N.C. A&T, N.C. Virtual Public Schools collaboration grows first-ever virtual nutrition, animal science courses | Education

Professors at the university, who interact with students throughout the school year, saw the need.

“The pandemic showed that there are many practical life skills students today just don’t have,” says Colleran, who adapted the food and nutrition 1 curriculum she teaches in-person to an online platform using a mix of video demonstrations, assignments and PowerPoints. “The primary goal of this curriculum is to teach the basics of how to cook and understand the fundamentals of healthy eating — things like how to measure, how to choose food wisely at the grocery store, how to store food, table etiquette, knife skills. It’s not a science class as much as a life skills class surrounding food and nutrition.”

Gentry-Apple developed the animal sciences course.

“Many students come to the course just knowing that they like animals and wanting to know more,” she said. “Others want to be veterinarians. We start at a very basic level — the difference between a cow and a bull — and work through safety, anatomy and introduce them to large animals, and also discuss the jobs available in the very wide animal science field.”

Those jobs can include research, roles in conservation and at zoos, diagnostic roles in animal health, agricultural product sales, and more, Gentry-Apple said.

“The class is almost to the level of what I’d offer in an introductory animal science course on campus,” she said. “I grew up in Ohio, and we were not exposed to animal science in high school. So to be a part of the only state program to put agriculture classes on an online platform to reach more students is really incredible.”

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