Aquatic Animal Husbandry, Exotic Animal Training, Captive Shark and Manta Ray Management, Horticulture for Zookeepers, Life Support System Design, Scientific Diving, Zoo Exhibit Design. These are just a few of the classes that students enrolled in a variety of two-year programs that prepare students for careers in facilities for wild and exotic animals. Last week I wrote about four-year programs in Zoology and Zoo Management, and this week I will highlight five programs that grant an Associate’s degree or certificates from accredited community colleges in the US. Most of the programs are highly competitive and require science and math prerequisites before applying into the program; many accept students into the programs on a point system that recognizes high school GPA, grades in college-level prerequisite course work, related work and/or volunteer service and military service.
·All students must complete an 11-week internship before graduation. Internships are available in Oregon, nationally and internationally. Recent internships have been at Alaska SeaLife Center, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium,, Le’Oceanographic in Valencia, Spain, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium
·By the numbers: 22 spots are available each year for incoming students in Aquarium Science.
·Seven terms of courses for the major include classes in Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Animal Nutrition, Animal Behavior, Zoo Exhibit Design, Zoo Exhibit Repair and Maintenance,
·By the numbers: a student cohort in Biology and Management of Zoo Animals begins each fall with 24 students.The admissions process is competitive and based on a point system including an interview process for those with initial high scores. Applicants with the highest totals will be accepted.
·America’s Teaching Zoo was created in 1974 at Moorpark College and continues to be a highly sought-after training program for students interested in wildlife and exotic animal management.
·Entrance to the Exotic Animal and Training Program is competitive and applicants will be accepted only after successfully completing five college-level prerequisites: Intro Biology or Zoology, English Composition, Public Speaking, Safety/First Aid, and Intermediate Algebra
·By the numbers: 50 students per year are chosen from about 150 applicants. Students may apply only between December 1 and January 31 each year and all students begin in a fall cohort.
·The Associate of Applied Science degree in Zoo Keeping Technology prepares students to be technicians and animal care professionals. Classes include training in science foundations, animal husbandry, career development, horticulture, exhibit design and veterinary zoo keeping
·Three ten-week internships at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (or another approved facility) are required to complete the program.
·By the numbers: Pikes Peak Community College participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, offering a significant tuition reduction for out-of-state residents of fifteen western states.
·The Zoo Animal Technology Program has its own Teaching Zooin order to educate and give students practical experience in animal care, conservation, and all of the responsibilities associated with a working zoological facility.
·Santa Fe Zoo Animal Technology Program has cooperative agreements with Friends University (KS) and University of West Florida so that students who successfully complete their Associates Degree at SFC may matriculate and work toward their Bachelors degree.