Attendance Requirements

Part One – Introduction to Zookeeping & Facility Operations (weeks 1 thru 24) consists of 720 practical clock hours broken down into 24 weeks of 30 hours per week AND

Part Two – Advanced Zookeeping & Small Facility Management (weeks 25 thru 48) consists of 720 practical clock hours broken down into 24 weeks of 30 hours per week.

Completion of the Professional Zookeeper Program consists of 1440 practical clock hours broken down into 48 weeks of 30 hours per week.

Students will be required to be on the zoo grounds for a maximum of (10) ten hours per day. Full time employment or opposing work schedules are not recommended as they may interfere with progress in the program. Students will receive two weeks off each 6-month course (either during or between courses). The scheduling of such time off must be approved by the instructors to ensure proper support for the animals under the care of the students. Also, other time off for special circumstances may be arranged at the discretion of the instructors and will be considered on an “as needed” basis.

Though not required as a participating student; the Animal Care Management may request pre- scheduled attendance due to an animal or other emergency concern. Cat Tales will and/or may be open to students during any 24-hour day, any day of the year. Students are frequently scheduled to begin their days in the fall, spring, and summer by 7:30 in the morning. Winter hours vary depending on the weather and commuting conditions. In-person and virtual instruction continues throughout the year. The school is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The students will be scheduled for training and instruction at the start of the program, with their weekly/daily attendance requirement determined at that time. In general students will be required to attend 3 days per week at a 10-hour day or the equivalent to equal a 30-hour week. Student attendance will include the above hours scheduled Tuesday through Sunday, including at least one weekend day. The dates and times of the virtual and/or in-person instruction will be determined to fit the schedule of the students at the start of and throughout the course(s).

Clock hours must be kept current regardless of time off granted. Any other absences must be made up prior to the completion of the course in which they occurred. Failure to make up missed contracted time, responsibilities, or studies will result in no grade given and dismissal from the program. Unless specified, without written notice, the dismissal date will be as described in the “Official Termination Date” section.

Official Termination Date

The official date of termination of a student shall be the last date of recorded attendance when withdrawal occurs in any of the following manners:
(1) When the school receives written notice of the student’s intention to discontinue training.
(2) When the student is terminated for a violation of a published school policy which provides for termination.
(3) When a student, without notice to the institution, fails to attend classes for 30 calendar days.