Exotic Animal Training and Management Program Information

Here is some information concerning the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program we have at Moorpark College.

As the Academic Counselor for the Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM) Program, my function is to help the students in the program to plan the courses they want to take, make sure all the program requirements are being met, and talk to prospective students about admission into the program. This is a very demanding program, as it involves a continuous two-year commitment from the students. EATM students are required to work at America's Teaching Zoo located on the Moorpark College campus, many nights and weekends. This requirement is in addition to the long hours and days spent working with and caring for the animals, and attending classes. Our Zoo has over 150 different animals, and is maintained and run entirely by the students.

It is extremely difficult to hold down a regular job during this program, as the EATM hours may vary every week. This program involves a great deal of commitment on the part of the students. You will not have much time for yourself, so make sure other areas of your life are in order. You will be working very closely with other people, and around some potentially dangerous animals. Safety is our primary concern, and there are rules and regulations that must be followed. You will also be required to give animals injections, care for and nurse sick animals, and you will become very attached to many of the zoo's animals. You will be required to euthanize some rats, rabbits, or pigeons as food for some of the other animals.  Students should be able to do some moderately heavy lifting, and physical work.  Also, students should be relatively healthy, as they could potentially be exposed to zoonotic diseases.  Students are required to achieve a "C" grade in every course required for the EATM program.  Any grade lower then a "C" will result in dismissal from the EATM program.

There are extra costs necessary for zoo clothing, books, supplies, and off-campus trips. Public Speaking skills are very important, as you will be required to give animal presentations in front of perhaps hundreds of people, maybe several times a week. Finally, by the time you complete this program, you will be able to work in almost any situation where animals are present. Our graduates are working all over the world, in many different settings, from the movie/television industry, Las Vegas show industry, zoos, theme parks (Sea World, Six Flags), and many other areas.

Exotic Animal Training and Management

Program Admission Information

This is a very competitive program. We typically receive about 300+ applications for the 50 spaces we have available. For students who will start the program in mid-August, the application period is from November 1 through January 31.  The EATM Program will only accept applications from November 1 through January 31.  Any applications received before or after these dates will be returned.  There is only one new class of students starting each year, in the Fall semester. The application for the EATM Program is different then the regular application for admission to Moorpark College. To get the EATM application you may call the EATM office at (805) 378-1441 from September through December.  You may also download the EATM Application on-line at the following link ( EATM Application ).  In addition to the EATM application, official copies of all college transcripts are required, showing completion of the required prerequisites.  All of these documents must be received in the EATM office by January 31, or your application will not be reviewed.  Prospective students will also be required to attend an EATM Applicant Informational Meeting (AIM) and orientation.  These AIM meetings will usually occur in April.  Information concerning the AIM meetings will be sent to those students who have all the requested application materials on file by January 31.

EATM Program applications are only accepted from November 1 through January 31.
Any applications postmarked before or after these dates will not be returned or acknowledged.


The students who will be accepted for Fall admission into the program should have prior experience working with animals in some capacity. The more and varied the experience, the better! This helps to prepare you for the varied duties you must perform at America's Teaching Zoo on the Moorpark College campus.  I suggest that you try to get as much animal experience as possible, before you apply. Some examples are; working with a Veterinarian, Wildlife Rescue Programs, Wildlife Rehabilitation Programs, Zoo Volunteer, or anything else that works with animals, either paid, unpaid, or volunteer. Dog grooming, horse training, or even working in a pet store, will all be beneficial.

Since this is a very demanding program intellectually, there are several prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to applyingAll students applying to the EATM Program must have these 5 college courses completed!  These courses must be completed with a "C" grade or better.  These 5 prerequisites are;

Introductory Biology or Zoology course
(BIOL M01 or ZOO M01 at Moorpark College)

Freshman College English Composition
(ENGL M01A at Moorpark College)

a Public Speaking course (Speech class)
(SPCH M01 at Moorpark College)

a Safety and First Aid course
(HE M05 at Moorpark College)

Elementary Algebra Math course (or higher)
(MATH M01 or higher at Moorpark College)

Note - the above courses must be completed and on your College Transcript(s) at the time we receive your application!   This means they must be finished well before the January 31 application deadline.

Other recommended courses (4) that will apply toward the Associate Degree requirements at Moorpark College are;

a Physical Science course (intro Chemistry is best)

a United States History or Government class

 an Acting or Photography course

a Physical Education course (of 1.5 or more semester units)

Note - these 4 courses above will finish the General Education requirements for the Associate Degree at Moorpark College.  They do not need to be complete before you apply.
Any student who has an Associate Degree or higher from an accredited college, does not need to take the 4 recommended courses above!

All courses above must be lower division (freshman/sophmore level). Courses equivalent to those indicated above, taken at accredited colleges, will be given transfer credit. Contact Chuck Brinkman, the EATM Counselor, if you have any questions concerning transfer credit.  The EATM staff also strongly encourages students to complete what they can of the above recommended courses, before starting the program.

These courses will help prepare you for the rigorous curriculum in the EATM program, and will also help to meet the requirements for your Associate Degree here at Moorpark College. Usually, about 40% of the students in the program have Associate Degrees, and 25% of the students who start our program already have a Bachelor's Degree. The age range of the students may vary from 18 - 50+. Students who have just graduated from high school, or those without an adequate academic preparation, may find the course work very difficult.  EVERYONE who applies must have the 5 prerequisite courses completed at the time of application!  You should also have a good academic background.  Please note that your high school and college grade-point-averages are very important in the selection process.  Only 50 students are admitted each year.  There is no waiting list for admission.  You must re-apply each year if not accepted.


2001 - 2002  Approximate Per Year Estimated College Costs for the EATM Program.

Registration Fees and Tuition ------- $500

Books and Supplies ------------------ $1,000

Housing (Room and Board) -------------------$6,000 - $8,000 (Biggest expense)
(Note - Students are responsible for their own housing.)
(The EATM Program & Moorpark College do not have on-campus housing)

Transportation ------------------------ $500

Personal Expenses -------------------$1,000+ 

Total Expenses -------------- ~ ~ ~ $10,000+

Non-California residents add $150 per unit for tuition (add ~ ~ ~ $4,000)

Total non-resident expenses -----$14,000+

Note - You will benefit more from the EATM experience if you also have sufficient funds available for extra-curricular activities (field-trips, internships, etc.).  Look into financial aid early, if you need it!!

Tell me, and I forget.
Show me, and I remember.
Involve me, and I understand.

To get an EATM Application, click on the link below.

 Application for the EATM Program

EATM Pictures -- go back and look at the photo pages.

EATM Pictures

I hope this will answer a few questions you may have concerning the EATM Program.

Feel free to e-mail us if you have further questions.

E-mail --- EATM@vcccd.net

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