Dean Bennie Osburn welcomed the DVM class of 2014 on September 1, 2010 by describing the faculty's commitment to students, asking them for their feedback and posing several ideas for consideration. "I encourage all of you to be open-minded to the multitude of educational offerings now available to you," Osburn told the group. "You may find aspects of veterinary medicine you have not thought of that will train you for exciting and challenging career opportunities." He also recommended that students explore leadership opportunities, connect with classmates and embrace the educational experience.
The class of 2014 began the four-year DVM program with a week-long orientation retreat led by Drs. Jim Clark, Cheryl Scott and Karen Boudreaux. The retreat offered opportunities to familiarize students with each other and to develop teamwork. Retreat exercises began incorporating into the veterinary degree program some training in essential non-technical skills such as critical thinking, business savvy and interpersonal communications. Student mentors guided the new class members through activities and established relationships with their future colleagues. A formal luncheon with the California Veterinary Medical Association and the White Coat Ceremony marking the students' initiation into the profession were also included in the activities leading up to the first day of classes.
The class contains 134 students, including 126 California residents. Women make up the majority of the class at 108; 25 students are men. The students ages range from 20 to 40 years old, with an average age of 24. The cultural mix for the class includes 29 Asians, 81 Caucasians, 10 Hispanic/Mexican American/Other Spanish students, one Native American and a dozen individuals who declined to state ethnicity.
The average cumulative GPA of the student body is 3.48, with required science course grades averaging 3.33. Most students studied biology or animal science. All have obtained bachelor's degrees, with 18 class members already holding master's degrees.
Student interests include small animal (49), equine (16), mixed (10), wildlife or zoo animal (16), large animal (4), lab animal (10), small animal/equine (4), research (8), avian/exotics (6), food/large/dairy (12) and academia (2).
These students also bring a broad base of experience to the table, with a mean number of 3,025 hours of veterinary-related experience logged in by the time they applied.