This program seeks students with a Human Service background, who wish to enhance their ability to reach their clients or students via sharing their love of their therapy pet.
REGISTRATION: Upcoming courses of Pet Assisted Therapy I will be offered as follows:
To register please check out Community College of Rhode Island or call CCRI Lifelong Learning at 401-333-7070 or 401-825-2000. This is the first of a three course certificate program, upon completion of which the student and therapy pet may be credentialed by the Windwalker Humane Coalition for Professional Pet Assisted Therapy.
- Tuesdays, starting March 11th, 2014, from 3:00pm-5:00pm, at the Providence campus.
Note that Pet Assisted Therapy II and III are offered sequentially after each Pet Assisted Therapy I.
This program has a three-fold purpose:
- To provide an educational foundation for possible licensure or credentialing in this profession.
- To expand the profession by developing standards for ethically based professional PAT programs.
- To educate qualified PATFs who have an intuitive understanding of the Human Companion Animal Bond.
This is a three course certificate program as follows:
- Course I: Introduction to Pet Assisted Therapy - This course will cover the theoretical and practical implications of the therapeutic benefits of the Human Animal Companion Bond. Research in the field documenting benefits will be covered. The course will detail how to establish, implement and evaluate ethically based professional PAT programs and how to work as part of treatment teams or educational planning teams. Legal, safety and ethical issues will be covered as well as needs and strengths of various populations with whom PATs will be working. The tragic link of abuse between animals and people will be discussed, as well as the potential for empathy building via our beloved pets. This course includes discussions, videos of model programs, guest lecturers as well as visits to pet therapy programs.
- Course II: Building on the Bond: Hands-On/Paws-On Learning - This course will teach Pet Assisted Therapy students how to recognize, evaluate, understand, appreciate and work with a variety of pet therapy animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, etc., leading to safe and effective interaction, in which both the client and the animal benefit. The course will combine lecture, discussion, observation and training - to help prepare pet therapy teams for their internship.
- Course III: Internship in PAT - Each PAT student who has successfully completed courses I and II will be eligible for an internship. This is a 50-hour professional internship experience that typically spans six months. The first 25 hours are typically spent at one of three designated training sites: Elmhurst Extended Care in Providence; the CranstonARC in Cranston; or Mount St. Rita Health Centre in Cumberland. At these sites, the sutdents will work under the supervision of a program mentor. Mentors, themselves, have completed the D.J. Pet Assisted therapy University Certificate program at CCRI. In the remaining 25 hours of the internship, students will design and implement their own program, and document it's outcomes. The students' work is born out of their love and understanding of their family therapy pet, and their desire to help other people.