E-Learning and Instructional Support

Kresge Library, Room 430
100 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
Office: (248) 370-4566
Help: (248) 805-1625

School of Nursing
Animal Assisted Therapy

Amy Johnson, MAT, MA, LPC, TLS, CPDT-KA, Program Director
3060 Human Health Building, 433 Meadowbrook Rd.
Phone: (248) 364-8704

Jennifer Cepnick, Program Coordinator
440 E Pawley Hall, 456 Pioneer Dr.
Phone: (248) 370-3177

Animal Assisted Interventions


For the 2017-2018 cohort, the Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate program (AATC) now consists of five 5-week modules rather than 7-week modules. The content and materials are still strong and will provide you with what you need to be successful when practicing animal assisted interventions.

Oakland University’s Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate program addresses several health and social issues, including an increased need for alternative, innovative and holistic practices.

Taught by multidisciplinary professionals, Oakland’s animal assisted therapy program helps fulfill the need for alternative, innovative and holistic health care practices. In addition, animal assisted therapy addresses several social issues, such as: providing educational, therapeutic and health benefits for at-risk children and adolescents, the elderly and other special-needs populations
helping patients in nursing homes, counseling centers and hospitals

What is AAT certification?
AAT Certificate Program focuses on the differences between Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy and how to setup a program to achieve the outcomes you'd like to see within the population with which you are working. This program is ideal for people in service professions (teachers, nurses, therapists,occupational therapists, etc.) who want to add AAT to their skill set and introduce either their own animals or other animals, people who want to conduct AAT, start a non profit or become a more credible volunteer.

100% online:
The program is offered completely online. It runs in a consecutive format. There are deadlines and weekly due dates for assignments, but you can do them and post at your discretion. Most students say that the work is not overwhelming and many work full time jobs or take full time classes along with this program. We offer a capstone project which includes the writing of a full proposal/business-type plan rather than an internship. At the end, you will receive a professional development certificate from Oakland University.

Is the program accredited?
There is no national accrediting body for AAT, but having a certificate will make you more credible. We want to demonstrate how to incorporate AAT into any service field or type of service organization and you will have the chance to create by the end of the courses a plan specific to your needs that can be presented to a supervisor or potential facility for approval to add AAT to the location of your choice. This program will help establish standards and competencies for your work.

The program includes five consecutive 5-week modules in the following areas:

Module 1- Intro to AAT
Includes readings on the literature and the learning on what it takes to get started with AAT.

Module 2- Psychology of AAT
Includes learning theories and behavior modification by applying this to AAT.

Module 3- Special Populations
Includes a closer look at vulnerable populations and how AAT will fit in with the populations.

Module 4- Animal Welfare in AAT
Includes learning if the animal can work for AAT, how to certify your pet, what a temperament assessment is and the provisions needed for using animals.

Module 5- Capstone
Includes writing a final paper on introduction, needs assessment, methodology, Budget/resources, similar programs, and outcomes.

The program is $499 per course (both in/out of state; in/out of country) x 5 courses plus the costs of books (available on Amazon). Payment of $499 is due prior to the start of each course. Full price for the program is $2,495. PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE!

For questions contact: 
Amy Johnson at johnson2@oakland.edu or
Jennifer Cepnick at jecepni2@oakland.edu