Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is an alternative or complementary type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAT is to improve a patient's social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants. In a variety of settings such as prisons, nursing homes, mental institutions, animals are used to assist people with different disabilities. The most commonly used types of AAT are canine-assisted therapy and equine-assisted therapy. AAT is especially helpful in reducing the symptoms of psychological disorders, but most of the effects only last for a short period.

Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis is based on the premise that our attachment to and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that now, if we see animals at rest or in a peaceful state, this may signal to us safety, security and feelings of well-being which in turn may trigger a state where personal change and healing are possible. A contrast is sometimes made with Animal assisted activity (AAA). AAA is more casual and unstructured than AAT, involving perhaps more than one patient and with the primary focus on the presence of the animal itself. By contrast, AAT includes a handler which together with the animal has been trained for the role. AAT is more structured with specific objectives for each session. However, in common usage terms like these for animal assisted interventions are often used rather loosely.

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Matching Animal-Assisted Therapy Colleges

Carroll College

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $33,500 average out-state tuition; $33,500 average in-state tuition

Wilson College

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $23,745 average out-state tuition; $23,745 average in-state tuition

Tri-County Community College

At least 2 but less than 4 years; Public; $8,448 average out-state tuition; $2,304 average in-state tuition

Prescott College

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $28,896 average out-state tuition; $28,896 average in-state tuition

Aurora University

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $23,260 average out-state tuition; $23,260 average in-state tuition

SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

Four or more years; Public; $16,320 average out-state tuition; $6,670 average in-state tuition

Lake Erie College

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $29,426 average out-state tuition; $29,426 average in-state tuition

Scholarships for Animal-Assisted Therapy Majors

Bullet name award deadline Link
 

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Up to $30,000 Varies See Details
 

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

award

Up to $30,000

deadline

Varies
See Details
 

Brave of Heart Scholarship

New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation

Up to $50,000 October 05, 2022 See Details
 

Brave of Heart Scholarship

New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation

award

Up to $50,000

deadline

October 05, 2022
See Details
 

BetterHelp Future of Mental Health Scholarship

BetterHelp

$10,000 September 01, 2022 See Details
 

BetterHelp Future of Mental Health Scholarship

BetterHelp

award

$10,000

deadline

September 01, 2022
See Details
 

Wilma Davis Memorial STEM Scholarship

UNCF, Inc

$5,000 August 15, 2022 See Details
 

Wilma Davis Memorial STEM Scholarship

UNCF, Inc

award

$5,000

deadline

August 15, 2022
See Details
 

Military Spouse Scholarship

Western Governors University

Up to $4,000 Varies See Details
 

Military Spouse Scholarship

Western Governors University

award

Up to $4,000

deadline

Varies
See Details
 

Donohue Family SkillPointe Scholarship

SkillPointe Foundation

$2,000 Varies See Details
 

Donohue Family SkillPointe Scholarship

SkillPointe Foundation

award

$2,000

deadline

Varies
See Details
 

Haffizulla Family Scholarship

American Medical Women's Association Foundation

$2,000 December 31, 2022 See Details
 

Haffizulla Family Scholarship

American Medical Women's Association Foundation

award

$2,000

deadline

December 31, 2022
See Details
 

SkillPointe Monthly Scholarship for Technical and Vocational Training

SkillPointe Foundation

$1,000 Varies See Details
 

SkillPointe Monthly Scholarship for Technical and Vocational Training

SkillPointe Foundation

award

$1,000

deadline

Varies
See Details
 

Dr. Charles Lee, O.D. Memorial Scholarship - Palmdale West Kiwanis Club (Osher)

Antelope Valley College

Up to $1,000 Varies See Details
 

Dr. Charles Lee, O.D. Memorial Scholarship - Palmdale West Kiwanis Club (Osher)

Antelope Valley College

award

Up to $1,000

deadline

Varies
See Details
 

Murse World Scholarship

Murse World, Inc.

$1,000 January 15, 2023 See Details
 

Murse World Scholarship

Murse World, Inc.

award

$1,000

deadline

January 15, 2023
See Details