Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University enjoys a well-established, successful and multi-faceted partnership with Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, Mass. We have long partnered in educational ventures and work with the school to provide veterinary services. As part of a Bio-Tech Career Pathways grant, Cummings School provides educational seminars for twelfth-grade Norfolk Aggie internship recipients. These students participate in lectures and hands-on activities focused on animals and biomedical sciences. Cummings School has also hosted livestock judging workshops for vocational agriculture students from across the state.
Students from Grafton High School Advanced Placement biology and physiology classes spend the day on the Cummings School campus to experience hands-on activities, including modules on skeletal adaptations of vertebrates and body systems. In an associated program, Cummings School faculty have also hosted Grafton science teachers on the campus for summer externships.
The High School Health Careers Program (HSHCP) targets Massachusetts high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or groups that are under-represented in biomedical research, biotechnology and the health professions. These students spend several weeks in academic enrichment classes and internships in the healthcare and science professions. Each year, the group visits Cummings School, where they attend a lecture on possible careers within veterinary medicine followed by a tour of the campus and an admissions information session.
Cummings School is collaborating with Worcester Technical High School (WTHS) to establish a primary care clinic for under-served animals and their owners that will be located at the high school. The clinic assists economically disadvantaged segments of the Worcester population, including seniors on fixed income, individuals with disabilities, the unemployed, residents of subsidized housing and area rescue groups, with caring for their animals.
The educational purpose of the clinic is to provide hands-on, vocational education to veterinary assistant students from WTHS and primary care instruction and responsibility for Cummings School fourth-year veterinary students. We hope to add veterinary technician students from area community college programs in a second phase of clinic development.
As part of a state-sponsored grant, Cummings School provided programming for the Douglas High School Biotechnology class. The students attended a workshop to learn more about transgenic goats and participated in a presentation about leading-edge biotechnology and business practices. The workshop included discussions about various issues facing the biotechnology industry. The talk was followed by a tour of the school's goat barn, a research talk and an ultrasound demonstration.