Photo courtesy of: Southern Campus
Equine Studies will only offer an online degree after the 2019-20 academic year
Changes in enrollment have resulted in modifications for the equine studies program at Ohio University Southern. The Southern Campus has been educating students about horses for more than 20 years.
Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio Southern and interim executive dean of regional higher education, said the decision was prompted by several years of declining enrollment and increased program costs.
“The equine studies program will be shifting to an online option, focused on equine management,” Pennington said.
Students currently enrolled in the program will be able to complete the face-to-face option over the 2019-20 academic year, or they may transition to the online option. Newly enrolled students will have the option to enroll in the online track to complete an associate’s degree in equine studies.
This decision was made based on several factors, including low enrollment with an average of 25 enrolled students per year over the past seven years, an average graduation rate of less than 25 percent since 2013, and increasing costs to maintain the program.
“The change to the online degree option allows us to continue to provide programming with the least disruption for our students,” Pennington said.
In addition to the associate degree in equine studies, the program has offered therapeutic riding as an internationally accredited program. Operation of the Ohio Horse Park will continue until June 30, 2020. A standardized procedure will be developed and implemented to manage the adopting out of horses from the park.