Demands of the EATM Program


The Exotic Animal Training & Management (EATM) Program is a unique experience that combines academic classroom coursework with hands-on animal and zoo experience. Because of this, there is high time requirement. The EATM Program requires a continuous two-year commitment. As part of the program curriculum, EATM students gain hands on experience working at the Zoological Facility called America's Teaching Zoo located on the Moorpark College campus. This requirement is in addition to the time spent attending classes and extends the typical day of a "normal" college student. Students typically spend about 50-60+ hours a week on campus arriving early in the morning and leaving at end of day at around five in the evening. 

Considering the time spent at the zoo, in the classroom, and studying, there is leaves little time for other outside activities and strong time management skills help aid in student success. It may also be difficult to maintain a typical job to provide financial support. Having other areas within a students' life lined up helps a student focus on their experience and success within the program. We highly encourage students to apply for Financial Aid & other assistance. Connect with a Counselor to find out more. 


Students are required to achieve a "C" grade in every course required while in the EATM program. Any grade lower then a "C" in any of the required courses, will result in dismissal from the EATM program.

Some Classes that are part of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program may be completed at Moorpark College before entering the program. These Courses are listed below and still must be completed with a grade "C" or better.

ANSC M09 Animal  Behavior

ANSC MO9L Animal Behavior lab

ANSC M17 Animal Diversity



The zoo is the home to potentially dangerous animals. Safety is the primary concern of the program and there are rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure the safety of the animals, students, staff and faculty, as well as zoo guests. There is also risk for Zoonotic diseases for there is close contact with exotic species experienced throughout the program.



Students work very closely with other students. Almost all the work done at the zoo is done as part of a team. This requires that the student have communication, conflict resolution, problem solving and collaborative skills.


 Physical Demands
The care for and cleaning of animal enclosures requires physical work of bending, lifting and walking large amounts. Students should be able to do some moderately heavy lifting (up to 50 pounds) and work outdoors in a wide range of weather conditions, including heat, cold and rain.

Students not only work with the animals at America's Teaching Zoo, but also help to educate the public that attends the zoo about the importance of wildlife conservation. This is done with Wildlife Education Programs or Shows performed in front of large crowds of all ages. A foundation of public speaking is strongly suggested and developed in course curriculum throughout the program.



We aim to mirror current animal industry guidelines for safety, training and other typical aspects of animal care and management. Therefore; on occasion, students care for and nurse sick animals, including administering medications. Students are sometimes involved in evaluating the quality of life of geriatric or sick animals and may assist with the humane euthanasia of an animal when the time comes to end its life. This part of working with animals is difficult, we aim to help students process this difficult and emotional element.  


There are extra costs in addition to college enrollment and tuition. A Zoo Uniform is required at all times while on grounds, additional financial costs may include books, off-campus trips, internships called "Projects".