The Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology educates and prepares effective, productive, service-oriented veterinary health care team leaders for a diversity of career opportunities. The Academy educates its students in a warm and supportive learning environment so that students are empowered to become self-sufficient veterinary nurses capable of making critical nursing decisions and contributing substantially to a productive veterinary team.
• To be the premier school of veterinary technology.
• To remain progressive by embracing cutting edge technologies and methods in veterinary medicine.
• To provide an intimate educational environment to produce veterinary paraprofessionals who are knowledgeable, proficient, and possess highly effective interpersonal skills.
• To promote intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning.
• To produce a complete veterinary technician by integrating academic knowledge with hands on opportunities.
Our Core Values
• Critical Thinking
• Service Orientation to Clients and Patients
• Applied Clinical Proficiency
• Small Class Sizes
• Positive Learning Environment
• Instructors With Diverse Backgrounds and Experiences
Our dedicted faculty and staff keep our programs and students working to the highest standards.
Steve Rubin, DVM – Chief Executive Officer and Program Director
Dr. Rubin is the founder of the CAVT. He began the school in 2007 with 4 students and has since grown the CAVT to over 100 students learning their skills in small lectures and laboratories. In addition to his clinical and teaching duties, Dr. Rubin spends his time tutoring individual students in several subjects.
Dr. Rubin is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He received his undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1999. He is also a trained aquatic veterinarian after a stint at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Dr. Rubin served as an emergency clinician in Colorado and New York City until founding the CAVT in 2007. Dr. Rubin is the recipient of awards for research in aquatic veterinary medicine, and from the National Mensa Society for scientific essay writing.
Dr. Rubin also volunteers his time as a baseball coach in a local municipal developmental baseball league. Dr. Rubin spends much of his time with his wife and two children in exploration of the Colorado wilderness and the extensive national park system of the United States.
Becky Devine, CVT – Instructor
Becky Devine was born and raised in southern Arizona. She met her (soulmate) husband, an Army officer, there in 1989. After 21 years of service he retired and they returned to Arizona. In 2017, they settled down on a ranch in the Colorado mountains with their horses and dogs. Their military career gave Becky the opportunity to travel around the world. In 2000, she graduated and achieved the Certificate of Excellence award for graduating 1st in her class at the Omaha College of Health Careers in Nebraska with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Animal Health Technology. Since then she has had the privilege of working in many of the best veterinary specialty hospitals in the United States, working in orthopedic/soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and emergency critical care. In the process, she has transferred and updated her license to hold her CVT, RVT, and/or LVT. Becky also has experience as a Veterinary Technician instructor since 2010 at Kaplan College, Pima Medical Institute, and the East Valley Institute of Technology in Arizona.
Susan Herrel, CVT – Instructor
Susan has spent her life working closely with animals. She started riding horses at the age of ten and completed an equine certificate program with honors at age eighteen. Susan relocated to West Virginia and pursued an equine career as a riding instructor and barn manager. After a couple of years showing horses up and down the East Coast, Susan returned to her Colorado home to attend college. She graduated with honors from Bel Rea Institute of Animal Technology and began her lengthy career as a Certified Veterinary Technician. Her first job was at Broadway Animal Medical in Boulder and after seven years she relocated to Wyoming with her husband. After spending a couple of years in the wilds of Wyoming she once again returned to Colorado. The love of horses was still fresh in her heart and she worked at two different breeding facilities, one that focused on Arabian horses and the other bred and worked Paint horses. After a couple of years foaling horses and taking care of a herd of cattle at the Paint horse facility, Susan returned to small animal veterinary medicine. She continued her career in private day practice in Monument and spent several years in corporate veterinary medicine at Banfield Pet Hospital. Wanting to continue working as a Technician and expanding her knowledge base, Susan started working at Colorado Canine Orthopedics as a surgical scrub nurse.
After over three years of working as a scrub nurse, Susan took on a position at Southern Colorado Internal Medicine as an overnight ICU nurse. With the assistance of Dr. Morgan, Susan developed and implemented anesthesia protocols for animals undergoing MRIs and CT scans. After over seven years of sleepless nights working as an ICU nurse, Susan decided to focus her time and talents on her own dog breeding business. She had started breeding, showing, trialing and hunting German Shorthaired Pointers in 2000 and continues to run her own kennel. One of Susan’s favorite parts of working as a Certified Veterinary Technician was teaching new graduates the nuances of the veterinary field. She took this love of teaching to begin a new aspect of her career and spent three years teaching the Veterinary Assisting and Veterinary Technician students at PIMA. She has been teaching students here at Colorado Academy since July of 2017.
Christina Berry, CVT – Instructor
Christina grew up in Florida and relocated to Colorado in 2009. She has always had a passion for animals and wanted to work in the veterinary field. Christina is a graduate of the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology. Since graduation from CAVT, she has worked in a busy small animal practice where she gained extensive experience in anesthesia and dentistry. In her spare time, Christina loves to go camping and fishing with her wife and daughter.
Tracy Berry, CVT – Instructor—Internship Coordinator
Tracy is a Colorado native and graduated from Pima Medical Institute in 2017. Since then, she has worked in a busy small animal practice where she has gained lots of knowledge in various aspects of veterinary medicine. Tracy has a massive interest in veterinary dentistry and veterinary behavior. She is an avid golfer, so in her spare time, she hits the course whenever possible. She also likes to spend time camping, fishing, and traveling with her wife and daughter.
Tasha Bestwina, CVT – Instructor
Tasha graduated from Fox College Veterinary Technology Institute in 2009. She has worked in small animal practice since then with a focus in oncology, outpatient care, radiology, hospice, and emergency and critical care. Tasha was also with the Pet Poison Helpline. She has an Italian Greyhound mix, a ball python, and 2 cats, enjoys brewing beer, fundraises for pollinators, and enjoys reading, hiking, geocaching, crafting, and fishing.
Katharine Kelleher, CVT – Part Time Instructor
Katie has been a CVT since 2018 when I graduated from the CAVT She has worked in a variety of difference practice settings including emergency care, large animal practice, a mixed practice, and exotics. Katie graduated from California State University Northridge in 2014 with a bachelor’s in teaching. She’s married with a young son, dog, and two cats. Katie has a passion for teaching, traveling, and good wine.
Michelle Reimers, CVT – Part Time Instructor
Michelle received her Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology in 2018. Since then she has been working as a small animal veterinary technician in Colorado Springs while also instructing students in Directed Clinical Practice and advanced nursing at the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
Tonya Oropeza, CVT – Part Time Instructor
Tonya received her Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from PIMA in 2009 and has worked in small animal medicine in Colorado Springs since then. She instructs students in Directed Clinical Practice and anesthesia at the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology.
Is the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology (CAVT) a good school?
Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology (CAVT) is an excellent school to apply for vet tech school in Colorado. The school is located in Colorado Springs and has an excellent reputation.
The Veterinary Technician program at the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology is designed for students who want to pursue a career as a veterinary technician in a hospital, emergency clinic, university, or government setting.
It is well known that those with a strong academic background in a field related to animals or medicine are best prepared for the rigorous educational program required for the veterinary technician program. Therefore, we recommend that aspiring students in the veterinary technician program have completed at least one year of college-level course work in a related area, such as biology.
The CAVT veterinary technician program provides a wide range of learning experiences, including clinical rotations in small animals, equine, avian, and exotic animal hospitals, and working with small and large animals. In addition, students are exposed to various vet tech programs and hands-on experience in medical and surgical procedures, emergencies, and drug therapies.
Students have the opportunity to work with a wide range of animals, from dogs and cats to a wide range of birds, equine, and exotic animals.
CAVT veterinary technician program students are provided with a mentor, an experienced veterinary technician, who is there to guide and support the students every step of the way.
What does a vet tech do?
A vet tech’s primary responsibility is to care for animals in medical and surgical settings. This includes a wide range of procedures and tasks. Essentially, vet techs do everything a doctor does except provide the medical diagnosis.
A vet tech will take care of:
- Administering medications and treatments
- Administering anesthesia
- Gathering clinical data
- Performing diagnostics
- Cleaning and disinfecting surgical equipment
- Animal Caregivers
These are just some of the many things that vet techs do daily. While many claims that self-taught vet techs are enough, only certified veterinary technicians can get the job done professionally and perfectly.
Do vet techs have to be certified in Colorado?
No. Colorado has no certification requirements for vet techs. While certification through a national program is preferred, it is not required. However, they must take continuing education classes to maintain a license. On the job, trained technicians are technically ASSISTANTS. They are not allowed to do the job of a veterinary technician: specifically, they may not perform invasive procedures (such as injections), administer anesthesia, or perform medical calculations associated with dispensing drugs. . On the job, trained technicians earn less money and have almost no mobility within the veterinary profession.
What is the difference between a vet and a vet tech?
Veterinarians (vets) are graduates of accredited veterinary schools and are trained to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries that affect animals, prescribe drugs and perform surgery. Veterinarians are licensed and prohibited from practicing if they have criminal convictions or professional offenses.
Vet techs are also trained to perform diagnostic tests, gather clinical data, and perform physical exams, just as veterinarians do.
The main difference between the two is that veterinarians have the authority to diagnose illnesses, prescribe drugs, and perform surgery, while vet techs cannot.
A vet tech is a good option for those who cannot afford to attend veterinary school. The veterinary technician training program at CAVT provides students with a solid foundation. It allows them to learn under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, who will guide them throughout the process.
Who certifies Vet schools in the USA?
The Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) was established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The Committee approves programs that provide technologists and technicians with the necessary education to support veterinarians effectively.
Furthermore, the American Veterinary Medical Association ensures that all accredited schools provide a strong foundation for students and meet high standards for quality.
How to qualify for the exam to get a degree from an AVMA/CVTEA-accredited veterinary technician program?
The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) that verifies the competency of a veterinary technician.
The VTNE determines whether a candidate has the minimum knowledge and competency to function in a veterinary medical setting. The VTNE requires all veterinary technicians to sit for the national or regional boards before becoming eligible.
To qualify for the VTNE, an applicant must be currently enrolled in an AVMA-CVTEA accredited program and meet one of the following requirements:
- Be currently employed in a veterinary medical setting, and their employer has determined that they are qualified to take the VTNE.
- Have a high school diploma or a GED and have at least one year of documented experience working in a veterinary medical setting.