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VSCP to be highlighted in December edition of Career Pathway Webinars

The Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases’ (IIAD) Veterinary Science Certificate Program (VSCP) will be highlighted in the December edition of the National 4-H and Lockheed Martin Corporations’ Career Pathways Webinars. IIAD is a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence with programs focused on a variety of education initiatives, including youth education and workforce development.

The series – which will launch Oct. 13, 2016 and be aired live at 11 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month – is Lockheed Martin Corporation’s and National 4-H Council’s response to the U.S. deficit of highly-capable technical talent in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Almost all of the fastest-growing occupations in the next 10 years will require STEM skills while an estimated three million STEM jobs will be created within the next four years. However, only 16 percent of U.S. high school seniors are interested in STEM degrees or careers – with female and minority youth significantly underrepresented.

With presentations from professionals in different STEM fields, the webinars aim to attract more diverse youth who otherwise would have been disinterested or considered themselves ill-equipped for STEM fields, change perceptions of engineering and engineering careers and combine deeper STEM experiences with continuous team building and leadership.

Joe Mask, Ph.D.
Joe Mask, Ph.D.

In the Dec. 8 edition, Joe W. Mask, Ph.D., assistant professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist housed at IIAD, will be sharing his experience with and knowledge of VSCP with webinar participants.

VSCP serves as preparatory training for the veterinary assistant and provides students with the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to pursue their educational and career goals. The program is open to students at participating high schools, 4-H programs and as an independent self-study program. Mask oversees the VSCP program – including the planning, training and evaluating results of the program – and travels the country provides training on subject matter, career skills and instruction techniques to VSCP participants.

The webinars are expected to be 30 to 45 minutes and will be aired to participating middle schools, high schools and other youth serving organizations. They are recorded so that other state’s 4-H STEM ambassadors are able to view them. Participating states include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

A complete list of scheduled speakers can be found here.

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