DCCC to offer rare aquarium program
Students who want to get up close and personal with penguins and other sea life will have an opportunity next fall to study in a one-of-a-kind program available no where else on the East Coast.Davidson County Community College will add aquarium science to its Zoo and Aquarium Science program. The program will offer coursework and training, as well as hands-on internship opportunities, to prepare students for careers in fields ranging from animal keepers to nursery workers, as well as entry level aquarists and research assistants. Credits also will allow students to continue studies at a four-year institution.“This is truly an exciting development,” said Mark Stevens, a faculty member in the Zoo and Aquarium Science program at DCCC. “Only one other community college in the nation has a program like this, and it’s in Oregon. This program will give students an opportunity to do something with aquarium science not available anywhere else in the state, or east of the Mississippi.”The program is designed to help students become entry-level aquarists who work with marine and aquatic life found at public aquaria, zoological parks and research facilities throughout the world. Students will not only take courses, but also complete lab work on campus.DCCC also has partnered with five aquariums in North Carolina to give students the opportunity for internships.“The partnerships that the college has strategically made with these facilities ultimately provide training and intense, hands-on experiences for students under the direction of professional aquarists and curators with species that we wouldn’t be able to house and maintain on campus,” Stevens said. “In addition, these partnerships also provide valuable networking experiences as well.”
The program also will partner with four local school systems in Davidson and Davie counties to provide learning components for elementary and middle school students.
“The availability of the programming on our campus makes these learning experiences for students in elementary and middle schools convenient and affordable,” Stevens said.
Students: Two information sessions, 5:30 p.m., May 14 and May 16 in Room 110 of the Conference Center on the Davidson County campus.
Aquarium: Renovation of an existing building to create a teaching aquarium lab will begin this summer.