BANGOR — The University of Maine at Augusta will revive a veterinary technology program in the fall semester of 2016, this time offering a bachelor’s degree.

The former associate’s degree program was put on the chopping block in 2014, scheduled for phased elimination in order to help close a budget shortfall.

The news sparked a community-led push to save the program.

A $25,000 grant from the Bank of Maine and contributions from the area veterinary community raised enough funding to revive the program, this time issuing bachelor’s degrees.

The total raised was about $30,000, according to the university.

“We are humbled that so many organizations and community members have come forward to help us establish this exciting new bachelor’s degree program,” University of Maine at Augusta President Glenn Cummings said.

The bachelor’s program aims to prepare students for jobs in biological medical research, office management, and animal care and laboratory work. It includes separate tracks for business, small business and biology.

Cummings said The Jackson Laboratory worked closely with the school to develop the new bachelor’s program and its curriculum.

“Not only will our students be prepared for a wide array of jobs in the animal care and research field, but Jackson Lab will benefit by having highly qualified (University of Maine at Augusta) graduates ready to fill many important positions the lab has had historical difficulty filling,” Cummings added.

The school says students can get a “head start” by enrolling in the pre-vet tech track program, which starts this summer and will allow students to fulfill prerequisites needed to start the full bachelor’s program.

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