Vet Tech Instructors Guest Speakers at AVTE Virtual Roundtable

Nicole Nieman
Nicole Nieman, CVT, and Meri DuRand-Kosman, CVT, LATG

Nicole Nieman and Meri DuRand-Kosman on panel discussing rabies vaccination access for vet tech students

Nicole Nieman, CVT, and Meri DuRand-Kosman, CVT, LATG, will be featured guest speakers at a Virtual Roundtable: Support for Student Rabies Vaccination, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. CT (7 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET). The Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE) is holding the event.

Nicole Nieman

Nicole serves as director of the Veterinary Technician program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC); Meri DuRand-Kosman serves as faculty in the program. During the virtual roundtable, they will be explaining how veterinary technician programs around the nation can establish rabies vaccination programs for their students.

Ronald Erickson, PhD, dean of business, design, and health and education at DCTC, reported that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) made the rabies vaccine mandatory for veterinary technician students as of January 2022. This means all vet tech students must receive a series of rabies vaccinations, or provide documentation they have already received the three-dose vaccine.

“Nicole and Meri have placed the DCTC Veterinary Technician (VTEC) program at the forefront of this effort,” Dr. Erickson said. “They are now asked to describe their experience to a national audience of VTEC programs. They will be joined on the discussion panel by a representative from Bavarian Nordic, a leading pharmaceutical provider of the vaccine.”

Meri Durand-Kosman

Nicole noted that the AVMA rabies vaccine policy made getting her students vaccinated a necessary step for the VTEC program.

“We want to ensure our students have direct access to the vaccine through the program at their school,” she said. “Our goal is to be able to offer rabies vaccine clinics on campus. Our work ensures that our students are protected, and our Veterinary Technician program is compliant with AVMA standards.”

Meri DuRand-Kosman emphasized the vital importance of protecting the safety and well-being of her students

“Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is transmissible to humans and is fatal,” she said. “Being proactive in our program by offering an opportunity to vaccinate our students, who work with animals hands on is so important. Our students and faculty are at risk of bite or injury when working with animals and to provide them with a method of protection is crucial and practices good medicine.”

WHAT: Virtual Roundtable: Support for Student Rabies Vaccination

Review of an exclusive, turnkey rabies vaccination program for Vet Tech Schools with discounted vaccine. The presentation includes a pilot school case study from Dakota County Technical College.


Nicole Nieman, CVT
Veterinary Technician Program Director
Dakota County Technical College
Meri DuRand, CVT, LATG
Veterinary Technician Program Faculty
Dakota County Technical College
Abby Neumann
Key Account Manager
Bavarian Nordic

WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. CT (7 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET)

WHERE: Register for the Virtual Event

More about Nicole Nieman, CVT

Nicole Nieman, CVT

Nicole Nieman, CVT

Nicole Nieman is the director of the Veterinary Technician program at DCTC. Nicole grew up in Stacy, Minnesota, and graduated from North Branch High School. She earned a B.S. in Computer Animation from the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2004 and went on to earn an A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology from Argosy University. She became a certified veterinary technician (CVT) in 2006.

Nicole’s industry and teaching experience is extensive. She worked her way through school as a pet care specialist at PetSmart and later became the practice manager and lead veterinary technician at Banfield Pet Hospital in St. Paul. She taught in the Veterinary Technology program at Argosy from 2007 to 2010; she also worked as a lead data analyst at Midwest Veterinary Supply.


More about Meri DuRand-Kosman, CVT, LATG

Meri DuRand, CVT, RLATG

Meri DuRand-Kosman began teaching in the Veterinary Technician program at DCTC in January 2018. She graduated from Globe University in 2011 and interned and has worked at the University of Minnesota Research Animal Resources since 2011.

Biomedical research has been her life since 2011. Meri has been a certified veterinary technician since 2013. She has her Laboratory Animal Technologist certification (LATG), and she serves as the school advisor for the Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA). She volunteers and serves on boards for a number of organizations, including the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT), the Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians (SLAVT), and the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS).


More about the Veterinary Technician program…

The Veterinary Technician program at Dakota County Technical College delivers an academically rigorous curriculum. To achieve success in your coursework, you should be highly motivated with a better than average ability to master a significant load of scientific and medical material in a relatively short period of time.

Experience with animals and an understanding of the veterinary medicine field is ideal if you are applying to the program. As an applicant, you are strongly encouraged to spend at least one week in a veterinary clinic, working with or shadowing a veterinary technician.

As a key component of the animal healthcare team, veterinary technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing animal injuries and illnesses. Vet techs carry out vital tasks, including:

  • Evaluating an animal’s condition
  • Collecting and analyzing biological samples
  • Educating clients on nutrition and behavior
  • Administering and monitoring anesthesia

The Veterinary Technician program prepares you for a career caring for animals in veterinary clinics, animal research facilities or wildlife rescue centers. The program provides opportunities for hands-on learning required for work in pharmacology, surgical preparation and animal care. This practical, interactive approach gives you the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to launch your career in the veterinary field.

As a certified veterinary technician, you will have passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) given by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

Accreditation Notice

The Veterinary Technician program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).


A.A.S. Degree

DCTC offers a 60-credit Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Veterinary Technician.


DCTC Vet Tech program in the news…

Learn more about the Veterinary Technician program at DCTC by contacting:

Nicole Nieman, CVT
Vet Tech Program Director & Faculty

Jonathan O’Hara
Academic and Financial Aid Advisor

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Alexis Odegaard

Perform medical tests under the supervision of a veterinarian.


Median: $18.33/hour
High: $21.19/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $18.73/hour
High: $22.20/hour


In Minnesota, there are 3,200 workers employed in this small career. This career is currently in very high demand and seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate in Minnesota is 19 percent and well above the statewide average.

There will be a need for about 3,013 new Veterinary Technologists and Technicians to meet market demand between 2018–2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Where do Veterinary Technologists and Technicians most often work?
Minnesota State CAREERwise Education