Dental Assistant

Learning Outcomes

What certification will I receive after completing the program?
The Veterinary Assistant program provides certification that improves the job outlook of those seeking to be employed in veterinary offices. As of November 2023, this program has been approved with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) to certify completers as Approved Veterinary Assistants (AVA).
What will I learn in this program?
  • To prepare the student with the skills and knowledge to obtain an entry level job in an animal related facility.
  • To help students develop a practice of good professional ethics
  • To stimulate the students personal and professional growth in all future endeavors.
  • To encourage students to promote and educate the public as to responsible animal care and humane treatment of all animals.
  • To provide opportunities for exploration of career options within the animal world.
  • To encourage each student to develop an “I will, I can” attitude.
  • Communicate respectfully and demonstrate acceptance of diversity.
  • Seek resources and opportunities for lifelong learning.
Students will learn about:
  • Health & Safety
  • Veterinary Laws/Ethics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Breed Identification
  • Animal Handling & Restraint
  • Instruments & Equipment
  • Physical exam
  • Medicating & Grooming
  • Vaccines & Injections
  • Medical Math
  • Parasitology
  • Office Procedures
  • Workplace Skills
  • Urinalysis
  • Hematology
  • Pharmacology


What are the requirements to take this course?
  • Be at least 18 or older
  • Attend a Career Training Orientation
  • Attend First Class day for the Veterinary Assistant program
  • Provide proof of required immunizations (list will be provided on the first day of class)
  • Be able to lift 40-50 pounds
Please check the program guide to for the most current list of requirements.


When is the program offered?
This is a 1-semester course (5 months) that is offered twice a year starting in August and January. We offer a day and night class.
  • AM Schedule - Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00 am - 1:30 pm 
  • PM Schedule - Tuesday/Thursday, 2:30 pm - 8:00 pm 
All students will also be required to complete a 120-hour internship in a local veterinary clinic or animal care facility.
Please check the course handout or student checklist for the most current schedule.


How much does the program cost?
 The program registration fee is $275 and is due in full at the time of registration.  
Are there any additional costs associated with the program?
Additional fees that need to be considered average approximately $100 and may include:
  • Scrubs
  • Immunizations
Is financial aid or tuition assistance available?
As a K-12 adult school we are unable to offer financial aid. We do partner with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, local career centers, and other organizations whenever possible to offer opportunities for fees to be reduced or covered for qualified participants. For more information on what is available for this program, attend an orientation to connect with a transition services specialist.
What is the refund policy?
Students have until the last day of the second week of class to request a refund for the registration fee minus a $25 processing fee.
Prices subject to change.  Please check the program guide to for the most current cost.

Job Outlook

What is the job outlook?
According to the U.S. Career Explorer, employment opportunities for Veterinary Assistants are predicted to increase by 19.3% between 2016 and 2026. Explore the links below for more information about the labor market for Veterinary Assistants.


Tracee Leebolt, RVT 
Tracee Leebolt has been an instructor for the HOC Veterinary Assistant program since 2014.  Tracee holds an Associates Degree (AS), Bachelor of Arts or Science (BA / BS), and a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential to teach Career Technical Education courses in California.  She has worked in the field as a Veterinary Assistant for 9 years and a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) for over 13 years. 


Where is training for the program completed?
Coursework for the Veterinary Assistant program is performed in our training lab located at the Health Occupations Center in Santee.  The lab contains all of the equipment and supplies needed to prepare students to move directly into employment following their 120-hour internship and course completion.
3 large dogs sitting in front of a cabinet  A dissected cat showing it  Veterinary equipment ready to be used

Next Steps

I'm interested!  What are my next steps?
The Veterinary Assistant program accepts students twice a year through the orientation and First Class day process.  Check the Program Guide for the next class start dates. Visit the How to Get Started page now.
Refund Policy
Refunds for this class must be requested by the end of the second week of class.  A $25.00 processing fee will be charged.