University of Guelph Ridgetown campus offering three new co-op diplomas

By Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative The Ridgetown Independent News

Students will have more reasons to choose the Ridgetown campus this fall.

 Guelph University’s Ridgetown Campus has announced three new co-op options for students beginning their studies in the fall semester.

 Beginning in the fall of 2022, students will be able to apply for the co-op option in the Agriculture, Horticulture, or Equine Care and Management diploma programs.

 Students will complete their co-op work terms during the summer semester between year one and two of their studies.

 “For future students, combining academic excellence through lectures and labs along with a paid industry-related work experience is a win-win for students and employers,” said Assistant Dean Dr. Simon Lachance in a news release. “We know this new opportunity will enhance students’ experiential learning and networking opportunities, along with building valuable transferable skills for any career.”

 The Associate Diploma in Agriculture Co-op is a 2-year diploma program. The program tailors learning with electives in your area of interest: agribusiness, crops, livestock, fruit and/or vegetable production.

 According to the school’s webpage, 95 percent of graduates are employed within two months of program completion.

 The Associate Diploma in Equine Care & Management Co-op is also a 2-year program. However, Year 1 (Semesters 1 & 2) will be held in Clinton, ON, at the Regional Equine & Agricultural Centre of Huron, a national-level competition facility. Year 2 (Semesters 3 & 4) are in Ridgetown, ON, at Ridgetown Campus.

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The program allows students to experience two different learning atmospheres, including a small, equine-based atmosphere and a larger campus and student experience.

 Students will also complete coursework with teaching horses from various industry sectors and experience different areas of the industry through field trips and guest speakers.There is also the option to travel to England and complete coursework as an elective option.

 There are 20 stalls in REACH Huron’s teaching barn, 12 to 15 horses in the teaching herd and a large indoor arena used for labs.

 “Whether you are “new” to horses or want to fine-tune your skills, you will learn how to work with performance horses of varying temperaments, and the ins and outs of managing an “A” level facility,” reads the course description.

 The Associate Diploma in Horticulture Co-op is a 2-year diploma program. The program allows students to explore how to grow plants for various uses-ornamental, medicinal, food, and beverages.

 The school webpage highlights having 450 acres of campus grounds for hands-on learning, more than 700 plant species and a teaching greenhouse.

 Eligible students can apply at ontariocolleges.ca.

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