Students at the Lincoln
Campus of Southeast Community College got
some stress relief from finals in the form of furry four-legged friends.
On Monday, canines from
Healing Heart Therapy Dogs were pawing around the SCC Student Center, looking
for students to comfort.
“Therapy dogs in higher
education is a two-way street of benefits,” said Dr. K. L. Zupancic, a
psychology instructor at SCC. “It allows our students to de-stress between
final exams, and it’s beneficial to the dogs themselves who are the recipients
of our students’ positive attention and love.”
Zupancic says bringing the
therapy dogs to the College during finals was a pilot project four years ago.
Since then, students and staff repeatedly ask if they can come back during the
end of each quarter.
“The dogs have brought many
people together at SCC, people who would not typically interact with each
other,” she said.
Approximately 14 dogs of
various breeds, sizes and ages will be at SCC during the first 3 days of finals
week. On Monday Dec. 12 and Wednesday Dec. 14, the dogs will be at the Student
Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, they will be there from 9
a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.
In order to become a therapy
dog for Healing Heart, they must have a calm temperament, pass a series of
tests and display the following mannerisms:
C – Confident
A – Agreeable
N – Nice
I – Interested
N – Never too loud
E – Excited/Energized
Students also had the
opportunity to indulge in paraffin wax hand massages and back massages.