Student with horse in front of the stables

The following policies and procedures apply to all students seeking an equine degree.

Gateway 1 – Admission to the Equine Studies Program

Upon admission to the College, candidates are eligible to take 100 and 200 level EQ courses. To enroll in advanced EQ course work, candidates must be formally admitted to the Equine Studies Program. Criteria for admission to the Equine Studies Program are as follows:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 32 hours of college credit which may include your 100 and 200 level EQ courses.
  2. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher.
  3. Competence in basic skills such as: routine horse care/evaluation, evaluating TPR, administration of medications/vaccines, safe horse handling procedures, general knowledge of nutritional needs, anatomy, leg wrapping and bandaging, grooming, tack identification, riding (if needed for major track), and skills – walk, trot, canter, mount, dismount and back up. Note: candidates achieving below the passing score will be provided a Skills/Academic Enhancement Plan written by the candidates‟ academic advisors. Candidates on such plans will be conditionally admitted to the Equine Department. All conditions must be removed for candidates to pass Gateway 1.
  4. Completion of at least one approved field experience related to the students’ areas of interest with documented evidence of professional dispositions, values and attitudes. This must be completed before the end of the students’ sophomore year and could include documented experiences during high school.
  5. Formal interview with the evaluation team.

Gateway 1 Application Procedures

1. Submit typewritten letter addressed to the Equine Studies Board, Equine Department, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Saint Mary of-the-Woods, IN 47876. Address the following:

  • Why have I chosen equine studies?
  • Why have I chosen the specific equine track? (training/instructing, business, general)
  • What personal qualities will I contribute to the equine field?
  • How will I exemplify responsible commitment to the equine profession?

The letter of application may be submitted whenever the candidate has:

  • Completed at least 32 hours of credit with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above,
  • Completed at least one field experience, and
  • Provide letter(s) of reference regarding your experience.
  • Transfer students must apply for acceptance after completing one semester of coursework as a full time student at SMWC.

Candidates must submit letter of application during their sophomore year no later than February.

2. Upon receipt of a letter of application, candidates will be scheduled to participate in a formal interview with an Equine Department evaluation team according to the following schedule:

Letters received by:

  • February 15
  • September 15

Interview Dates:

  • March
  • October

Candidates should be prepared to discuss the following:

  1. Current personal/professional strengths as a prospective equine professional; and
  2. How the candidate’s personal dispositions relate to the equine profession.

Upon completion of the interview, the evaluation team will recommend to the Equine Education Board one of the following:

  • Unconditional Admittance – Candidate has successfully passed all requirements.
  • Conditional Admittance – Candidate must complete one or more requirements to successfully pass. Candidates who are conditionally admitted will be provided with an Academic Enhancement Plan written by their academic advisor and approved by the Equine Education Board. Candidates must submit a new letter of application to request that their admission status be changed from conditional to unconditional.
  • Not Admitted – Candidate has not passed. This status may pertain to students who do not display the appropriate dispositions, values, attitudes, and skills that are necessary for success in the equine profession.
  • The Equine Education Board will make final decisions and inform candidates of their status within one month after the interview is complete.
  • Candidates may appeal Gateway 1 decisions in writing to the Equine Education Board.

Gateway 2 – Program Completion

Criteria for program completion are:

  1. Successful presentation of a Proficient Portfolio to an Equine Department Education Team. Proficient portfolios are presented before April 1 or Nov 1 depending upon the student’s graduation date. A Proficient Portfolio must include at least the following information:
    • Current résumé
    • A statement of a personal philosophy of equine studies
    • One to three artifacts documenting mastery of one of the three available equine majors: Equine Studies, Equine Business Management, or Equine Training and Instruction
    • For each exhibit, a narrative reflection indicating why the selected artifact was included and how it provides evidence of mastery of goals
    • Additional artifacts highlighting personal talents, strengths and accomplishments
  2. Successful completion of all program requirements. The grade of “C” or better must be obtained in all equine courses that are required for the major. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall must be achieved.

Gateway 2 Application Procedures

  1. Candidates should notify their advisors when they have completed all Gateway 2 requirements. Candidates who are seeking degrees must submit “Application to Graduate” forms to the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Equine Department advisors verify that candidates have met all program requirements and successfully presented the Proficient Portfolio.