Dog Therapy For Rowan University Students
Between managing classes and extracurricular, college can be stressful. A new program at Rowan University aims to eliminate this stress in an unconventional way. Students will now have increased access to dog therapy thanks to snack food giant, Gerald Schreiber. Schreiber made a generous donation of $3M to expand upon an already existing program “Paws for a Break”. With this money Rowan will establish a more permanent dog therapy iniative on campus, The Schreiber Family Pet Therapy Program of Rowan University. This program will provide more extensive services and increase the presence of and access to dogs on campus. According to NJ.com, Dr. David Rubenstein, vice president for Health and wellness at Rowan said, “ A dog therapy program will enhance the general heath and well-being of Rowan students”.
As stated by NJ.com, the university plans to hire a coordinator to facilitate the program. This coordinator would be in charge of organizing animal visits and creating training programs for volunteers. The dogs will go home with their owners at the end of the visits but while at Rowan they will have a designated outdoor space.
This initiative was started after Rowan identified a growing need for mental health treatment. In recent years, the counseling center has found themselves with up to a semester-long wait for counseling sessions. The university also grappled with the suicide of a student in 2017. Which caused a large spike in use of services.
This donation will allow for the more than 100 students currently on 'Paws for a Break' waiting list a chance to finally meet with the dogs in a timely manner.