College of Veterinary Medicine |

Healthy Animals, Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Class of 2018
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Class of 2015

"The COLE program had a major impact in my life. When I read that we had to go "camping" for several days, I was definitely apprehensive because I didn't know anyone when I first got here. But after COLE, my group members are my closest friends in the program because we built such a tight bond together."

-Rian Calugcugan ('15 DVM) from Hawaii. He hopes to return to Hawaii and work in marine animal and exotic veterinary medicine.


Follow the links at the left for additional information about COLE.

Prior to the beginning of classes, your DVM program begins with the Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE) from Monday, August 17 through Wednesday, August 19, 2015. We are proud to be able to provide this unique orientation opportunity for you. We would not be able to do so without the generous donations from a range of alumni, private and corporate donors; who believe in supporting your development from day one. The off-campus portion of this week, from midday Monday through Wednesday, will be spent at Ross Point Camp and Conference Center, in Post Falls, ID, focusing on building community and helping you acclimate to your upcoming training.

You may wonder why WSU would spend so much time, money, and energy to host a leadership experience for incoming students. The answer is help you form a supportive, vigorous community as you begin your four-year program and to introduce you to the clinical communication and professional skills you will need to become a competent professional – one with the relational abilities to be successful no matter where your career takes you. WSU has been a pioneer in the development of veterinary leadership training and has utilized this experience and expertise to provide you with an introductory program that will launch your career in the best possible way.

Research has shown that Veterinary professionals must learn to see themselves as leaders, educators and communicators in order to achieve success in the field. Our goals during the off campus leadership orientation are to heighten your awareness of these skill sets, align program expectations with those you bring to your training and begin building upon the communications and leadership skills you already possess.

Concurrently, you will have the opportunity to build relationships with your classmates, while becoming more self-aware. You will experience these fundamentals in an environment carefully designed to be safe and fun.

Much of our focus for the COLE Off-Campus Program will be on encouraging the development of skills, ideas and attitudes that will assist you in making a successful transition to this next level of training. Most of you have probably arrived at this point in your life through an innate drive to always “strive to be the best.” Although we certainly want you to strive for excellence, we urge you to begin to see your peers as colleagues, not competitors. As a class, you will all be working toward the common purpose of becoming the consummate professionals this vocation demands and deserves. It is imperative that we begin our journey together with a common understanding of these goals. To that end, as you begin your veterinary program we will ask you to give some time and thought to what type of a class you and your fellow students want to establish. This, more than almost anything else you will do in school, will shape the experience you will have throughout your four years together.

In addition to your own classmates, second and third-year student mentors will participate in the leadership events, providing you the chance to talk with them informally about life in Pullman and Logan. Experience has taught us that the opportunity to share the off-campus COLE activities in a beautiful setting, to relax, to challenge ourselves and to have a good time is the best way to forge a community before the rigors of class begin. Most past participants have said they cannot imagine having to start school without the benefits provided by this orientation experience.

We realize that the next few months will be both an exciting and a demanding time in your life. We know that many arrangements must be made as you prepare for the beginning of the fall semester. However, we also want you to pause to acknowledge all of the hard work and self-sacrifice that brought you to this point in your life. So, take a deep breath and anticipate the leadership experience as a way to begin your veterinary training on a high note. We hope you’ll enjoy the camaraderie, take part in the challenges, and learn more about yourself and your classmates. We’re looking forward to sharing this experience with you!

....COLE Leadership Development Team

Washington State University