Principles of Contemporary Animal Services Certificate

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Principles of Contemporary Animal Services (POCAS) is a six-week certificate program offering an introduction to the contemporary animal services profession. With content curated by Best Friends Animal Society and leading practitioners and researchers in the field, participants will gain an awareness and understanding of contemporary animal services as a profession.

Successful completion of this 29-hour online learning experience results in an SUU Institutional Certificate and serves as a potential entry point to advanced education opportunities.

Choose from two participation options:

  • POCAS Certification - successful completion earns an SUU Institutional Certificate and one Continuing Education Unit (CEU).
  • POCAS Fast Track - successful completion earns three credits that may articulate into undergraduate or participating master’s degree programs at Southern Utah University.
  • The next POCAS course begins September 8, 2021. The admission and payment deadline is September 6, 2021, at midnight.

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Principles of Contemporary Animal Services Course Work

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This course includes online modules, assessments, reading reflections and a summary paper. Students are encouraged to participate in discussions relevant to their modules and assignments, with the end goal of building a learning community focused on contemporary animal services as a profession. Lessons include:

  1. History of Animal Welfare in the United States: Students will examine an overview of the evolution of the animal welfare movement by reviewing the origins of animal shelters, the role of public safety and the transition to animal sheltering.
  2. The Role of Animal Shelters: Students will review data and statistics related to pet ownership over the past 40 years, reasons for pet relinquishment and the role of animal-related nonprofits in the community.
  3. Contemporary Animal Services: Students will review the programs, policies and procedures needed to save pets before they reach the animal shelter door, in the community and inside of the shelter.
  4. Practicum: Students will research their community’s animal services history and their current organization’s performance metrics.

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