USDA Partners with the CET to Employ Continuing Education Program for Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Center for Educational Technologies (CET) at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University – College Station announced a cooperative agreement for the creation of a continuing education program for foreign animal disease (FAD) diagnosticians. CET’s proven record to develop high quality instructional materials and the USDA’s expertise in addressing foreign animal disease outbreaks, will provide a sustainable continuing education program for veterinary diagnosticians and animal health technicians. Elizabeth Clark, Laboratory Training Specialist at the USDA/Professional Development Services Branch, spear-headed the cooperative agreement and will serve as the USDA project manager for the project. The $306,000, two-year contract from the USDA will result in a series of web-based case studies and training workshop packages that will be utilized by states to conduct FAD training workshops. This recent partnership builds on previous collaborations between the two entities including the Phytosanitary Regulatory Capacity Building Project and development of the Foreign Animal Disease Investigation Manual.

The USDA works in a variety of ways to protect and improve the health, quality, and marketability of our nation’s animals, animal products, and veterinary biologics. When it comes to safe guarding the country’s agriculture industry from the threat of foreign animal diseases, the USDA enlists the help of veterinarians from across the United States. These foreign animal disease diagnosticians respond to potential outbreaks, conducting field investigations to rapidly diagnose and contain disease outbreaks before they can spread.

The CET is an innovator in creating high-impact veterinary educational programs. CET’s programs are designed to address today’s educational challenges through blending student-centered learning pedagogies with innovative technologies. Moreover, CET’s content authoring application, StepStone, will streamline the development process while also providing the learner with a unique learning path of the curricula. Media-rich and highly engaging, CET’s curricula represents the next generation of veterinary education. As innovators in veterinary education, CET’s education experts are outfitted to develop training materials using StepStone’s unique functionality that will extend FAD diagnosticians’ knowledge and skills in conducting field investigations.

“Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians (FADDs) are on the front lines of defense. When disease outbreaks arise, FADDs work to quickly diagnose, contain and eradicate the disease before it can spread,” stated Dr. Jodi Korich, Director of the Center for Educational Technologies and Clinical Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University – College Station. “The training program developed through this project will provide valuable continuing education for FADDs, ensuing they have up-to-date knowledge and skills necessary to safeguard the U.S. food supply.”

As trailblazers in their respective fields, this cooperative agreement between the USDA and CET is sure to make great strides in continuing education for veterinary diagnosticians and animal health technicians.