Program Purpose: Students who complete the EATM program will acquire the practical knowledge and skills to further wildlife conservation and animal welfare through the successfully performance of scientific observations, providing appropriate animal husbandry, and applying animal behavior modification to a wide variety of domestic and non-domestic animals. In addition, students will develop skills in critical thinking, communicating effectively, and working as a dynamic team member.
This program prepares students for a variety of positions in public and private animal parks, zoos and oceanariums and for careers in animal handling and training for the entertainment and wildlife education fields. Students receive education through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the care, handling, and training of a wide variety of domestic and non-domestic animals. America’s Teaching Zoo on the college campus serves as a “living laboratory” where the students care for and work with the resident animals. Thus, this provides the student with a unique opportunity to learn about a wide variety of animals and to develop the necessary skills.
Applicants will be selected in the Spring semester for admission into the Fall classes subject to available openings. The requirements, procedures, application dates and program offerings are subject to change. The most current information can be found at the college’s website: https://www.moorparkcollege.edu/departments/academic/exotic-animal-training-and-management
Prerequisite college-level courses for application to the EATM Program are1:
|ENGL M01A||English Composition||4|
|or ENGL M01AH||Honors: English Composition|
|MATH M03||Intermediate Algebra 2||5|
|BIOL M01||Introduction to Biology||4|
|or ZOO M01||Introduction to Zoology|
|COMM M01||Public Speaking||3|
|or COMM M01H||Honors: Public Speaking|
|HED M05 Safety and/or First Aid Course by accredited organization*|
Prerequisites courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.
Please note, College Algebra (Moorpark College MATH M05 College Algebra for STEM Studies (Units: 4)) or higher is required for transfer for a Bachelor’s Degree. Courses equivalent to the Prerequisites above, taken at accredited Colleges and Universities, will apply. Contact with a Counselor for equivalency determination.
Recommended General Education Courses
Due to the time requirements of the program and because many of the occupational opportunities in the animal field require a Bachelor’s degree, it is strongly recommended that all applicants complete as many transferable general education requirements as possible prior to entering the program. The following courses meet the remaining Moorpark College general education requirements for the EATM Associate in Science degree.
|Physical Science (Introduction to Chemistry course or General Chemistry)||5|
|American History/Institution - U.S. History or US Government||3|
|Fine/Performing Arts (Beginning Acting or Photography)||3|
|Physical Education (Course of Choice)||1.5|
Program Requirements and Ethical Expectations
The EATM program prepares the student for employment in the animal care industry, which often involves working with dangerous animals. During this course of study, the student will work with dangerous animals at the college’s teaching zoo, as well as other animal facilities.
Therefore, students enrolled in the EATM program are expected to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of the program in order to ensure the safety of the students, animals, staff, and public. Furthermore, all students are expected to maintain the highest personal and ethical standards of conduct consistent with professional standards as perceived by the program faculty and professional personnel at the facilities where students perform internships. Any information indicating that such standards are not maintained is subject to review by members of the faculty, which may result in disciplinary actions.
For successful completion of the EATM program, a minimum grade of C is necessary in all courses required for the major. Because much of the EATM program is sequential in nature, a minimum grade of C in each required course must be obtained before continuing to the next semester.
In compliance with the 1990 American with Disabilities Act, the EATM Program does not discriminate against qualified applicants with disabilities. These performance standards, reflected in specific EATM course/program objectives, are to assist each applicant in determining eligibility and the need for accommodations or modifications. The EATM Faculty in conjunction with the Moorpark College Health Services and community animal facilities will determine, on an individual basis, whether the necessary accommodations or modifications can reasonably be made.
Critical Thinking - ability sufficient for safe judgment: calculating, reasoning, analyzing, prioritizing, and synthesizing data. Perform tasks independently and make appropriate and timely decisions under stressful situations. Examples: identify cause/effect relationships in animal behavior and safety decisions.
Interpersonal - the ability sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups with diverse social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds; function effectively under stress. Examples: Establish rapport with the public, effectively interacting and working as a member of a team.
Communication - abilities sufficient for effective verbal and written interactions. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate grammar, vocabulary and word usage. Examples: Explain animal behavior, teaching wildlife conservation, and document and interpret animal actions and animal responses.
Mobility - sufficient to rapidly walk the entire length of America’s Teaching Zoo without interruption, run distances of 50 yards, maneuver in small confined spaces while reaching overhead objects. Examples: running to capture an escaped animal, shifting animal cages in overhead storage areas.
STANDING/WALKING - The student must be able to move forward, backward, and laterally on dirt, gravel, asphalt and cement while providing and managing animal care, gathering supplies and medications, obtaining and returning equipment. Approximate distance = 3 to 6 miles. It is also necessary for a student to have the capability of maintaining an upright position during many functions.
SITTING - The student must be able to sit while operating computers, answering the telephone, writing reports and documenting.
LIFTING - The student must be able to lift floor to knee, knee to waist, and waist to shoulder level while handling supplies (5-10 lbs.). Lift and transfer animal, equipment and supplies up to 6 inches from a stooped position, then push or pull the weight up to 3 feet. Lift and transfer animal crates from a stooped to an upright position. Average lifting requirement is 50 pounds. CARRYING - The student must demonstrate the ability to carry items at waist level.
PUSHING/PULLING - The student must be able to effectively move carts or wheelbarrows.
STOOPING/KNEELING - The student must demonstrate the ability to move to low enough positions to retrieve supplies or animals.
CROUCHING/CRAWLING - The student must demonstrate the ability to retrieve items or animals from under and behind items
REACHING/STRETCHING/TWISTING - The student must demonstrate the ability to extend their reach and move appropriately when cleaning or building enclosures, moving animals, reaching for supplies.
Motor Skills - gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective animal care. Examples: dexterity ranges from restraining a small bird or lizard to being able to stack bales of hay, lift 50lbs.
Hearing - ability sufficient to monitor and assess animal behavior and health needs and to heed emergency signals. Example: animal behavioral changes are frequently accompanied by vocalization, must be able to recognize these changes, hear cries for help.
Visual - ability sufficient for observation and visual assessment in well-lit and dimly-lit areas. Examples: observe animal responses and changes in condition, do a positive cage count of animals in varying conditions.
Tactile - ability sufficient for safe and humane handling of various-size animals. Examples: appreciation for the strength necessary for controlling a camel versus that for handling a rat, able to palpate the pulse rate of an animal.
Each EATM student is responsible for his or her own transportation and travel expenses. A portion of the curriculum involves travel by students to Los Angeles Zoo, an approximate radius of 45 miles from Moorpark. Students may participate in field trips extending from one to several days. Additionally, students participate in several week-long internships located primarily in the United States, but there may also be opportunities abroad.
Most recent information is available on the website. Costs incurred by EATM students include, but are not limited to:
- personal health examination
- materials fees
- internship travel
- field trips
- books and
- living expenses.
Exotic Animal Training and Management Courses
Introduces concepts of basic zoo keeping practices used in the husbandry of domestic and non-domestic animals. Includes topics such as USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) regulations, record keeping, America's Teaching Zoo protocols with an emphasis on safety and sanitation.
Provides students the opportunity to practice the application of basic animal care concepts in the care and handling of the America’s Teaching Zoo animal population. Develops essential zoo keeping skills for the care of domestic and non-domestic animals through “hands-on” approach.
Instructs students in basic animal care practices used in the professional husbandry of domestic and non-domestic animals. Includes topics such as restraint, enrichment, enclosure design and identification methods.
Continues to cover basic zoo keeping skills by providing the student with the opportunity to apply the theory and principles of animal care and handling with America's Teaching Zoo's animals. Develops essential skills for the care of domestic and non-domestic animals through “ hands-on” approach. Provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate the required proficiency to conduct large carnivore shifting procedure.
Provides the first year/first semester student a hands-on living classroom for supervised on-the-job zoo keeping experience and skill practice in animal care and handling. Includes work assignments such as zoo operations team member, holiday and weekend zoo keeping, assisting with daily zoo operations, zoo maintenance and improvement projects, day watch with safety rounds, leading tours, and assisting with educational experiences.
Provides the first year, spring semester student a hands-on learning experience in the living classroom of the zoo. Provides supervised on-the-job zoo keeping experience and additional skill practice in animal care and handling. Includes participating as team leader of an assigned area in the zoo, increased responsibilities for assigned animals, holiday/spring break zoo keeping, weekend area, zoo daily operations, maintenance and improvement projects, day watch with safety rounds, leading tours, and participating in educational experiences.
Provides the second year summer session student a hands-on living classroom for supervised on-the-job intermediate zoo keeping experience and skill practice in animal care, handling and training. Includes work assignments such as conducting training sessions with assigned animals, participating as a zoo operations team member or leader, holiday/weekend zoo keeping, intermediate zoo daily operations, maintenance and improvement projects, day watch with safety rounds, and conducting tours.
Provides the second year fall session student a living classroom for supervised on-the-job intermediate to advanced zoo keeping experience and skill practice in animal care, handling and training. Includes mentoring 1st year students working in the zoo and guest experiences, maintaining husbandry behaviors with assigned animals, participating as a zoo operations team member and leader, holiday/weekend zoo keeping, intermediate zoo daily operations, maintenance and improvement projects, day watch with safety rounds, and conducting tours.
Provides the second year spring session student a living classroom for supervised on-the-job advanced zoo keeping experience and skill practice in animal care, handling and training. Includes practicing guest experiences and participating in zoo fundraising planning and efforts, mentoring 1st year students with manager positions and animal assignments, working as a zoo operations team member and leader, holiday/weekend zoo keeping, advanced zoo daily operations, maintenance and improvement projects, day watch with safety rounds and conducting tours.
Develops global awareness and knowledge about wildlife, the environment, and conservation in zoos and in the wild. Examines human values related to wildlife, cultural and social interaction with wildlife, wildlife issues, and responsible human actions.
Introduces the study of animal behavior with an emphasis on learning theory, especially classical and operant conditioning. Provides understanding on how to apply the concepts of ethology and behavior modification to the maintenance and training of animals under professional care.
Provides students with opportunities to develop skills in behavior modification and observational research. Requires students to demonstrate such skills through training a rat and conducting observational research on animals under professional care.
Introduces a practical system-by-system approach to the basic anatomical structure of domestic and non-domestic mammals. Discusses the physiological function of domestic and non-domestic mammals.
Provides student with experience at an animal facility such as a zoo, animal training/entertainment facility, conservation or wildlife education site, or a conference related to the animal industry. Introduces student to daily operations at such a site.
Provides students with an in-depth experience at an animal facility such as a zoo, animal training/entertainment or wildlife education site. Furthers students' experience related to daily operations at such sites.
Introduces the student to the use of live animals for educational presentations in zoos and other situations. Focuses on public speaking, environmental education, interpretation techniques, and the handling of animals for presentations.
Provides the student with the opportunity to develop public speaking skills, interpretation techniques, and animal handling skills appropriate for educational presentations in zoos and other situations. Provides students opportunities to perform presentations to both large and small audiences and conduct tours of America's Teaching Zoo.
Instructs the student in the use of live animals for educational presentations in zoos and other situations. Covers topics including messaging, public relations issues, nonverbal communication, and proper terminology.
Provides students with the opportunity to develop wildlife education skills, including interpretation and animal handling techniques. Focuses on presentation skills before a variety of audiences and the conducting of tours of the teaching zoo.
Provides a range of supervised educational experiences, including presentations, tours and up close animal experiences with audiences. Focuses on opportunities for students to practice educational and conservation messaging with the public. Provides students an opportunity to develop and perform a scripted show.
Requires the design, development and implementation of wildlife education outreach programs for audiences of various ages, cultural orientations, and developmental levels. Introduces students to the concepts of creating flexible plans specific to working with live animals and the transporting of animals to an outside venue. Focuses on the concepts of reading and engaging with all audiences.
Provides second year EATM students with the opportunity to develop and implement wildlife education programs for audiences of various ages, cultural orientations and developmental levels. Introduces students to creating educational and engaging content, bio-fact preparations and the safe transport and presentation of animals away from zoo grounds.
Provides a supervised Wildlife Education presentation involving interpretation of live animals for the annual Spring Spectacular event to be repeated over several weekends at America's Teaching Zoo. Focuses on advanced animal handling, safety and training.
Provides students with a fundamental knowledge of wildlife interpretation, practical training in wildlife interpretation and developing practical skills in creating interpretive programs. Enables students to apply for the National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide certification which is optional for the EATM COA (NAI certification requires an additional fee).
Surveys invertebrate and vertebrate animals, both terrestrial and marine. Focuses on classification, general characteristics, adaptations, animal recognition, evolutionary history, and basic concepts of ecology.
Provides an introduction to the human health and safety issues associated with the keeping of animals in human care. Addresses the personal safety of the animal caretaker, as well as zoonosis concerns, animal escapes, and natural disasters. Presents the essentials of a preventive medicine program for animals with emphasis on procedures for proper hygiene and sanitation, quarantine, necropsy and routine medical screening and care, as well as occupational health programs for personnel.
Provides the student with a basic understanding of factors relating to the feeding of domestic and non-domestic animals under human care. Provides the student with a basic understanding of the nutritional needs of animals under human care and in the wild.
Introduces the students to basic techniques of animal training, including operant conditioning theory, record keeping, and developing a training plan. Concentrates on the history of animal training, reasons for training animals, and factors affecting training success and shaping of new behaviors.
Provides students the opportunity to develop basic animal training techniques through hands-on work with animals at the teaching zoo. Requires behavioral observations, development of training plans, maintenance of training records, and shaping the behavior of one or more animals.
Presents animal training techniques used for the training of husbandry behaviors. Concentrates on desensitization for medical behaviors, protected contact training, training groups of animals, and the training implications of enrichment.
Provides students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to train husbandry behaviors through hands-on work with animals at the teaching zoo. Allows students to practice training animals in protected contact settings.
Presents advanced techniques of animal training and studio animal training. Includes problem solving, career issues, complex training, and animal behavior management.
Provides hands-on experience in the training of animals. Requires students to develop training plans and work cooperatively with co-trainers, addressing training problems as necessary.
Provides the student with a basic understanding of the science of veterinary medicine and veterinary care. Introduces the principles of safety and prevention. Introduces common diseases and methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Provides students with basic veterinary care experiences. Introduces methods of diagnosis and treatment to assist veterinary personnel with procedures in basic veterinary care.
Continues the development of the student's basic understanding of the science of veterinary medicine and veterinary care. Provides the student with an understanding of common diseases and methods of diagnosis and treatment with an emphasis on husbandry procedures and disease prevention.
Provides a basic introduction to the anatomy, physiology, husbandry, and emergency first aid of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Identifies how to find a veterinarian specializing in these species.
Introduces primate behavior and its application to successful handling and training of nonhuman primates. Includes comparison of new and old world primates and discussion of state and federal laws governing the care of primates.
Focuses on observation and analysis of primate behavior at America's Teaching Zoo. Includes the application and evaluation of operant conditioning and environmental enrichment techniques specific to nonhuman primates.
Introduces the ethical issues involving animal ownership and use in research, education, food production, exhibition, entertainment and animals as companions. Examines major animal rights groups, the legal issues relating to animal care and treatment, and local to international regulatory agencies involved.
Provides students a short-term experience in zoo keeping at the Los Angeles Zoo. Builds skills related to day-to-day interaction with a variety of species.
Continues zoo keeping training at the Los Angeles Zoo. Develops skills and protocols to enhance public and animal safety. Continues to build skills related to day-to-day interactions with various zoo species.
Provides résumé and cover letter writing information and practice for specific animal-related careers. Focuses on the various styles as well as résumés in electronic format. Develops written personal résumés and cover letters using different formats.
Provides job interviewing information and practice for animal-related careers. Includes current interviewing styles, sample questions, legal parameters, and appropriate dress, demeanor, and responses.
Provides on-the-job learning to develop effective work habits, attitudes, and career awareness in paid or unpaid internships that are related to the discipline. Involves the development and documentation of learning objectives and the completion of an internship paper, presentation, or project. Includes both workplace supervisor and faculty adviser feedback and/or written evaluations.
Allows independent study for students who wish to extend their knowledge of a particular area of Exotic Animal Training Management through research and study. Utilizes an approved independent project. Includes one-on-one work with instructor. Interested students should contact an Exotic Animal Training Management instructor for assistance in developing a contract for learning about a specific topic. Interested students should contact a EATM instructor for assistance in developing a contract for learning about a specific topic.
Registered Veterinary Technology Courses
Directs student exploration of veterinary medicine as a career choice, including education, job tasks, and employment options. Includes discussions of Moorpark College's veterinary science program and the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program. Introduces the study of veterinary medical terminology.
Surveys the principles of animal science and the interrelationships of animals and mankind. Introduces basic principles of animal biology, including genetics, anatomy, reproduction, nutrition, animal health and disease, veterinary care, animal rights, animal welfare, animal behavior, breeds, feeding, and management strategies. Discusses broad perspective of livestock management and develops the critical thinking skills required to make humane, fact-based decisions in livestock production. Compares and contrasts various species of livestock, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, poultry, llamas, rabbits and ostriches.
Provides registered veterinary science students both theoretical and hands-on learning in the care of domestic animals. Emphasizes sanitation, housing, nutrition, restraint, and environmental enrichment for livestock, lab, exotic and companion animals.
Provides hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of an on-site veterinary professional for students enrolled in the Registered Veterinary Technology program. Includes training to complete a tier-based set of skills in a diversified animal veterinary experience.
Introduces the concepts in the veterinary nursing of small animals. Highlights the representative diseases for each body system with an emphasis on the Registered Veterinary Technician's (RVT's) role in caring for patients with these diseases. Addresses the wellness protocols for dogs and cats with an emphasis on vaccine programs.
Introduces students to specific skills involved with small animal nursing and provides opportunities to practice these skills under direct supervision in a veterinary care setting. Includes the techniques of administering vaccinations, performing injections, carrying out diagnostic tests, and obtaining laboratory samples.
Expands on the concepts of veterinary nursing care of small animals to explore the topics of triage, veterinary care for emergency and critical animal patients. Focuses on the common disease conditions of companion exotic animals of birds and reptiles, the pharmacological agents used in their care and therapeutic regimens.
Expands upon the skills developed in the basic veterinary nursing care of small animals. Provides hands-on learning experience to develop skills in emergency medicine, pharmacological and therapeutic management of critically ill small companion domestic and exotic animals.
Prepares veterinary technology students for practice in a small animal hospital by focusing on the areas of physical examination, medical record keeping, medication dose and fluid volume/rate calculations. Introduces the processes involved in administering and monitoring general anesthesia. Examines concepts of sterility for sterile procedures and the techniques and materials utilized for various suturing patterns to close surgical incisions.
Provides the application of theoretical knowledge in the performance of physical examinations, record keeping, and the administration of medications and fluids. Includes the operation of general anesthetic and monitoring equipment, and basic operating room procedures and surgical assisting.
Prepares the advanced veterinary technology student for practice in a small animal veterinary hospital, with particular focus on the areas of anesthesiology and surgery. Discusses the pharmacology of anesthetic agents, troubleshooting during general anesthesia, and actions taken in emergency situations. Investigates the veterinary technician's role as a member of the surgical team. Explores in-depth assessment of pain, and its pharmacological and non-pharmacological management.
Provides practical experience in surgical preparation, anesthesia, and assisting with surgical procedures on animals. Focuses on the surgical procedures performed on dogs and cats.
Introduces students to modern and practical methods in veterinary clinical laboratory analysis. Emphasizes the examination of blood, urine, feces and skin scrapings of companion, livestock, and exotic animals.
Provides application opportunities for performing various clinical examinations and procedures on animals in a veterinary setting. Focuses on the examination of blood, urine, feces, and skin scraping of animals to determine pathology.
Provides the veterinary technology student with entry-level information to begin clinical practice with diagnostic x-rays in a veterinary setting. Emphasizes radiation protection, equipment manipulation, animal positioning, and safety.
Provides students with a hands-on learning experience in safely taking quality diagnostic x-rays of animals. Emphasizes the proper positioning techniques of animals for various radiographic images, animal comfort, radiation safety, and equipment manipulation.
Presents a practical system-by-system approach to the basic structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) of domestic and exotic animals. Combines the study of anatomy and physiology which allows students to effectively integrate the study of structure with functioning of the system. For transfer, the laboratory course (EATM M120L) must be completed concurrently.
Provides practical experience discovering principles and structures associated with the anatomy and physiology of animals. Includes microscope work and dissection of the cat. Covers basic suturing techniques to close incisions.
Provides students with hands-on practical experience in performing procedures and husbandry practices common to large animal species. Includes extensive practice in handling and restraint of animals to perform physical examinations and veterinary nursing procedures.
Introduces laboratory animal care and husbandry. Includes the care and safe restraint techniques for primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents and other small laboratory animals. Addresses laboratory regulations, the role of the veterinary technician in biomedical research, and career opportunities in animal laboratory settings.
Provides hands-on learning experience with laboratory animal care and husbandry. Includes the care and restraint of primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents and other small lab animals. Emphasizes the compliance with laboratory regulations while participating in an animal laboratory setting.
Provides students the opportunity to integrate extensive class work and outside clinical work in a veterinary setting. Explores non-technical topics such as grief counseling, career development, practice management, and the human - animal bond. Focuses particularly on expanding student acquisition of medical terminology. Allows students to participate in a variety of clinical experiences encompassing multiple aspects of veterinary technology.
Introduces the physiology of animals and the relationship to animal health. Emphasizes common animal diseases, their causes, prevention and control. Includes the treatment of wounds and the relation of sanitation to disease prevention. Course Credit Limitation: Completion of EATM M180 will meet the subject requirement for EATM M18. However, EATM M18 will not meet the subject requirement of EATM M180. Maximum credit: 3 units if completed both EATM M18 and EATM M180.
Introduces concepts relative to nutritional requirements of animals in captivity and in the wild. Emphasizes techniques in safely feeding domestic and non-domestic animals in captivity. Focuses on the constituents of feed (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water), and their utilization by the animal body. Discusses the digestive system, the process of digestion and assimilation of the various feed constituents, identification of feed-stuffs, feeding standards, computation of simple rations for livestock, and economy in feeding and purchasing feeds by nutritive values. Course Credit Limitation: Completion of EATM M190 will meet the subject requirement for EATM M19. However, EATM M19 will not meet the subject requirement of M190. Maximum credit: 3 units if completed both EATM M19 and EATM M190.