Experiential learning is embedded throughout the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, and now the college's Division of Animal Sciences has added an "Equine Science & Management Certificate" that will allow students to emphasize and quantify to employers their hands-on work experience with horses.
“This certificate focuses on hands-on experience,” said Marci Crosby, an instructor within animal sciences and the coordinator for the certificate. “It’s not something students get just by showing up for class; it’s something that students earn by gaining experience in those classes and through one-on-one instruction.”
To achieve the certificate, students must take six equine courses, and four of the six must be experiential learning based at the university's Equine Teaching Facility. Students also have the option of fulfilling some requirements by completing internships with industry professionals, the announcement said.
Typically, it will take students five semesters to complete the certificate, although it can be completed in three or four semesters if needed.
The certificate is available to any student as of the fall of 2019. Students who have met the requirements and will graduate in December 2019 are eligible for the certificate.
This is the first certificate within the Division of Animal Sciences, and Crosby said she believes it will make the University of Missouri more competitive when recruiting students.
“This will be something that is very appealing to students,” she said. “Current students have been very excited about it as an option because it can really highlight those experiences when they are job hunting.”
Crosby said she is frequently asked what the difference is between a certificate and a minor and why the Division of Animal Sciences decided to go with the certificate instead of a minor.
“Certificates emphasize hands-on skills in an area that aligns with what we are doing,” she explained. “In addition, non-degree-seeking students can get the certificate, which was something that we found really desirable.”
Students who are not majoring in animal sciences also are encouraged to complete the equine science and management certificate.
“Other majors are welcome to get the certificate,” Crosby said. “Many of the students that will complete the certificate will be animal sciences students because, often, that’s a common combination, but we anticipated and planned the certificate for non-animal science majors as well. You could get the equine science certificate without having to take additional prerequisite classes, if necessary.”
“We are very pleased that Marci has developed this certificate,” said professor Bill Lamberson, director of the Division of Animal Sciences. “It not only provides a great opportunity for students, but Marci’s experience will be invaluable as we seek to develop certificates in other areas.”