Location: Fayetteville, Ark.
Owner: University of Arkansas
History: “Twenty years ago, the University of Arkansas began a horse program as part of Bumpers College’s Department of Animal Science,” Dr. Kathi Jogan, facility director, said. “The intent was to help students learn about horses within an animal science framework. In the beginning the department had only one faculty member to teach a few classes. Now the program has nine classes with two instructors, a ranch horse team, a polo team and student volunteers who help care for animals and the facility. My academic career began with a degree in social science from a small college in Pennsylvania. However, I had been around horses since the second grade and had extensive exposure to horses, including being a farm manager, racehorse trainer and barn design consultant. Choosing to get a master’s in ag education was a natural fit and made me more marketable as an instructor at the university level. Later I earned my doctorate at the U of A in higher education and leadership. Being a student while being an instructor put me back in touch with the reality of being a student. The dual perspective refined my teaching methodologies.”
About the Program: “All equine classes are evidence-based through research, studies and journal publications with the goal of teaching the how and why of best practices. Because of the number of course offerings, I teach a variety of classes, some including hands-on experiences. Among them is an entry equine industry class, which includes topics such as anatomy, terminology, breeds and equine health. I also teach classes in the thoroughbred industry with one 10-day excursion companion class to Lexington, Ky., and to Oaklawn Park Racetrack in Hot Springs. Students in the Thoroughbred class are often preparing to become veterinarians or seeking employment in the equine industry. I also teach livestock marketing with students learning how to prepare horses for sale, as well as where and how to market them. An increasingly important area of study is equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), which marries equine knowledge with therapy, thereby allowing students to experience the tremendous advantage of horses as therapy partners. This service-learning class allows students to practice what they learn. The EAAT class not only is beneficial to animal science students but provides an excellent pairing with the social work and criminal justice systems.”
Philosophy and the Future:“For me, the most important mark of successful teaching is implementing mastery of learning while showing students the practical application of what they learn through evidence-based instruction. True cross disciplinary education takes place when students can make specific aspects of what they learn fit into their big picture view and become life-long learners. As for the future, I expect the animal science department to continue to grow in terms of the number of equine therapy classes offered. Student interest crosses disciplinary lines and even reaches students who have never been on a farm much less around a horse with its extensive potential to help.”