Chambersburg, Pa., December 2, 2008 -- The Wilson College Board of Trustees voted November 1 to approve a new equine journalism major, along with three other new majors: environmental sustainability, financial mathematics and sport management.
The new majors, which will be offered for the first time in the spring 2009 semester beginning in January, will be added to Wilson's 24 existing bachelor's degree offerings and mark an important step in the 139-year-old college's history.
The bachelor's in equine journalism will combine instruction in equestrian studies, one of Wilson's most popular majors, with instruction in conventions of journalism, including feature writing and media ethics. Students will be required to complete an internship and upon graduation, will be knowledgeable about equestrian studies and possess a high level of communications skills that will qualify them for any job that requires strong writing, officials said.
Although some other colleges offer equine journalism as a concentration within a major or as a class, Wilson may be the first college in the United States to offer a degree in equine journalism.
"An examination of similar programs shows that, currently at least, there is no similar major anywhere in the country," said Dr. Michael Cornelius, chair of Wilson's Department of English and Mass Communications.
Graduates with a degree in equine journalism will have a number of career options, including writing for newspapers and magazines that report on equestrian events and working in public relations and corporate communications for companies in the horse industry.
The major also will prepare graduates for careers in the equine industry that call for creating marketing, sales and technical written materials for pharmaceutical companies, horse barns, breeders and manufacturers of tack and apparel. In addition, graduates would appeal to schools, associations, foundations and nonprofit organizations related to the horse/equestrian industry.
The publications field in the equestrian industry presents a wealth of opportunities for graduates, according to Dr. John Tukey, chair of Wilson's Department of Equestrian Studies.
"The American Horse Publications organization lists more than 470 members," Tukey said. "There is a very real need for reporters and writers who are trained in equestrian studies and also are skilled in journalism."
Wilson's equestrian program includes two existing majors: equine-facilitated therapeutics and equestrian studies, which offer concentrations in equine management and equestrian management.
For more information, contact the Wilson College Office of Admissions at 800-421-8402 or visit www.wilson.edu.