In response to an increased national demand for veterinarians, veterinary specialists and skilled technicians, Rowan University is establishing the first school of veterinary medicine in New Jersey. Currently, there are only 33 veterinary schools in the United States.
Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine will offer New Jersey’s first Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, along with additional degrees and training programs designed to shape the future of veterinary medicine and animal health care in the state.
In November, the New Jersey legislature approved $ 75 million in funding to build the school’s main academic and clinical facility in Sewell. The school plans to welcome its first class of 60 students in the fall of 2025, pending approval from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE).
Plans for the school were announced at an outdoor event on the Rowan College of South Jersey-Gloucester campus in Sewell. State and university officials joined with furry and feathered friends – birds, goats, dogs, a rabbit and a skunk – in making the announcement on the upcoming site of the school.
See the planned school video here.
“The launch of New Jersey’s first school of veterinary medicine at Rowan University is just the latest in a series of advances we’ve made to expand and improve the quality of medical education and research across the country. over the past decade, ”said Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney. “With this investment, we will be able to keep our best and brightest veterinary students in New Jersey, and we will also attract aspiring vets from other states to study here.”
Of the 33 accredited veterinary schools in the United States, only five are on the East Coast. In 2006, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges predicted a shortage of 15,000 veterinarians in the country within 20 years. Applications to veterinary schools have increased 6-7% in recent years and 19% in 2020-2021, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
With the addition of the new school, Rowan will become one of two universities in the country to offer degrees in veterinary medicine, doctor of medicine and doctor of osteopathic medicine. The University offers its Medicine program through Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School and its DO program through Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Rowan will establish undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and internship / residency programs at the veterinary school. Additionally, an AS in Veterinary Technology to BS in Veterinary Technology pathway program will be offered in conjunction with Rowan College of South Jersey-Gloucester.
An innovative approach
Following the University’s approaches to science, engineering, and medical education, the new school will bring innovations in program delivery, operational cost-effectiveness, tuition affordability, and student readiness. jobs, according to Rowan University president Ali A. Houshmand.
“We are creating a premier destination for students who share a passion for animal health and who wish to pursue a career in veterinary studies at all levels of higher education,” Houshmand said. “Our program will focus on developing career-ready professionals to address animal health care provider shortages in New Jersey and the United States.”
On June 1, Rowan’s Board of Directors named Dr. Matthew Edson founding dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine.
“We are excited to create a veterinary school where hands-on experience, virtual reality, simulations, and outcome-oriented, student-centered education and assessment are an integral part of the teaching experience and learning, ”Edson said. Continuing Rowan’s innovations in experiential learning, students will have early exposure to our on-site veterinary teaching hospital, as well as external clinical sites where they will work side-by-side with faculty and veterinarians. in exercise. This will allow them to gain extensive real-world experience to promote career preparation from day one. “
In addition to the DVM diploma, the following programs are under development:
- Graduate programs, including an MS / Ph.D. in veterinary biomedical sciences in collaboration with the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Cooper Medical School of Rowan Universities and the College of Science & Mathematics;
- An accelerated DVM / MBA in conjunction with Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business, designed to enhance student education in management, business and economics of veterinary practice beyond what will be offered as core content in the DVM program;
- Undergraduate programs, including bachelor’s degrees in veterinary studies and veterinary technology, as well as certificates and training paths for veterinary technicians and assistants;
- Internship and residency programs, which will provide postgraduate training opportunities to those who have already graduated from DVM. The programs could lead to specialization, including specialist counseling certifications.
Educational and health establishments
The primary academic and clinical facility for the School of Veterinary Medicine will be located on the Rowan College of South Jersey campus in Sewell, near the new Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM). There, SOM will soon welcome over 70 medical students in its most recent academic expansion, partnering with clinical practices already serving hundreds of patients.
Design for a 100,000 square foot veterinary medical complex is underway and will include classrooms, diagnostic and teaching laboratories, a teaching hospital, and administrative and university offices. The university hospital will provide basic experiential learning to students. It will also offer animal health care services to the public, as well as specialized referral and diagnostic services to veterinary practices in the region.
The school is seeking accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. The COE is the United States Department of Education approved accreditation agency for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine in the United States.
Each new school must go through a series of approval steps before receiving full accreditation. Schools must adhere to 11 accreditation standards demonstrating that they offer high quality educational experiences as outlined by the AVMA.
A licensed veterinarian in practice for over a decade, Dr Matthew C. Edson is the founder and owner of Rancocas Veterinary Associates, a multi-physician mixed animal practice located in South Jersey. He has particular professional interests in miniature pig and small ruminant medicine and surgery and has lectured nationally on these topics.
Originally from the Township of Eastampton, he is a member of the board of directors and past president of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, visitor to the website of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education, past president of the AVMA Committee on Disaster and Emergency Problems and former vice chair of the AVMA Practice Advisory Panel. He was also a manuscript editor for the Exotic Pet Medicine Journal.
Licensed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, Edson received his veterinary medicine degree from Kansas State University. He received his BSc in Animal Science and Biology from Rutgers University and also completed intensive care mobile paramedic training through Virtua Health.
Named one of the best vets by South Jersey Magazine in 2017, Edson was voted “Best Veterinarian” in Burlington County by Burlington County Hours readers for four consecutive years, from 2018 to 2021.