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St. Mary-of-the-Woods College?

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  • St. Mary-of-the-Woods College?

    I'm considering going to SMWC next fall and double-majoring in Equine Training and Instruction and Computer Information Systems. The main draw for SMWC over IU is the equine program; does anyone have experience with it? Is it really all it's cracked up to be?

  • #2
    Hi,

    I am currently a junior at SMWC double majoring in Equine Training and Instruction and Psychology and I love it! I had also looked at other schools including Purdue and Midway college before coming here, but SMWC was my ultimate decision because of it's fantastic equine program. The Equine program here, while vigorous, is amazing. You get tons of hands on horse time and the class sizes are very small so you get lots of personal attention from the instructors. In addition, the career center here is really good about helping you find internships and job opportunities within the horse industry both during and after college. Overall, I would have to say that coming here was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have learned so much since being here that I can't wait to start my career in the horse industry. I hope this was helpful and that we will see you soon!

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    • #3
      Aaannnddd, the above was not posted by a recruiter for the school, right?

      Comment


      • #4
        Let me be the first to say this - good on the decison to go for computer systems, but the degree in Riding Lessons is probably a waste of $$$$. I hope you've got a good funding source for your education, and aren't planning on student loans to finance riding lessons. If you want to be a trainer/instructor, go be a working student or barn slave.

        Go search equine studies, and you'll come back with thousands of posts with similar opinions.

        Personally, if I wanted a technical/science degree, I'd get it from Purdue, not IU. IU is for warm fuzzy majors.
        Last edited by red mares; Dec. 5, 2012, 08:37 PM. Reason: sp
        Visit my Spoonflower shop

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        • #5
          I agree with Red, you can get just as good an education for Equine studies, by going with a good working student program, and taking on line business courses on the side. Most you will be out is probably money to live on, as most positions offer housing. After a couple years you will come out just as well educated and owing nothing. If you are going for a true science degree well thats a different matter.
          www.tayvalleyfarm.com
          My other home.

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          • #6
            PM'd you!
            Kaotic's Reality- the best ever and always. 1990-2009

            "I know nothing of certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream."
            - Van Gogh

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            • #7
              I'd stay pretty far away from the "riding schools". Get your IT degree at a college that IT departments will recognize. Spend your summer as a working student.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I have a career plan that is a little different than most. If this is irrelevant to you, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

                I want to train horses, but after seeing my trainer be in pain and still have to work because he didn't have any other options (having never gone to college and with very few other skills), I've decided I need a backup plan. I'm moderately smart and have a background in computers (dad's a sysadmin and makes me do things he doesn't want to do), and since computers are a growing field, I can get a degree in that and have a backup plan if/when I break myself. Besides the fact that I wouldn't hate a computer-y job, the other main draw of a tech degree is the proof that hey, this girl is smart and she can handle work. Neither of my parents work in the fields they studied - both are microbiology majors, and my dad's an IT guy and my mom is a teacher. If you see any problem at all in this plan, please tell me. I haven't talked to anyone who knows the industry, so I'm working on conjecture!

                I understand the sentiment against a equine degree. I don't need the degree; if it would hold me back from graduating in 4 years, I wouldn't do it. I am slightly more inclined to believe that SMWC's program is legit because of the course descriptions and ability to measure success, instead of just putting students through four years of riding without any tests (cough, Meredith Manor, cough). I already plan to spend a year being a working student after college. A degree is icing on the cake!

                I have a semi-decent GPA (3.7) and good ACT scores (34). Just given the numbers, I'll probably qualify for a few scholarships. I also have most, if not all, of my general education credits done through dual credit. I don't plan to take out loans - in fact, I would like to avoid them at all costs.

                Red Mares, both my parents went to IU. There's a baby picture of me in the cream and crimson - I think I would be disowned if I went to Purdue!

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                • #9
                  with an ACT of 34 you might look into Sweet Briar

                  My daughter went to RMWC but our grand daughters will attend Sweet Briar

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                  • #10
                    If you really want to be financially savvy, you can graduate in less than 4 years without taking the extra classes

                    But they're fun and I know many of my friends spent their senior year taking things like Greek Poetry & Forensics. So, enjoy your time at college!

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                    • #11
                      Well, you sound more realistic than most of the starry-eyed enrollees of Flicka University, I'll give you that.

                      I would encourage you to concentrate on studying at college and riding at a barn. Most of the trainers I know don't consider a degree in horse training "icing on the cake." They consider it a red flag not to hire you. That's not what the career center is going to tell you.

                      IT or computer programming is a good back up - My BIL is a software progammer/developer and is also a competitive cyclist, which appears to take as much time (and money) as working horses. He also makes enough to keep my sister - not a task for the financially insecure.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltatime View Post
                        I've decided I need a backup plan. I'm moderately smart and have a background in computers (dad's a sysadmin and makes me do things he doesn't want to do), and since computers are a growing field, I can get a degree in that and have a backup plan if/when I break myself.
                        One thing to consider is that the IT field rapidly changes as technology evolves. If you get your degree, don't use it for 10 years while you teach lessons and train, then break yourself and suddenly decide to enter the field, you may find that no one wants to hire a person with outdated skills and no recent experience in the field. Could be a problem unless you intend to continue your education in some aspect over the years or work in IT at least part time to keep up to date.
                        Flickr

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                        • #13
                          I have always wondered about degree programs in Equine Teaching/Training. Lake Erie College in Ohio offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in both Equestrian Teaching/Training and Equestrian Facility Management. Tuition is $25,976 annually not including room and board. Seems like a lot of money when you could be a working student/intern for a trainer and learn the same thing. I am curious if anyone who has received such a degree was offered meaningful employment as a assistant or barn manager or started there own training business?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by furlong47 View Post
                            One thing to consider is that the IT field rapidly changes as technology evolves. If you get your degree, don't use it for 10 years while you teach lessons and train, then break yourself and suddenly decide to enter the field, you may find that no one wants to hire a person with outdated skills and no recent experience in the field. Could be a problem unless you intend to continue your education in some aspect over the years or work in IT at least part time to keep up to date.
                            ^This

                            I'm in an art school. Not a "put your feeeelings on paper" art school but one designed to make you a competitive creative worker. My focus is previsualization - concept art, storyboarding and design - Hopefully for theme parks. I'm lucky to have a lot of art talent and background in these fields thanks to family HOWEVER media is changing so fast that even our school is having trouble keeping up. You need to know current technology yesterday, so to speak. We're constantly being given various programs to learn how to use (Adobe programs, Maya, Storyboard Pro, ZBrush...) and they're changing every year.

                            I do know two barns I worked where they said they liked seeing the degree... because it meant not that you really learned anything but that you could commit. If you could commit for 4 years to get that degree they felt okay that you'd be a long term employee. It didn't matter if that degree was horses or not... (though I imagine if it was basket weaving they'd probably o.O at ya)

                            Once you get into college though, try a few different things. Often what you go in for isn't exactly what you end up leaving with. You realize there are all these awesome possibilities you never considered as careers before.

                            I actually went to this college because it had both horses and art... so I could decide. I'd worked in the horse industry prior though.... so I knew the realities of that side of the fence and decided I didn't want to be there for a full time career. If I did I would have stayed working in the industry with the contacts I had. As it is, I still teach and train part time on the side to feed that side of me and make extra money.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by deltatime View Post
                              I'm considering going to SMWC next fall and double-majoring in Equine Training and Instruction and Computer Information Systems. The main draw for SMWC over IU is the equine program; does anyone have experience with it? Is it really all it's cracked up to be?

                              When we rode against them in IHSA I was less than impressed by the quality of the riding. Granted, that was a number of years ago, but nothing I have heard since makes me think that things have changed.

                              If you are in Indiana and want to do computers, both IU and Purdue have solid, high quality programs (with lots of other options if you change your mind). Both would probably set you up better for your future. Honestly, a degree in business (I'd go marketing and finance) would probably set you up better for success in the horse business than a degree in equine training and instruction.
                              According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

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                              • #16
                                As others have said, get a degree from a well known college or university, think brand name, versus a small flicka university. As a hiring manager, I routinely skip candidates with degrees from third tier schools and with majors in esoteric areas like equine training. I have limited time to interview and when I am considering someone for an entry level opening, that degree and major makes a big difference. Keep in mind that I love horses, own a farm and spend my free time there doing things like teaching riding lessons, training horses, etc.

                                So a degree from Purdue or IU will have much more value. Considering that a college eduction is one of the major expenses you'll incur in life, I would choose wisely and practically. You can ride and take lessons on the side in college. If you are not planning on vet school, then don't bother with the horse major. Sorry that I can't be more positive.
                                Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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