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Professional Pet Assisted Therapy Certificate Program (PAT)

The DJ Professional Pet Assisted Therapy program is a three-course program that trains teams (human and pet) in both the theoretical and practical aspects of pet assisted therapy.  Teams who successfully complete the program are eligible for credentialing through Windwalker Humane Coalition for Professional Pet Assisted Therapy.

Program Highlights:
Non-credit three course certificate program
Course #1 is held on campus at Providence College
Course #2 is held on-site at Elmhurst Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Providence
Tuition is $200/course*

Course I: Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) I: Family Therapy Pets – The Ethical Foundation of PAT

  • Twelve week classes; meet Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 pm at Providence College
  • Temperament testing for pets is held off-site (date tba).
  • This course covers the bond between humans and companion animals from the perspectives of history, research, ethics, safety and legal issues, and application of Pet Assisted Therapy. The format includes lectures, discussions, videos, guest speakers, visits with credentialed family therapy pets, and possible field trips. Credentialing, insurance and temperament testing of pets are also addressed. By the end of Course I, students will learn how to set up safe and effective goal-oriented, treatment-based programs in a variety of settings. Students must pass PAT I and the pet must pass the temperament testing before proceeding to PAT II.

Course II: Pet Assisted Therapy II: Building the Bond: Hands-On/Paws-On Learning

  • Eight weeks class meets at Elmhurst Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, including two off-site evaluations and a final competency evaluation. Students must provide a Certificate of Good Health as well as proof of insurance for their pet.
  • This hands-on course applies the concepts learned in PAT I to working with animals and prepares students for the internship. The family therapy pet and guardian (owner) work together to become acclimated to the sights, sounds and situations encountered in agencies, hospitals and schools, including wheelchairs, school bells, elevators and stairs, as well as practice approaching a patient in bed.
  • The class includes training in pet therapy skills, basic obedience and lectures on animal behavior, and how to “read” the pet. There will be a mid-term as well as a final competency evaluation.

Course III: Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) III: Internship: Experiencing the Joy

  • Twenty-hour, off-site internship experience that typically spans six months and is divided into two segments.
  • Part A (10 hours, generally one hour a week): Part A is typically held at one of the approved training sites. Under the supervision of a highly qualified mentor, students provide PAT treatment with supervision and will additionally learn about PAT guidelines, referrals, goal setting and documentation.
  • Part B (10 hours, generally one hour a week) requires the completion of Part A. Students work with the internship coordinator (instructor) to create their own PAT program in a facility which previously has not had one, based on their pet’s personality and interests. Teams then implement the PAT plan they just developed under the supervision of the internship coordinator.

*Because this is a non-credit program, the PC tuition benefit is not applicable to these courses. No refunds once course begins.  PC staff and faculty are responsible for the full course fee.