We’ve Gone To The Dogs…to Help College Students Battle Academic Stress

News | January 31, 2018

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On Tuesday, May 2nd, EBSCO launched its first-ever EBSCO Stand By Me Project event at Endicott College, In Beverly, Massachusetts.

According to an April 2017 Inside Higher Ed article, student retention is an ongoing challenge for many colleges and universities. Reports claim that almost half of all students who begin college never attain a degree. One way of addressing this challenge is to focus on students’ social and emotional wellbeing. EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is always looking for ways to give back to the library community and students, and the EBSCO Stand By Me Project is just one of those ways.

On Tuesday, May 2nd, EBSCO launched its first-ever EBSCO Stand By Me Project event at Endicott College, In Beverly, Massachusetts. Stand By Me is a partnership between EBSCO and Service Dog Project, Inc. (SDP) in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where service dogs in training visit an educational institution to offer stress relief and companionship to faculty and students who might need some time to power down. Seven Great Danes from SDP — Bentley, Noel, Oscar, Sid, Sizzle, Misty and Cole — offered some much-needed therapy and a brief respite from studying. Eventually, the Great Danes will become service dogs to injured veterans and people with mobility issues such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis. Stand By Me is a win-win — the dogs receive the socialization they need to become life-changing service animals, while the students receive the uplifting shot of endorphins that a wagging tail can provide.

Endicott’s event was exceptionally well-received by both the students and faculty. In response to a survey conducted at the end of the event, 97.5% said they would be ‘extremely likely’ to attend a future event, and 98.7% said they would be ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the event to a friend. Many students remarked about their love of dogs, thanked the event coordinators, and expressed a desire for continued or more frequent dog events. Amanda Cole, a Counselor at Endicott who helped coordinate the event, noted that the dogs provided the students with a sense of calm. Students remarked, “This made my day,” “make this happen more often — send us pictures and videos,” “I really needed this in my life,” “so cute, this is awesome,” “this is a great break from school work,” and “keep up the great work, the dogs were a joy.”

EBSCO’s Stand By Me Project event at Endicott proved to be an effective way to connect with our users during exams and to demonstrate our support for their well-being. If you’re interested in bringing this experience to your school, please contact Kathleen McEvoy, EBSCO’s Vice President of Communications, at kmcevoy@ebsco.com.

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