Animal Care and Management Certificate Click here to request more info

Program Contacts

Instructional Specialist Karen Smith (928) 717-7760
Professor Marnee Zazueta (928) 717-7727
Associate Dean Karla Phillips (928) 717-7725
Dean John Morgan (928) 717-7721

Quick Facts

About the Animal Care and Management Certificate

The Animal Care and Management Certificate Program is designed to prepare students for entry level positions in the pet and exotic animal industry including veterinary assistant, zookeeper, animal control officer, entrepreneur, pet store technician and boarding/grooming facilities management.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Animal Care and Management Certificate program, the learner will be able to:


  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive management program for exotic animals. (AGS 120, AGS 280, AGS 282)
  2. Develop and implement a large-scale aquarium facility management program. (AGS 261, AGS 264)
  3. Provide the Veterinarian assistance during surgical and outpatient procedures. (AGS 120)
  4. Develop and implement a comprehensive management program for domestic animals. (AGE 100, AGS 120, AGS 280, AGS 282)

Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
AGE100 Intro to Equine Science

AGE 100. Introductory Equine Science (4). Introduction to horses as they relate to humans including history and development, adaptation, basic anatomy, types and classes, breeds, and horsemanship. Four lecture.

1. History and development of the horse industry
2. Selecting horses
3. Functional anatomy
4. Physiology
5. Types, classes, and breeds of horses
6. Horsemanship

1. Explain the history and development of the horse and horse industry. (1, 5)
2. Identify the status and future of the horse industry and its role in the global economy. (1)
3. Identify breeds, types, and classes of horses along with selection and conformation. (3-5)
4. Describe functional anatomy and physiology of the horse. (3, 4)
5. Investigate basic reproduction and breeding practices. (2-5)
6. Explain digestion and nutrition. (3, 4)
7. Review horse behavior and its relationship to training. (5,6)
8. Describe necessary skills for safe horsemanship and equitation. (6)

AGS120 Intro Animal Industry

AGS 120. Introduction to the Animal Industry (4). Classification of agricultural animals, the reproductive process, behavior, basic genetics, growth and development, basic nutrition, welfare and consumer concerns. Emphasis on beef, sheep, swine, poultry, horses and fish. Alternative animals including rabbits, llamas, ostrich, baitfish, and honeybees. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Animal agriculture as a science
2. Classification of animals
3. Beef industry
4. Dairy industry
5. Swine industry
6. Poultry industry
7. Sheep industry
8. Horse industry
9. Aquaculture industry
10. Small animal industry
11. Alternative animal industry
12. Behavior
13. Genetics
14. Selection
15. Reproduction
16. Growth and development
17. Nutrition
18. Meat science
19. Disease
20. Welfare
21. Consumer concerns

1. Cite scientific discoveries that have made food better and less expensive for the consumer.
2. List the pharmaceuticals that are derived from animals.
3. List characteristics of animals that place them in different classifications.
4. Describe methods of classifying animals by means other than scientific classification.
5. Classify agricultural animals according to breed.
6. Explain the importance of beef in the human diet.
7. Describe the various segments of the beef industry.
8. Describe how cattle make use of feed stuff that cannot be consumed by humans.
9. Describe the process by which milk is produced.
10. Explain the process of pasteurization.
11. Describe the biological processes used to produce cheese.
12. Define hybrid vigor or heterosis.
13. Explain why pork is healthier to eat than it once was.
14. Describe the biological processes involved in the production of eggs in birds.
15. Describe modern layer operations.
16. Describe modern broiler operations.
17. Explain the characteristics of wool that make it good to humans.
18. Discuss the importance of mutton and lamb in the American diet.
19. List the various uses for horses in the United States.
20. Discuss the importance of the horse industry.
21. Discuss the different ways of classifying horses.
22. List the reasons why aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry.
23. Discuss the problems associated with fish production.
24. Describe the importance of the pet industry to the United States.
25. Explain the regulations governing the raising and importing of companion animals.
26. List the animals that are most often used in scientific research.
27. Discuss the orderly society of honeybees.
28. Explain how bees make honey.
29. Describe the types of social behavior in animals.
30. Describe the sexual and reproductive behavior in animals.
31. Explain how producers use the laws of genetics to predict genetic differences in animals.
32. Explain how performance data are used in the selection process.
33. Describe the phases of the female reproductive cycle.
34. Explain the processes by which fertilization takes place.
35. Describe estrus synchronization.
36. Define the lean-to-fat ratio.
37. Explain the steps in the slaughter of meat animals.
38. List the wholesale cuts of beef, pork and lamb.
39. Discuss the various methods of meat preservation.
40. Explain how livestock diseases are spread.
41. List examples of diseases in livestock caused by microorganisms.

AGS215 Agricultural Mechanics

AGS 215. Agricultural Mechanics (3) (Spring). Principles and operative skills in agriscience technology, including troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair of common agriculture tools and equipment. Emphasis on mig welding, electricity, concrete and mortar, pumps, engines and motors, and basic construction practicing OSHA safety standards. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Mig welding and cutting torch operation
2. Tools and power tools
3. Construction fencing, concrete, forms, and mortar
4. Electrical wiring and fuses
5. Pump operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
6. Small engine and equipment operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
7. Safety standards

1. Produce durable mig welds when given specifications and raw materials. (1)
2. Utilize a cutting torch for project completion. (1)
3. Choose the best hand and/or power tool for the required task and support the decision. (2)
4. Operate hand tools and power tools safely and with proper care. (2,7)
5. Measure, lay out and create wooden forms for concrete construction applications. (3)
6. Identify concrete components and determine slump for various concrete applications. (3)
7. Plan, estimate and lay block and brick. (3)
8. Design, estimate, calculate materials and construct fencing projects. (3)
9. Wire sprinklers, timers and valves utilizing the proper gauged wire. (4)
10. Complete basic wiring of a light and test for functionality. (4)
11. Identify and replace fuses as needed in agricultural settings. (4)
12. Troubleshoot, disassemble, reassemble and repair pumps in agricultural settings. (5)
13. Diagnose and perform routine maintenance on agricultural equipment, including oil, filters, fuel, batteries and belts. (6)
14. Safely operate agriculture equipment, such as tractors, ATV's, mowers, tillers and sprayers. (6,7)

AGS261 Aquaculture Science

AGS 261. Aquaculture Science (4). Introduction to the aquaculture and fisheries industry and the related career opportunities. Basic fish culturing environments and species identification of fresh and saltwater fish. Fish biology, diseases, prevention and treatments. Includes fish feeds and feeding techniques. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Careers in the aquaculture and fisheries industry
2. Species identification
3. Land requirements
4. Water requirement and management
5. Parasitic, bacterial diseases, and potential viruses in fish
6. Disease identification, treatment, prevention and control.
7. Feeds and feeding techniques
8. Morphology and biology of fish

1. Identify the common species in the aquaculture and fisheries industry in Arizona. (2)
2. Calculate stocking densities. (3,4)
3. Test water and apply corrective measures as needed. (4)
4. Visually identify the diseases most common to economically important fish through behavioral means, microscope imaging, and physical signs. (6)
5. Potential parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases in fish. (5)
6. Apply corrective measures for control or eradication of disease. (5,6)
7. Identify and apply approved treatments using chemicals on diseased fish. (6)
8. Identify and describe the external and internal anatomy of fish including neurons, circulatory, and digestive systems. (8)
9. Select appropriate feeds for a given species of fish. (7)
10. Identify basic components of common aquaculture systems. (3,4)
11. Identify the careers in the aquaculture fisheries industry. (1)

AGS264 Aquaculture Management

AGS 264. Aquaculture Management (4) (Spring). Methodologies used in managing aquaculture systems. Including breeding and rearing procedures of common fin fish, saltwater fish and crustaceans. Field experience in maintaining a rearing facility and producing a food fish from incubation to stocker or market size. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Fish containers
2. Aeration systems
3. Filtration media
4. Aquaculture systems
5. Solid waste removal
6. Environmental conditions
7. Reproduction
8. Data collection
9. Business principles
10. Feeding

1. Design a recirculating and flow through aquaculture system. (1-4)
2. Identify appropriate feed and develop a feeding schedule. (10)
3. Breed fish from brood stock. (7)
4. Hatch eggs and grow out through harvesting. (7)
5. Manage water systems and environmental controls for recirculating aquaculture systems. (4-6)
6. Perform maintenance on recirculating aquaculture systems. (4)
7. Collect data and keep hatchery records. (8)
8. Determine costs and revenue for recirculating aquaculture systems. (9)

AGS280 Zoo and Domestic Animal Care

AGS 280. Zoo and Domestic Animal Care (4) (Spring). Introduction to zoo and domestic animal care. Includes safety issues, zoo orientation, animal observation skills, sanitation, housing, feeding, capture and restraint equipment, animal transport, animal measurements, abnormal behavior and injuries. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Safety and emergency preparedness
2. Equipment lab/animal permits
3. Weights and measures
4. Zoo orientation
5. Wildlife husbandry
6. Wildlife and domestic facilities maintenance
7. Animal identification
8. Zookeeping essentials
9. Animal observation for health and behavior

1. Identify proper clothing and gear worn when working with various animals.
2. Establish safety procedures for handling and approach of animals.
3. Identify by name, genus, and species, the most common domestic and zoo animals.
4. Describe keeper routines for various domestic and wild animals.
5. Determine the risks associated with enclosure cleaning and maintenance.
6. Maintain a record log of animal behavior as it relates to keeper safety.
7. Predict possible animal behavior from observations.
8. Establish an objective view of humane considerations including feelings, infliction of pain, psychological upsets, and speed of return to normalcy.
9. Determine when restraint is necessary.
10. Use of proper restraint tools and chemicals to subdue animals.
11. Predict thermoregulation stress when handling animals.
12. Weigh and measure wild and domestic animals.
13. Calculate feeds for domestic and wild animals.
14. Identify basic cleaning equipment.
15. Establish use of two-way radio codes at zoos.
16. Determine legal requirements from state, federal and local agencies for care and housing of wild and domestic animals as a business or sanctuary enterprise.

AGS282 Zoo & Domestic Animal Behavior

AGS 282. Zoo and Domestic Animal Behavior (4) (Fall). Assessment of animal behavior in a variety of species including domestic and exotic animals. Includes internal and external factors influencing animal behavior, social organization, genetics, communication, conflict, mating systems, and biological rhythms. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Behavioral genetics
2. Evolution and behavior patterns
3. Nervous system
4. Hormones and immunology behavior
5. Biological rhythms
6. Communication
7. Migration
8. Habitat selection
9. Conflict
10. Sexual reproduction

1. Analyze the history of behavioral genetics and evolution. (1)
2. List the design features in animal behavior studies. (1,2)
3. Determine the basic principles of genetics in animals. (1,5)
4. Distinguish between macroevolutionary and microevolutionary changes in behavior. (2,7)
5. Identify the parts of the nervous system and their associated functions. (3,4)
6. List the biological rhythms and their significance in animal behavior. (5,6)
7. Determine how communication conveys information between animal and human interaction. (6)
8. Analyze and identify migration patterns and navigational mechanisms for a given set of animals. (7,8)
9. Recognize the signs leading to animal conflict. (9)
10. Calculate the costs and benefits of sexual reproduction and selection in the animal kingdom. (10)

Select and complete 3 credits from the following courses:
AGS101 Microcomputers in Agriculture

AGS 101. Microcomputers in Agriculture (3) (Fall). Use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for documentation, accounting and presentations in the agriculture industry. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Contemporary computer use in the agriculture industry
2. Computer hardware
3. Using Microsoft Word in an agricultural setting
4. Using Excel in an agricultural setting
5. Using PowerPoint in an agricultural setting

1. Use and understand email.
2. Use and understand Windows 98.
3. Manage Files.
4. Use Internet Explorer.
5. Use the Internet.
6. Create a document.
7. Use and understand Microsoft Word.
8. Edit a document.
9. Format a document.
10. Create a report.
11. Use and understand Desktop Publishing.
12. Create outlines.
13. Create tables.
14. Create a table of contents.
15. Merge documents.
16. Create equations.
17. Use and understand Microsoft Excel.
18. Create worksheets.
19. Format worksheets.
20. Create charts.
21. Manage information.
22. Use and understand Microsoft Power Point.
23. Create a presentation.
24. Create and import graphics in slides.
25. Use and understand Microsoft Access.
26. Create a database.
27. Maintain a database.
28. Query a database.
29. Use and understand integration.
30. Integrate documents.
31. Use and understand web page design.
32. Create a web page.
33. Load web page onto Internet.

1. Compilation of portfolio in 1" notebook with cover sheet.

OR CSA126 Microsoft Office

CSA 126. Microsoft Office (3). Introductory concepts and techniques of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Three lecture.

1. Windows concepts and skills
2. Microsoft Word for Windows
3. Microsoft Excel for Windows
4. Microsoft Access for Windows
5. Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows
6. Integration of Microsoft Office applications

1. Use file management and other basic Windows skills. (1)
2. Produce and edit word processing documents. (2)
3. Produce and edit spreadsheets and charts. (3)
4. Create a database, enter and manipulate data, create queries and reports. (4)
5. Produce and edit presentation graphics documents. (5)
6. Produce a document that integrates the use of two or more Office applications. (6)

AGS102 Agribusiness Management

AGS 102. Agribusiness Management (3). Introduction to the latest functions of agribusiness including history, starting and running a business, small business plans, input and output sectors, daily financial operations, and basic economic principles. Emphasizes principles of agricultural economics, and economic activity and analysis. Three lecture.

1. Agriculture and agribusiness
2. Size and importance of agribusiness
3. Emerging agribusiness technologies
4. Planning and organizing an agribusiness
5. Types of agribusiness
6. Personal financial management
7. Agribusiness record keeping and accounting
8. Input sector
9. Output sector
10. Agricultural economics

1. Explain agribusiness.
2. Discuss the size and importance of production agriculture.
3. Analyze the efficiency of production agriculture.
4. Explain the importance of agribusiness and foreign trade.
5. Describe the latest emerging technologies in agriculture.
6. Prepare a small business plan.
7. Compare proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
8. Plan and prepare a personal budget.
9. Analyze a potential agribusiness venture.
10. Explain the differences between sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
11. Describe the characteristics of franchises and cooperatives.
12. Complete a budget for a small agribusiness.
13. Complete a journal and ledger.
14. Complete a trial balance.
15. Explain basic accounting considerations.
16. Describe the single and double entry bookkeeping.
17. Prepare an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow.
18. Prepare a statement of owner equity.
19. Discuss the size and scope of the agribusiness input sector.
20. Discuss the private agribusiness sector.
21. Discuss the public agribusiness sector.
22. Identify the sources for credit.
23. Explain six types of economic systems.
24. Explain agricultural economics.


Note:  It is always best to discuss educational and career goals with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in any courses.  Learn more about Academic Advising.