The Department of Animal Sciences initiated a thorough analysis and subsequent amendment the undergraduate curriculum to provide current and future students with the necessary skills and knowledge sets to continue their academic careers by pursuing advances degrees or to enter their chosen career in the animal industry prepared to succeed.
The initial effort was focused mainly on the Industry Option of the Animal Sciences degree, but findings also led to amendments in other options.
In May 2010, the faculty invited Andy Groseta, Jim Loughead, Frank Boice and Rosemarie Burgos-Zimbelman, professionals who represent a cross section of the Arizona animal agriculture industry, to identify what knowledge and skill sets which they believe are needed by graduates entering animal science-based industries. This meeting identified the following three areas of general concern:
- The need to instill a positive work ethic in this (and future) generations of students and employees.
- A lack of hands-on experience with animals which is a pre-requisite to a management position.
- The need to understand the economic and business side of the industry which is now just an important as proficiency in the husbandry side of the business.
A special curriculum committee was appointed to revise the Industry Option curriculum by evaluating the existing curriculum and amending it to correct any deficiencies, especially those related to the concerns voiced by the industry stake-holders.
The initial goals were to identify a new set of desired student outcomes (skills) needed in the current environment and insure that the appropriate courses (and course content) were provided to the students.
During this multi-step process, all courses on the books were listed; any that were not taught due to loss of faculty were noted. The syllabus from each course was requested and all topics covered in each course were identified and included in a spreadsheet used to analyze the entire curriculum.
Given this information, deficiencies and excessive overlap were identified and corrected by
- Amending topics covered in the courses offered.
- Creating two new courses; AN S 202- Introduction to Livestock Production and AN S 210 – Introduction to Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation to address the need for courses that incorporate both a business focus and offer additional hands-on opportunities.
- Requiring additional business-based courses that were already being offered within the department but not required for the Industry Option.
The amended curriculum was presented to the Animal Sciences Department, approved in May of 2011 and went into effect for Fall 2012 freshmen.