DEVELOPING A PERSPECTIVE EQUINE PROGRAM AT ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY
The equine industry is continuously growing every year as according to the American Horse Council Foundation, the approximate economic impact in the United States increased to $122 billion in 2017 from $102 billion in 2005, indicating a variety of career opportunities may be available. While a formal degree in equine science is not required for many of these career options, equine-specific programs can provide students more specialized training, making them more marketable employees in the equine industry. Equine-specific majors are common at universities throughout the U.S. and allow students to focus specifically on equine as they would want to pursue a career in the field after graduation. Many of these programs also offer the opportunity to minor in equine studies while their major area of study may be in another field (agribusiness, animal science, agronomy, etc.). Illinois State does not currently offer an equine-specific program, therefore, the purpose of this research project is to collect data regarding current equine programs across the U.S. Parameters of interest include: program enrollment, student demographics, type and number of equine-specific courses offered, faculty requirements, facility attributes, availability of equine-related extracurricular activities, internship opportunities, and post-graduation job placement status. Results from this study will lay the foundation to what an equine program at Illinois State could look like. In addition to data collection, part of this research project involves developing a 2- and 4-year plan of study, which would likely include a variety of courses and internship opportunities. Developing an equine program at Illinois State would not only increase enrollment in the Department of Agriculture by bringing in a new group of students, but also provide additional learning opportunities to the current students at the university. Providing an equine program would allow for the possibility for these students to get the hands-on experience with horses that they might not have been able to before. Offering a variety of classes and experiences will better prepare students for careers in any industry. Developing an equine program would not only grow the entire Department of Agriculture at Illinois State, it would help grow the university as a whole.
Camp, Madalynn, "DEVELOPING A PERSPECTIVE EQUINE PROGRAM AT ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY" (2019). University Research Symposium. 174.