Each week at the blog we feature animals from the Los Angeles Pierce College farm as well as food-for-thought issues that impact their future and yours today.
We read and hear a near-constant refrain of how crucially integrated into the veterinary sciences' "hands on learning" environment these animals are. When we looked for any believable evidence of that contention, here's what we found instead:
The number of current and former pre-veterinary, RVT, and/or general agriculture students who have made anything that could marginally be considered a voluntary, temporal, and consistent commitment to providing "hands on" care for farm animals on this property is fewer than ten individuals over the last six years.
Daily visits to Los Angeles Pierce College farm animal facilities are overwhelmingly provided by members of the general public, the majority of whom use the adjacent walking and jogging trails for personal recreation. And they’re just that—casual visits.
Actual clinical and/or classroom utilization of the institution's year-round, farm animal population is less then 65 clock hours in any 12-month period. This utilization is limited to:
- 45 clock hours of clinical and classroom instruction for course listing AS441, offered once per academic calendar year.
- 4 clock hours of clinical, final examination for course listing AS441, offered once per academic calendar year.
- 3 clock hours of non-clinical instruction for course listing AS510, offered twice per academic calendar year.
- 2 clock hours per student, per semester of farm animal unit "participation" for course listing AS501, offered twice per academic calendar year. This course-specific “participation” requirement was not implemented until September 2005.
When caring for animals whose educational value is so vital to a curriculum that participation in such must become mandatory to generate interest, what are you teaching? More importantly, what are you learning? Let us know. It's long past time you asked someone why you never see them. Open Your Eyes.