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Learning Resources

Wellbeing at CVM 
Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library

Learning Environments

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) provides a variety of learning spaces. The combination of spaces serve the demands for group and individual study that are an integral part of the CVM academic experience.

The Bilinski Lab (Wet Lab, C2 029, VMC) is a space equipped with 64 PC workstations for students to access online resources, and utilize specialized software during lab exercises. There are microscopes available to accommodate large group lab sessions.  

The Clinical Skills Lab ("junior surgery", C2 555 CPC) supports a variety of laboratory activities associate with Blocks 5 and 7 including surgical exercises. This area contains an audio-visual system designed to supplement the hands-on learning opportunities presented during laboratories and workshops.

The Wiswall Lab (Dry Lab, S2 166, VEC) which is newly renovated has 64 PC workstations and seating for 128 students.  The lab has been designed to facilitate learning in small groups, and is available to students via card access at all times.

There are printers available in both the Wet and Dry labs.  Each student will have a $15 print credit per year on their CU print account to use with the lab or library printers.

If you have questions or requests for support in the Labs, please contact the Educational Support Services (ESS)-

Tutorial Spaces
Tutorial spaces are located on the the first and second floor of Schurman Hall. These are flexible use spaces that can act as classrooms, a quiet study area, or accommodate large and small groups. Each space includes presentation technology such as an interactive whiteboard and wireless projection. The option to display your own device or use of a local PC is also available for your convenience. 

Training in Tutorial Spaces
If you are interested in scheduling an individual or group training on the new technologies available in the tutorial spaces, please contact the Educational Support Services Team:

A great resource, both before you arrive and when you are a student, is the college’s student website: This site contains useful information and links that can help you familiarize yourself with the college. In order to access the internal home page from remote locations you must have a VPN installed. Instructions for installing VPN:

The college’s website,, also contains helpful information about the college, including faculty and staff directories and news updates featuring stories of interest to members of our college community.

Modular Resource  Center
The Modular Resource Center (MRC) is located in the anatomy wing, in rooms S2 063 and S2 065. The MRC is designed to be an interactive visual library where you learn by actually examining specimens instead of just reading about them. The MRC is continually expanded and updated. The MRC is open to all members of the vet school community and is accessible twenty-four hours a day. In each room, there are carrels set up as independent learning units.  Each module is a multi-media resource and may contain specimens, figures, panels of transparencies, radiographs, models, skeletal preps and glass slides. All of these are related by an accompanying interactive script. The modules are arranged in clusters that concentrate on a particular theme such as a system or region of the body so that the modules build upon each other in complexity. Where appropriate, the modules are designed to be multilevel: they integrate material that spans the continuum from gross to microscopic to ultra-structural. These modules are highly interactive and concentrate on the clarification of concepts rather than being the source of all data on a particular subject. Particular modules are very popular during certain Blocks and cases. Peak hours tend to be 6-10 PM, and afternoons during exam time.

The faculty members are an excellent resource. Each Foundation course guide maintains a list of resource faculty and their contact information. Students are encouraged to arrange meetings  (individual, tutorial group or entire class) with the faculty for review sessions, or assistance with a particular slide set or topic. Faculty may also suggest additional resources, such as journal articles or particular texts, that students may find useful. A listing of faculty can be accessed on the Dry Lab computers including their e-mail address, office location, and personal and academic interests.

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center
The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) is a unit within the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. The AHDC operates in close partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The AHDC is the only full service multidisciplinary animal disease diagnostic facility in the State of New York and New England. It is dedicated to improving the health of animals and to preventing infectious diseases or conditions that have an impact on animal and human health, thus supporting the economic well-being of the animal industry while providing an important public service.  Testing is provided in a variety of disciplines for food- and fiber-producing, companion, performance, zoo, exotic, and wildlife animals. The laboratory has over 5,000 active accounts with clinics and practicing veterinarians who submit samples from all of the United States and some foreign countries. Over 140,000 cases are received every year, which generated almost 1.0 million individual tests. The AHDC provides all the laboratory testing needs for the CUHA patients. The testing service component of the laboratory is supported by a vital and ongoing commitment to basic research, which applies directly to specific emerging disease problems as well as to gaining a more comprehensive understanding of disease processes. The mission of the AHDC has expanded by way of its inclusion as a founding member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).  Under the NAHLN the AHDC has been involved in national surveil- lance programs for Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, Classical Swine Fever, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Chronic Wasting Disease, and Scrapie. Soon the AHDC will have capabilities for diagnosing Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Vesicular Stomatitis.

The AHDC provides full service diagnostic and consultation in many areas including; infectious and parasitic disease services (bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, serology/immunology, and virology): clinical analytical services (clinical pathology, endocrinology, comparative coagulation); toxicology services (organic and inorganic toxins, heavy metals, and feed analyses); udder health and quality milk (Quality Milk Production Services); outreach services (veterinary support services program, NYSCHAP programs, agriculture health and safety programs); as well as receiving, shipping, medical records, and export/regulatory services (including the operation of the CEM equine quarantine center).

Studying For Exams

The best preparation for an exam is to study effectively throughout the course. Study from your group’ s learning issues every day and be sure you can answer the questions that arose in the context of the case that prompted the learning issue. Ask yourself questions as you study and look for the answers to them in your reading. Make note of questions you have as you study and concepts that you don’t understand. You will need to maintain an intense and disciplined study schedule.  It is difficult to state a certain number of hours each day that you will need to devote to independent study because it will vary for each person. However, you are strongly advised not to take on any additional commitments such as part time jobs, club responsibilities or new pets during the first semester. Furthermore, it is recommended that you talk frankly with your partner and/or family about changes in family and home responsibilities and expectations, because you will need to allow study time in both the afternoon and the evening. To accommodate your school demands, you are likely to need to negotiate changes in childcare, care giving, cooking and/or housekeeping duties. When studying for long hours, be sure to take frequent, short breaks. You will be more productive if you give yourself a 10-15 minute break for each hour of study. 

Make use of the resources that are available to you. Studying from a Modular Resource Center module may not be your favorite study habit, but if there is a module relevant to the case and your learning issues, make the time to work through it. You may feel shy about approaching faculty members with questions, but faculty experts actually complain when students DON’ T come to them. Use those experts to help you understand the material you are studying. If you don’ t understand, ask.
Use the objectives included in the course to guide you (and your group’s) study.  Refer to the objectives frequently to reinforce the conceptual framework for the course. In Course I, students find that the objectives printed at the end of the dissection guide are one of the most useful study guides. Be sure you can meet each of the objectives for each of the laboratories. Organizing what you are learning will be critical. It is helpful to create concept maps, diagrams, flow charts or outlines to organize, group, categorize and prioritize what is learned from multiple sources. 

Be prepared for tutorials and for lectures and laboratories.  If the lecture notes are handed out in advance of the lecture, read them.  You will get more out of lectures if you are prepared for them.  Most lecturers assume that you have already been introduced to the topic through your tutorial and independent study and that the lecture will go into greater depth or synthesize material from a variety of sources.

Review continuously and immediately.  Re-read your lecture notes shortly after the lecture.  Ask yourself if there were any parts you didn't understand or had questions about. Review your laboratories in the same way.  Return to the laboratory and repeat and review the lab to reinforce it while it is fresh.

Conduct a self-assessment.  Most of the Foundation courses offer a mock, practice exam or previous years' exams (often with model answers). ,These exams will give you an idea of the kind of questions that are asked and the breadth and depth that is expected. Make good use of the sample exams. Approach a mock exam like you'd approach the real exam by actually "taking" the exam, answering the questions (on the topics you've had to date in the course) to your best ability, without referring to the answer key. Then grade it against the answer key.  This will give you a more accurate picture of how well you are doing than if you just look over the questions and answers. Once you’ve “graded” yourself, see what areas you are weakest in.  Is there a particular case that you need to review?  Are you consistently weak in histology, while you’re doing well in gross anatomy?  Were there some types of questions that you had particular difficulty with?  Consider what you need to study in order to get those questions right and also how you need to study.  Do you need to change your study approach?

Remember, faculty, staff and your fellow students in the College want you to succeed. You have been carefully selected from a very competitive pool of applicants. Ideally, everyone will pass, and progress to the DVM. There are many people who want to help you to achieve that goal.  Please make use of all the resources that are available to you.  If you have any concerns, you can discuss your study strategies with your tutor, the course leader or a faculty expert, or academic support specialist. In addition, regular individual help sessions can be arranged with a faculty expert, if needed.

Study with others. Groups or study partners can be helpful because they force you to explain your understandings. Verbal explanations and visually representing your knowledge to your peers with diagrams ot charts reinforces your learning, and ensures that you are able to coherently and concisely answer key questions about the material. Asking each other questions helps you look at the material in ways you don’t when studying alone. Hearing other students’ explanations can also help you check your own understanding. Setting agendas for study group meetings can help you stay focused. 

 Faculty Advisors

All first-year students are assigned a faculty advisor. Yours will guide you through the duration of the DVM program. will serve as your formal faculty advisor for the duration of your DVM program. You will have the opportunity to meet your faculty advisor during orientation. During the course of your DVM training, you may find that your personality and interests lead you to develop stronger relations with another faculty member. You may then, choose to switch advisors by first asking them if they are willing to serve as your advisor, and then informing the Office of Student and Academic Services of your desire to switch. Of course, we hope that you will develop many positive relationships with faculty who advise you in an informal capacity on a variety of issues.