This summer, I will be working with Dr. Sue Maxam on a research project entitled, “The Perceived Impact of Therapy Dogs on College Students.” Our research will examine the perceived impact of therapy dogs on college students from the point of view of faculty and staff who have observed students who participate in therapy dog programs on college campuses. Throughout this research I expect to learn the perceived emotional impact therapy dogs have on college students, as well as the perceived physical impact therapy dogs have on college students. I also expect to learn if there is any impact of therapy dogs on student retention, and I will examine what the components are of formal therapy dog programs on college campuses.
To conduct this research, I will be interviewing faculty members at Pace University who have experience with therapy dogs and bring therapy dogs on campus, as well as interviewing people who have therapy dog programs around the nation. I will also be researching all of the components that go into therapy dog programs that colleges around the nation have implemented.
Our ultimate goal of this research project is to bring a permanent therapy dog program to Pace University. The therapy dog in this program will be a full time faculty member with a Pace University ID, and will also have a schedule of where and when it will be on campus.