Providing training overseas, a new homeland security degree and now a unique canine handling course – these are a few of the things on Amarillo College’s horizon as it partners with international security consulting company G4S.
By Brittney Richerson
Dr. Shawn Fouts, dean of career and technical education, said AC is preparing to offer a 16-week canine handling course on the East Campus. The course could be available as early as April 2012 and will be unlike any other in the nation, he said.
“It will be one-of-a-kind,” Fouts said. “There are other dog handling courses in the country, but this one will be far more advanced in length, detail and scope. There is no other college in the country that offers a course like this to the extent that we’re going to.”
The idea of AC offering the course was brought to the table earlier this year when AC President Dr. Paul Matney received a call from G4S-C3, formerly RONCO Consulting Corp. The company specializes in supporting humanitarian missions, training and operating canines, security consulting and providing training, according to its website, www.roncoconsulting.com.
Fouts said G4S plans to provide AC with 20 canines, which will be housed by a local veterinarian and transported to the East Campus for classes.
“Our course is going to be designed, not to train dogs, but to train people how to work with dogs,” Fouts said. “The semester will start out very classroom intensive, but by the end, students will be spending the majority of their time with the dogs.”
Fouts said most law enforcement agencies in the Panhandle have dog handlers who are interested in the course.
“When you get a dog, you usually get a three- or four-week class and that’s it,” he said.
Fouts said the course also is intended to appeal to veterans and students interested in law enforcement and the homeland security degree the college is working with G4S to develop.
Students enrolled in the course will receive continuing education credit until the program is accredited as an academic course. Fouts said the course will count toward certificates and degrees upon completion.
Matney said the college’s partnership with G4S is a promising opportunity.
“This provides us with one more way to better serve the community,” Matney said.
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011