ATTC School Policies
We do not have an enrollment deadline; you may enroll as long as there are openings in the class of your choice. We do however, recommend enrolling as soon as you know for sure that you can attend a particular class, as housing options are better than if you wait until the last minute.
The minimum requirements for acceptance into our taxidermy training program are:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.*
- You must be able to read and write English.
- Each student needs to have ‘phone/voice’ contact with us prior to acceptance within our program. Email is fine for short questions/answers, but we have found that talking is usually more efficient, as our answers to your questions often prompts more questions etc. Also, even though it is ok for spouses, parents, or other related parties to contact us on your behalf, we will need to speak with the student as well. We like to talk with you, and get a feel for what you would like to do after graduation, etc. This is an opportunity for us to get to know a bit about each other, for us to insure that you are motivated, and that you are not being pushed toward a career you may not have chosen for yourself. We have found in the past, that if someone else besides the actual student does all the legwork (phone calls, emails, etc.), those are the students who generally do not do much with their skills after graduation. We want everyoneto be successful!
- And lastly…..You do not need experience to attend our course.
*If you are a graduating high school senior who would like to attend our summer course before your 18th birthday, you may attend with a parent or guardian’s signed permission statement.
ATTC does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, national origin, handicap, sex, or age.
We cannot stress enough, the vital importance of Regular Attendance! Even one missed day can throw you way behind the rest of the class. We realize that unforeseen circumstances can arise however, and we will do our best to help you catch up if you do need to miss a day.
Depending upon the timing though, two or more missed days can put you so far behind that it may be too difficult to help you to get caught up. Every situation is different however, and we will consider each one on an individual basis. In the event you need to miss too many days to catch up, we may advise that you finish your training at the next session which has an available opening. An available opening in this circumstance, is defined as an opening that is still available just two weeks prior to the start of that particular class. The reason for this policy, is that our goal is to fill each class with full paying students, not students who have already paid for a previous class.
For example; If you come to your regularly scheduled class, finish two weeks of the course, then find that circumstances cause you to miss a week, you will probably want to come back another time to finish the course. If we immediately reserve a spot in the next course for you, that would prevent us from having a full paying student in that spot. In other words, you would have taken an opening in the original course, as well as in the next course, while only paying for one of those courses.
To clarify again, we will allow you to finish your studies in another course if there are only two weeks left before it starts and we still have not filled every opening. This may happen with the very next scheduled course, or it may not happen until the 2nd or 3rd scheduled course.
If you need to discontinue our course without making plans to finish, our regular refund policy will apply.
Finally, we would like to say that in over 20 years of teaching, only two students have ever found it necessary to discontinue their training.
We begin class promptly at 8:00 each morning, and you are expected to arrive on time so that you do not hold up the rest of the class. Tardiness is acceptable only in emergency situations, and as with our attendance policy below, we will deal with tardiness on an individual basis. Chronic tardiness without good reason may be cause for dismissal. Things like car accidents, heart attacks, and being held at gunpoint are good reasons. (Okay, a flat tire is allowable too.) Sleeping in and hangovers are not good reasons.
We would like to point out that once you start class, you will enjoy it so much that every morning you will be eager to begin and tardiness will not be an issue for you!
We do not have tests, or use a standard grading system in our course. With our simple Pass/Fail system, we maintain a “do it till it’s right” philosophy. We are there with you every step of the way. When you arrive, one of the first things you will be given is an official NTA taxidermy score sheet. This is used as a reference throughout the course to make sure your are completing everything according to our high standards. Do not let this scare you; In 30 years of teaching, we have never had a student complete anything that was sub-standard, or even close to the “Fail” category. In fact, the huge majority of our students produce work that is far above average! When you complete the course with a “pass” rating, you will graduate and receive a Certificate of Completion.
All that being said, regulations require that we have policies in place for our Pass/Fail system. So….if a student fails, we will allow then to come back at our discretion, to another class to repeat the portion of the course that they failed. The repeated portion of the course must be done in a class that is not already filled to capacity with paying students. To repeat the failed portion of class, you will pay a pro-rated daily amount based upon the number of days needed to complete the make-up training. In addition you will also pay the costs for any additional supplies needed for the make-up training. I will reiterate, that in 30 years of teaching taxidermy, this has never been necessary.
As part of our orientation discussion on the first day of class, we simply ask that you conduct yourselves with an attitude of mutual respect, and try to curb tendencies of excessive foul language. That being said, our students are mature adults who range from 18, up to retirement age and we have always been very fortunate regarding student conduct. In the unlikely event that we find conduct to be an issue, we would apply the guidelines set forth in the ‘Probation’ paragraph.
Probation & Re-Entrance
Probation: If we feel your training is in jeopardy due to unsatisfactory work, tardiness, poor attendance, poor conduct, or any other reason, we will issue verbal/written warnings and/or probations/dismissals depending upon the nature of the infraction. There is no official probation period, as some infractions can impede your training or disrupt class more than others. For example, if you are late two days in a row, that is not as damaging as if you were to lose your temper, throw all your work out in the parking area, and repeatedly run over them with your car. That has never happened of course, but regulations require that we be rather thorough with our intent here. So, whereas being tardy two days in a row may prompt a verbal warning, running over your mounts with your car would likely be grounds for immediate dismissal. As far as general unsatisfactory work goes, those situations would most likely be related to tardiness/attendance, rather than an inability to complete projects satisfactorily.
Re-Entrance: In the unlikely event we do dismiss a student for unsatisfactory progress, we will consider readmittance on an individual basis. Students allowed re-entrance will be required to pay the same tuition & fees as any other student in that particular class. If re-entrance occurs during the middle of class, tuition will be pro-rated depending upon number of days attended, and supplies needed.
After reading all of this, please be aware that we have never issued anything more than a verbal warning for tardiness, and no one has ever been dismissed.
Credit for Previous Training
Credit for Previous Training will be given at our discretion. To make an accurate assessment of your previous training, you would need to come to the school ahead of time along with 2-3 projects that you completed yourself, in the category you want credit for (ie: gameheads, lifesize, birds, rugs, or fish). You will need to explain your procedures in detail for each of your completed projects. We will evaluate your work and grant credit where appropriate.
Most students who come to our school with previous experience or training however, have minimal skills and are still required to complete all of the projects listed on our Course Descriptions page. More often than not, experienced students decide to replace many of their previous techniques with the efficient procedures we teach in our course.
As stated on our tuition page, all deposits are nonrefundable. When a student does have to cancel, the following scenario is common;
The student calls us and gives his/her reason for canceling. Every student who cancels is always under the impression that their reason is valid enough to warrant a refund. Simply put, it would not be fair to refund some deposits, but not others. This is why there are no exceptions to our “no refund” policy. This may sound harsh, but please understand that when you enroll we reserve a spot for you. This means no one else can take your spot. We order specimens and supplies based on our upcoming enrollments. And most importantly, if deposits were refunded every time a person had to cancel, that would contradict the very reason for the deposit.
We realize emergencies do arise however, so here is our compromise; If you have to cancel, we will apply your deposit towards another class (within one year of the original booking) if the following conditions are met:
- We are able to fill your class to our six student capacity.
- You send in an additional deposit equal to the original deposit amount.
Both deposit amounts are then credited towards the tuition of the rescheduled class. In the past, we have had students who just kept canceling, then reapplying the same original deposit to the next class. We have implemented the “additional deposit” policy to prevent this. It is required each time a student switches classes. It is in your best interest to let us know as soon as possible if you have to cancel. This will allow us more time to fill the class, which will satisfy requirement #1 above. In order to reduce class vacancies, there are no exceptions to the above rules.
Bottom line, please be sure of your plans to attend our taxidermy school before you send in your deposit!
In the event a student is unable to complete a class, the tuition refund will be pro-rated according to the date of cancellation, minus the deposit amount, and the amount of supplies used. The date of cancellation will be the day ATTC receives written notice that the student can no longer attend the course. No refund will be issued to students who complete at least 6 days (20%) of the class. (VA Beneficiaries, please see VA Refund Policy.)
VA Refund Policy
For VA beneficiaries on the GI Bill®, the following refund policy complies with current VA Policy, 38 CFR 21.4255:
(1) Pro-Rated Tuition: The school may charge a sum which does not vary more than 10 percent from the exact pro rata portion of such tuition, fees, and other charges that the length of the completed portion of the course bears to its total length. The exact proration will be determined on the ratio of the number of days of instruction completed by the student to the total number of instructional days in the course.
Refunds will be calculated by determining the exact pro-rated amount of the course duration, minus 10%, minus the exact amount needed to pay for specimens, tools, mannikins, and other supplies used.
(2) Breakage Fee: In the event the VA beneficiary student withdraws or cancels before the first day of class, an $895 breakage fee will apply. If the student arrives for class and attends for at least one full day before withdrawing, then the numbers (1) & (2) above will apply, and there will be no breakage fee.
This site is dedicated to the promotion of the taxidermy training offered by ATTC, (the Advanced Taxidermy Training Center of Northwest Montana). Please browse this comprehensive site, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.