Program offers enrichment beyond major
By Darci Kirby
Two certificate programs, "Animal Welfare and Social Concerns" and "Animal-Assisted Therapy," are being offered by Purdue University's Centers for Human Animal Bond and for Food Animal Well-Being. Certification programs allow students to participate in coursework and research to earn certificates that will assist in the job search or applying to graduate or veterinary schools, but they are not recognized as minors, said Alan Beck, director and professor of animal ecology.
Beck said that a certificate provides documentation that a student has been involved in research for a particular area. Animal-Assisted Therapy is a new addition to the certificate program, which debuted in 1992. The certificate is based on the ways that animals are used to assist and interact with humans.
The other certificate offered, Animal Welfare and Social Concerns, focuses on the roles of animals in society. "Society is interested in our relationship with nature," Beck said. "This program is designed to educate students about the social, ethical, biological, behavioral and economic aspects of animal care and use."
Students conduct research for the certificate and have a chance to examine ways that animals interact with humans. Beck said the programs may whet their appetite for going into a career based on animal welfare and for recognizing social concerns.
The program is available to any student in any major. "Those of us who care about animals are not just those in veterinary sciences, they could be in sociology, ethics or other concentrations," Beck said.