Redlands Community College Offers a Unique Learning ExperienceThu, 26 Jun 2014 17:49:22 CDT
Redlands Community College is putting hands-on learning back into the college classroom. The Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith traveled on Tuesday with participants on the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Summer Ranch Tour to see first-hand the unique educational experience in El Reno.
The two year school has gained attention for the college's goat breeding program lead by Sam Nusz, who does close to 800 embryo transfers a year for outside producers as well as embryo transfer work for the college. The former agricultural education teacher offers students a chance to learn with their minds and their hands.
"What makes it so unique is the hands on approach, everything is hands-on," Nusz said. "The student gets to do basically everything from packaging, to the processing, they get to see the embryo transfer and its the biggest key deal that we can bring the kids in."
The program attracts students from Oklahoma as well as about 15 to 20 annually who come from across the country to learn about meat goat reproduction. Redlands isn't the only college in the nation with this kind of breeding program, but with a state-of-the art laboratory and the learning opportunities students get, he believes its one of the best programs around.
"Its probably one of the only programs at a two-year college that can be offered to students and for a long time we were the only lab compared to any of the four year colleges and that is the reason why we have done a lot of work with a lot of the four year colleges," Nusz said.
In teaching goat reproduction to around 64 students annually, each students get to learn by doing.
"To me that is teaching, if you can put that student into the position where he can do it hands on, he can do it daily instead of trying to read out of a book and trying to understand whats going on," Nusz said. "When these kids leave us, they have a good knowledge, a good background that basically when they step into that junior year and they take reproduction they're ready for it because they have actually seen it and when that professor is talking about what's going on, they know what's going on."
Many of the students who come to Redlands have an interest in becoming veterinarians or have an interest in specializing in livestock reproduction. The experience is also transferring over to the human side, as they have also seen alumni get accepted into medical school.
This program has become one of their biggest recruiting tools they have along with school's equestrian team, livestock judging team and show cattle management team. So while these students are spending time in the classroom, they are gaining real world experience early on in their college career.
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