Although Kate Moore '13 of Amesbury, Mass., is majoring in English/communications with a minor in business management, her career plans will take her down a path much different from that of her classmates. She plans to become a certified, professional dog trainer.
According to Moore (pictured on an Alternative Spring Break in Belize last semester), MCLA's variety of internships and online classes mean that, after she earns her bachelor's degree, she can feel confident in her ability to handle the unique courses that her graduate career will bring.
After MCLA, she will continue her studies at the Animal Behavior College in Boston, which features online courses and a lengthy internship program with a certified professional dog trainer. Her courses will include those on behavioral issues and solutions, and one-on-one training with dogs.
"There are several different kinds of dog trainers," Moore explained. "Some train dogs for dog shows. Some focus specifically on agility and performance tricks. Others train dogs to do basic obedience commands for families. Through the Animal Behavior College, I intend to specialize in training dogs which provide a specific kind of service."
Her decision to train dogs for military service, police work and airport security was influenced by her brother, a second lieutenant in United States Marine Corps.
"My plan is to specialize in this kind of training," said Moore. "It would include teaching dogs to recognize certain materials through scent, including marijuana and certain materials found in explosives."
A combination of events led her to select this path.
"I came to MCLA with the intention to teach high school English. So much for that plan! I was nervous to attend a liberal arts college," she explained. "As an incoming freshman, it seemed rather strange to me that I had to take a science and math course when all I wanted to do was take writing and literature courses.
"But thank goodness I did," Webb continued. "After taking an introductory course in business, I simply fell in love. I knew right away that I no longer wanted to be a teacher. At the same time I was doing some volunteer work with a local animal shelter. I was most interested in the (basic obedience) training program that all of the dogs were required to complete."
However, it wasn't until education professor Dr. Don Washburn made a comment that her decision was solidified. "He said, 'You should choose to do something that you would do every day for the rest of your life for free.' Well, I was working for free at the shelter anyway. It just made sense for me to make it a career," she said.
Moore added a business minor in the anticipation of one day running her own obedience school and grooming salon. "And it was so easy to switch my major. All it took was a quick meeting with my advisor, Dr. Paul LeSage, who was incredibly encouraging."
After the Animal Behavior College, Moore will head to the Mass Academy of Canine, based in Newburyport, Mass., for a semester-long program to learn the fundamentals of dog grooming.