and data showing community colleges are providing a successful gateway to obtaining a four-year degree. This also points to the need for admission committees to discuss potential biases since the information about type of school and/or course may not be consistently available for all applicants. Finally, at a time when admitting a diverse class of students is a goal of many programs, it is of special concern that there are potential biases against courses taken online or from community colleges - venues that tend to draw a more diverse population than traditional 4-year universities.
Keywords: Admissions criteria, Community college coursework, Online coursework, Veterinary admissions.
Cite this paper:
Kogan, L.R., Stewart, S.M., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R. and Hellyer, P.W. 2015. Perceptions of veterinary admissions committee members of undergraduate credits earned from community colleges or online compared to traditional 4-year institutions. Open Vet. J. 5(1), 71-84.