Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling

Admissions Requirement 

Admission to counseling-related graduate program at or outside of ISU.

The ISU AAI certificate curriculum was thoughtfully and intentionally developed in the spirit of current best practices and in collaboration with international leaders in animal assisted interventions. Each class offers a balance of theoretical knowledge and applied skills, with a heavy emphasis on provider competence, animal welfare/advocacy, and practical efficacy. Although the curriculum’s main focus is on Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal Assisted Education (AAE) as professionalized approaches, we also attend to issues relevant to the delivery and direction of Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) within healthcare and educational contexts. Within the three-course sequence, students gain in-depth theoretical knowledge of AAI history and literature, industry standards and culture, professional issues, and live practice opportunities under supervision.

Each course in this series was thoroughly reviewed and subsequently endorsed by several international leaders in the AAI industry, and your program director continuously engages in updating course content to reflect current standards and continuously invites peer consultation and feedback on all aspects of the curriculum. Guest experts are a regular presence during class meetings so that students are exposed to a variety of expert perspectives and introduced to industry leaders beyond your program director.

The curriculum is applicable to a wide variety of animal species, and students are provided with structured opportunities to gain in-depth, species-specific knowledge about the species of animal that he/she wishes to work with in the future. During their time in our program, students may enjoy potential opportunities to interact with dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles during their time in our program.

COUN 6684Introduction to Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling3
COUN 6685Best Practices in Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling3
COUN 6686Applied Practice in Animal Assisted Interventions3

Requirements for the Idaho Counseling License

The Idaho Counseling License requirements include:

  1. Master's degree in a counseling major (any one of the four M.COUN. majors meets this requirement),
  2. 60 graduate credits in a planned counseling program (including the courses in one of the M.COUN. majors),
  3. 1000 hours of counseling experience supervised by an approved supervisor listed on the Idaho Board of Occupational Licenses-Counselor and Therapist website (including the hours received as part of a M.COUN. program), and
  4. A passing score on the Idaho Counseling License Examination (or the National Board for Certified Counselors Examination).