Better Preparing Animal Science Students for Education Associated Careers Conference Paper uri icon


  • Abstract An Animal Science degree prepares students for a broad range of career opportunities yet the two most discussed in the literature and assumed by society are in animal science industry or veterinary medicine. However, studies indicate that -60% of our students enter into education as a career path, yet animal science departments typically do not emphasize educational careers or provide opportunities for students to develop skills in methods relevant for animal science related teaching. To combat this lack of representation for educational career opportunities, our research universitys animal science department has acted in two ways:-Developed a laboratory teaching methods course that allows undergraduate students to serve as teaching assistants for an animal handling lab with support and supervision from the course and graduate student lab instructors-Performed a content analysis to identify the type, frequency, and way educational career paths are discussed and/or assessed in introductory animal science courses. These are the first steps in ensuring that students are as prepared for pursuit of a possible educational career at a level equal to that for industry or veterinary careers. Sustainability of animal science includes retaining students in educational careers and actively improving our educational practices within the discipline. These changes better prepare our undergraduate students to have more realistic job expectations and competence in teaching when they pursue graduate school or animal science related educational career options. The university animal science program also benefits, as the undergraduate teaching assistants improve the instructor-to-student ratio thus positively impacting safety and logistics of hands-on large animal labs while increasing one-on-one instruction time with students. These practices increase student engagement and learning. Additionally, the field of animal science will prosper from increased competence in pedagogical techniques providing a richer, more complete educational experience for our students both in and out of university settings.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Barnes, T., Burnett, K. M., Ramsey, W. S., & Dunlap, K.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Barnes, Taylor||Burnett, Kirstin M||Ramsey, W Shawn||Dunlap, Kathrin

publication date

  • November 2020