Becker adding animal care dual degree

BY Grant Welker

Julie Bailey, the dean of Becker's School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences, chose four academic programs to match with a new dual-degree program with Becker's animal care associate degree.

Starting this fall, students at Becker College in Worcester studying animal care will be able to earn an associate degree in that field and get a bachelor's degree in four years.
The new program allows students to more easily combine degrees in animal care with those in business, criminal justice, forensic science or psychology.
Students could already earn an associate degree in animal care and a bachelor's in one of those other fields, but now they can combine those two degrees to graduate as much as a year sooner.
Julie Bailey, the dean of Becker's School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences, said those four bachelor's degree programs were chosen because they were most popular with students studying animal care.
"A lot of students said, 'Do you have anything like this?'" Bailey said of questions of combining those degrees in an easier way. "It was definitely a student-driven pursuit."
Students can combine animal studies with those other degrees in a range of ways, such as working with K9 units with a criminal justice degree, pet therapy with a psychology degree, or running a pet care service company or pet store with a business degree, Bailey said.
"Animals are more often used than ever before," Bailey said of opportunities in the job market.
The School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences is one of Becker's most popular programs, with nearly 500 students enrolled. The school, which holds classes at Becker's Leicester campus, includes veterinary technician, pre-veterinary, equine studies, animal care, laboratory animal science and biology.
The new dual degree is the first of its kind at Becker, with students able to complete two degrees simultaneously.