Certificate Program (15 credits)
Do you want to share your love of animals with others, bringing the unique benefits of human-animal interaction into the lives of those that need it most? Do you want an education that spans the breadth of animal assisted therapy, education and activities (AAT/E/A)? Our comprehensive program will give you the skills you need to participate in an existing program or to get started building your own. Our Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy will help you to:
- Work with animals in an educational or therapeutic setting
- Correctly interpret human and animal body language
- Train dogs and other animals to work safely in the AAT environment
- Understand animal cognition and emotions
- Build safe & effective programs
- Anticipate and resolve potential problems
- Understand the legal and ethical issues
- Work with a variety of personality types
- Create animal enrichment programs
- And much, much more!
The Animal Assisted Therapy certificate requires the completion of five online courses (15 academic credits) and a field requirement consisting of 40 hours of hands-on experience as an employee, intern or volunteer at an approved institution of your choice. The required courses for this certificate program are:
- ABI 116 Practical Psychology
- ABI 211 Animal Assisted Therapy
- ABI 232 The Human-Animal Bond
- ABI 233 Animal Training or ABI 234 Canine Training
You will also select one elective from the following:
- ABI 238 Training Your Therapy Dog
- ABI 251 Behavior & Training of Marine Mammals
- ABI 261 Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies
- ABI 271 Canine Behavior & Enrichment
- ABI 272 Feline Behavior & Enrichment
- ABI 331 Animal Behavior
Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CAATP, Certified Animal Assisted Therapy Professional. Many of our graduates start their own programs after completing their certificate, working as independent contractors. Others may incorporate their training into positions as therapists, counselors, teachers, social workers, special education instructors, nurses, nurses’ aides, program managers and more. The outlook for professionals employing Animal Assisted Therapy is extremely positive. Therapy and therapy assistant positions are projected to grow much faster than average for the next decade, by over 27%.* Opportunities in Animal Assisted Therapy & Activities have never been greater!
Our program in Animal Assisted Therapy is unlike any other distance education program. Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. Students receive feedback each week, working on collaborative projects while training their own animals. This allows them to achieve a deeper level of understanding than they would develop on their own. This collaboration, coupled with the mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that they receive a very personal education.
Tuition is $1,110 per course; the total tuition for the certificate program is $5,550 (textbooks are purchased separately). Tuition assistance is available via interest-free financing; multiple course discounts are also available. Qualified military spouses may have the entire cost of the program covered by MyCAA, allowing them to complete the program at no charge. If you have questions on the program, or need help getting started, please contact us at (866) 755-0448 or via email at email@example.com.
*U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
Learn more about Careers in Animal Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities.