College of Central Florida College of Central Florida
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Q. What degrees does the program offer?
A. We currently have two degree options; an Associate in Science (A.S.) is available in Equine Studies- Business Management Specialization and Equine Exercise Physiology Specialization. The A.S. specializations are 64 credits, two year programs. CF also offers Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management – Agribusiness Management Specialization. Another option would be the College Credit Certificate Programs in Equine Manager & Equine Event Manager, ideal for students already holding college degrees or just needing the equine specific classes. Those options are 24 credit, one year programs.

Q. Can course be taken without enrolling in a degree program?
A. Yes, courses may be taken individually through a process called stacking. Contact CF’s Continuing Education department at 352-854-2322, ext. 1468 for further information.

Q. What are the admission requirements?
A. A high school diploma or GED certificate. Prospective students must also take a college entrance examination (SAT, ACT or CPT) and pay a $30 admission application fee.

Q. How much does the program cost?
A. The current cost is about $95/ credit hour. Most classes are 3 credits.

Q. Is financial aid available?
A. Yes, CF offers aid, either through FASFA or internal scholarships. Also CF accepts both Florida the Pre-Paid program and Bright Futures scholarships.

Q. Are classes available online?
A. Currently several courses are available in hybrid format or web-assisted, meaning a portion of the lectures and coursework is conducted online. No equine courses are entirely on-line and there are no plans to do so.

Q. My entrance exam scores were low, and the college says I need to take college preparatory classes. Do I have to take them before taking any equine classes?
A. We analyzed student data since 2004 and have noticed a high incidence of academic failure in the first semester; therefore we recommend completing the college preparatory classes as soon as possible and limit the equine classes in the beginning. By doing this, students will be more prepared for college level courses.

Q. What courses are recommended for the first semester?
A. We recommend Introduction to Equine Science, Equine Anatomy and Physiology, Horse Handling and Safety, Equine Behavior and Psychology and Equine Health Care.

Q. Do credits from other schools transfer in?
A. Once an official transcript is sent to the Office of Admissions and Records, it will be evaluated and all accepted transfer courses will be posted to the student’s permanent academic record.

Q. Upon completion of the program, can my credits transfer to a 4 year college?
A. Many, if not all, CF Equine Studies credits will transfer to almost any 4 year equine program, such as University of Kentucky, Midway College (KY), Morrisville State College (NY), William Woods College (MO), Savannah College of Art and Design (GA), and other colleges offering a B.S. in Equine Studies. Each college evaluates students on a case-by-case basis. Students considering such a transfer are encouraged to take higher level general education courses, such as those intended for an A.A. student. Meet with an advisor for specific recommendations.

Q. Is on-campus housing available?
A. Yes, CF’s College Square Apartments are adjacent to campus, fully furnished with water & electric charges included in the affordable rent.

Q. Is there a massage therapy program?
A. No, but the Equine Manual Therapies course covers massage as well as other modalities.

Q. Does CF offer a veterinary technician program?
A. While we do not offer an official veterinary technician program, our exercise physiology curriculum delivers vital education relating to working in the veterinary or rehabilitation field. Traditional veterinary technician programs have limited exposure to large animals such as horses, and focus on small animals. Completion of the CF Equine Studies program does not prepare students to pass the veterinary technician certification exam, but some of our graduates are employed by prominent veterinarians and vet clinics.

 Q. Is there a riding program?
A. The program does not offer instruction in riding or training horses.  However, we are members of IHSA and IDA, and many of our students do ride and show intercollegiately. Ocala is home to many national and internationally renowned trainers of nearly every discipline of horse sport, many of whom would accept students for lessons or working student positions.

Q. Can I bring my horse?
A. We do not have stables at the college, but there are many local farms that offer boarding. Contact us at brennana@cf.edu for a list of available boarding stables.

Q.  What types of jobs are available to program graduates?
A.  With the business management specialization, typical jobs include farm management, equine related retail management, or owning your own business in equine service. Equine Exercise Physiology graduates can find employment at a rehabilitation center, veterinary hospital or even as a show groom or assistant trainer for high performance equine athletes.

Q. Are there any industry certifications?
A. There are none currently. If a student is interested in working with Thoroughbreds on the racetrack, they need to be licensed by the state racing commission. Trainers have to also pass a written and hands-on test given by the stewards.

Q. Who are the professors?
A. Dr. Judy Downer is the program manager. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science as well as a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition, shows and judges in dressage. Dr. Marsha Pidherney is an equine veterinarian as well as full-time faculty. Betsy Gamberino Wees (B.S., M.S.) teaches Introduction to Equine Science and Equine Conformation Analysis. Amanda Brennan (B.S.) instructs Equine Computer Skills, Equine Careers, Equine Co-op and Special Topics: Thoroughbred Industry. Dr. Brent Barrett is an equine veterinarian and certified journeyman farrier; he teaches Farrier Science. Diego Bravo, owner of Ocala School of Equestrian Arts, instructs Horse Handling and Safety.

Q. What is the ratio of general education to equine classes?
A. For an A.S. in Equine Studies a student is required to take 15 credit hours in general education and 49 credit hours encompass equine coursework.

Q. How long has the program been in existence?
A. The first classes were offered in 2003, and the program has steadily grown since. This semester we have more than 100 currently enrolled equine majors.

Q. What is the graduation rate for students?
A. Our completion rate is 39%.

Q. Is the program accredited?
A. CF is accredited by the commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Q. How many hours of hands-on experience do students get per semester?
A. Most equine courses offered are accompanied by hands-on labs, demonstrations or field trips. All students are required to complete a work experience Co-op.

Q. What is Equine Co-op?
A. Equine Co-op is a capstone project that encompasses all of the knowledge the student has gained from the Equine Studies program. Therefore it is recommended for students in their last semester. Students independently obtain and work a job relating to the equine industry. Students need to seek a job in which they learn a new equine field or a new skill in an already familiar discipline. The job may be paying or non-paying, and must consist of at least 120 hours employment.

Q. Can non-traditional students major in equine studies? 
A. Absolutely.  Students of all ages and experience can pursue a career in equine studies.  There are many jobs that support the horse industry that do not require physical labor or expert  horse handling skills, such as insurance sales, retail, bloodstock agents, marketing, or office staff for an equine facility.

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