Friday, September 20, 2013
On Sept. 19 and 20, Charleston Animal Society will welcome 17 visitors representing 11 different organizations from around the country at its Veterinary Science Initiative (VSI) training conference. Established in 2011, the VSI program is was conceptualized by Dr. Brittany Tisa, director of Continuing Education Initiatives at Charleston Animal Society. Working in conjunction with De Daltorio, the society’s director of Humane Education programs, Dr. Tisa set out to design a model for cooperative education between shelters, veterinarians and other private organizations to collaborate with local school districts. Dr. Tisa recently used research gleaned from how this curriculum benefits student knowledge, organizational awareness and community engagement as the basis for her doctoral dissertation in Educational Administration.
Under the VSI program, Charleston Animal Society pairs with local high school teachers to introduce real-life veterinary science to the classroom including cruelty investigations, ethics situations, welfare legislation, disease transmission and shelter issues. Students in the program participate in a classroom visit from Charleston Animal Society and a canine companion, lessons conducted by their own teachers, consummating with a final field trip to the shelter to engage in hands-on higher level science activities.
Since its inception, the VSI has accumulated recognition from animal interest groups throughout the country, and Tisa and Daltorio were invited to make presentations on the program to the 2012 APHE National Conference at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, Calif. Inspired by the enthusiastic response they drew at the conference, they decided to accelerate their plans to host a national training conference at Charleston Animal Society.
“When we started the Veterinary Science Initiative, it was with the intention that it serve as an innovative model for Science and Human education nationally,” explains Tisa. “De and I were delighted with the positive reception we received following our presentations and are looking forward to hosting the training conference.”
For information on the Veterinary Science Initiative program, please visit: http://www.vsiprogram.com.