COMMUNITY · June 16th, 2021

NVA’s Diversity Scholarship: Supporting Continuing Education of Techs and HMs

by Janet McConnell, CVT


Are you ready to take your love of animals to the next level and further your education? Do you have a team member eager to earn a certification or degree? NVA’s new Diversity Scholarship Program provides an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills to turn a passion into a lifelong career.

At NVA, our goal is to create more career and learning opportunities for underrepresented minority students. To ensure we’re building a community that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all animal healthcare professionals, we’ve partnered with Penn Foster to offer diversity scholarships in the following areas:

  • Veterinary Assistant Certificate (one semester) – Earn AVA designation
  • Veterinary Technician Associates Degree Program (four semesters) – Earn CVT, LVT, RVT credential
  • Veterinary Technology Bachelor’s Degree Program (four semesters) – After obtaining AVMA Accredited VT Associates degree
  • Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate Program (one semester) – Pathway to CVPM

Watch this video to learn more about NVA’s Diversity Scholarship program, and visit for details.


NVA’s Diversity Scholarship program is open to new students and those currently enrolled in a Penn Foster program. To qualify, you must be a team member from an underrepresented minority group, with at least four months of full-time employment at an NVA site (Pet Resort, Equine, GP, or NVA C-F).


The application process is the same for new and currently enrolled students. The scholarship application package consists of a completed application, essay, and site leader recommendation. All application materials should be submitted using the Diversity Scholarship Program application link here. For more specific details, please see the instructions here.

Scholarship applications are due by Friday, September 17. All submitted materials will be “blinded” and reviewed by an impartial committee consisting of NVA leaders across various roles. There will be two scholarships for each Penn Foster program, and we’ll announce the recipients in October during Veterinary Technician Week.

For more details about the information sessions or the scholarship program, please email

Janet McConnell, CVT


Support Center | Rumson, New Jersey

Janet has enjoyed 40 years in the veterinary profession as a Certified Veterinary Technician in many roles. She started her career at small general practices in NJ, followed by 10 years in general/specialty medicine at Oradell Animal Hospital, then 24 years at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in clinical, supervisory, and management roles, followed by education and professional development.

Janet joined the Compassion-First team in 2016 and launched the Veterinary Nursing Development Department where she developed programs and resources to help veterinary assistants and technicians reach their highest potential for patient care and career development. In January 2021, Janet integrated with the NVA Talent and Learning team as Program Director for Veterinary Nursing Development where she further develops existing programs and creates resources to support career growth for veterinary nursing professionals.

Janet has two grown children and lives in Rumson, NJ, with her partner Jeff and English Springer Spaniel, Echo. Janet enjoys the outdoors, boating year-round (on water and ice), and spending time with her family and new grandson, Owyn.

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