College of Veterinary Medicine selects new class of scholars in Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021
Four Kansas State University veterinary students are recipients of the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas scholarship. From left are James Roush, associate dean for academic programs and student success for the College of Veterinary Medicine, with veterinary students Chandler Rogers, Emma McClure, Chelsey Bieberle and Bryant Karlin, and Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. | Download this photo.
Four new students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University have been chosen for the largest veterinary scholarship program offered by the state of Kansas: the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas.
This year's recipients are first-year veterinary students Chelsey Bieberle, Bushton; Emma McClure, Hugoton; Bryant Karlin, Manhattan; and Chandler Rogers, Topeka.
"The Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas fulfills an important educational and service mission for the state of Kansas," said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "These students completed a rigorous selection process. They will complete additional training beyond the curricular requirements of the professional degree program to prepare them for success in rural practice."
The Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas was passed by the state Legislature in 2006 to provide a financial incentive to provide rural areas in Kansas with committed veterinarians.
"The program helps retain some of the brightest and best veterinary students in Kansas," Rush said. "The scholarship recipients — past, present and future — create a unique community of supportive colleagues and represent the future of rural veterinary practice in Kansas."
Program participants are eligible for up to $20,000 in loans per year to pay their tuition. Upon completion of their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, each graduate is required to work at a full-time veterinary practice in one of the 91 Kansas counties with fewer than 35,000 residents. For each year the graduate works in rural Kansas, $20,000 worth of loans are forgiven by the state. Graduates are expected to work four years in a designated county to receive $80,000 in loan waivers.
Ninety-six percent of graduates are completing or have completed their loan obligation through service. Graduates who do not complete through service are required to repay the loan. The funds are reinvested through the addition of students to the program. Ninety-three percent of graduates who have completed their four-year obligation remain in a qualifying county. Seventy percent remain in the original practice and community they entered after graduation.
The student scholars spend time during the summer and breaks in the academic year learning about foreign-animal disease preparedness, natural disaster response, rural sociology, small business management and public health. They also will spend three weeks in a rural veterinary practice during their senior year, applying the principles of small business management to rural veterinary practice.