William Woods University will offer a new major this fall—a bachelor of science degree in equine general studies, with concentrations in equestrian studies, therapeutic riding, equine art, equine media and equine leadership.
“When my advisor told me about this new degree, I could hardly believe it,” Dani Moritz, a freshman from Algonquin, Ill., said. “It will fit in perfectly with my communications studies and will help me achieve my dream- to write for an equine magazine. I couldn’t be more excited.”
WWU boasts an Equestrian Studies Division rich in history and success. The riding program started in 1924, and in 1972 William Woods was the first school to offer a bachelor’s degree in equestrian science. An equine administration major was instituted in 1992.
The equine general studies major is designed to meet the need for a more generalized field of equestrian studies that will prepare students for careers in the horse industry outside of training, riding, instructing and facility management.
“As the equine profession is expanding and evolving into different areas, our equestrian studies program wants to remain on the cutting edge of changes in the academic field. This new program of study allows us to offer a comprehensive selection of equestrian degree options,” said Dr. Sherry McCarthy, vice president and academic dean.
Moritz commented, “I know many others who are just as excited as I am. It is truly amazing how hard the WWU administration works toward fitting each individual student’s needs. Who would have thought I would find a school that offers not one, but three equestrian degrees?”
The therapeutic riding concentration will teach students to develop methods for teaching riders, to understand anatomy and physiology as it relates to therapy riders and to achieve equine-assisted therapy success.
The art concentration will allow students to explore techniques and methods of design and application in a variety of art media, such as painting, three-dimensional media, metal casting, photography and print making.
A concentration in equine media will focus on utilizing the best practices in print and production in equine media while learning about the standards and practices of the equine media industry.
The equine leadership concentration will promote an understanding of the methods of leadership used in the business world and equine industry settings, as well as the development of decision-making, negotiation and leadership skills.
“This innovative, new major provides incredible career flexibility for students,” Claudia Starr, equestrian studies division chair, said. “If they are interested in a job producing equine-related media, leading an equine non-profit organization or company or running an equine-assisted therapy center, they will benefit from the new program. The major is designed to lend itself to a multitude of equine-related career pursuits.”
R.J., a therapy horse from William Woods University, nuzzles one of his young riders in the Equestrian Zone’s hippotherapy and therapeutic riding program in Russellville, Ark. The increase in therapeutic riding programs makes WWU’s new program especially marketable.
Scott Kronk of Fulton poses with the 8-foot-tall riveted sheet metal sculpture of a rearing horse he created for art class at William Woods University. WWU’s new major in equine general studies offers a concentration in equine art that will allow students to combine their interests.