Southern Utah University partners with Best Friends Animal Society to offer new animal services programs

A worker interacts with animals at the Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University and Best Friends Animal Society, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — After a partnership launch between Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University to provide animal services and leadership training, the two entities announced in July that they are now moving forward to offer even more educational programming, including a certificate earning opportunity and a master’s degree emphasis.

Puppies at the Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University and Best Friends Animal Society, St. George News

According to a press release from SUU, the new principles of contemporary animal services – or POCAS – online certificate program offers an introduction to modern-day animal services for those who want to advance in their profession or prepare for a career in the field.

With content curated in partnership with Best Friends Animal Society and leading practitioners and researchers in the field, participants will gain an awareness and understanding of animal services from some of the best practitioners in the nation.

“The POCAS certificate creates an opportunity for all to learn more about lifesaving animal services and offers a pathway into the field for anyone interested in the profession,” Tawny Hammond, national director of leadership advancement at Best Friends Animal Society, said in the press release. 

Melynda Thorpe, SUU executive director of Community and Professional Development, said the institutional certificate will represent the academic rigor, engagement and achievement involved in learning the contemporary practices and principles in the field of animal services.

Workers interact with puppies at the Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University and Best Friends Animal Society, St. George News

“This new certificate program also gives participants the opportunity to engage with an accredited higher education institution to determine if they want to continue their education through to a master’s degree with an emphasis in animal services,” Thorpe said. 

With SUU’s Master of Interdisciplinary Studies, an emphasis in contemporary animal services leadership is now just one of more than 18 MIS learning blocks offered through the program, which has been ranked third best online MIS degree in the nation by Best College Reviews.

“One of my favorite parts about the MIS contemporary animal services leadership learning block is there is now essentially a master’s degree, on the national level, in animal services,” said Cynthia Kimball Davis, MIS program director at SUU. “Particularly since students can now choose to study from nine to 18 credits to help prepare them for positions in animal services. This is a game-changer in the field.”

Those interested in more information about educational programs curated in partnership with Best Friends Animal Society can click here, call the SUU Community and Professional Development at 435-865-8259 or email them at prodev@suu.edu.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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