Letting the Dogs In to Battle the Stress of Finals
~ EBSCO Information Services Teams Up with Endicott College and Service Dog Project to Ease the Stress of Final Exams at One College Campus ~
IPSWICH, Mass. — April 27, 2017 — The end of the semester means research papers and final exams and the stress they bring for college students. This year, students at Endicott College will be able to take a break from their studies and spend some time with the dogs from Service Dog Project, Inc. The goal is to reduce their finals-induced stress levels. Service dogs in training will be available to students at the Endicott Amphitheater on Tuesday, May 2nd from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
College counseling centers and student life organizations have documented the benefits of bringing therapy dogs to help college students during exam week. The physical benefits of pet therapy can counteract the effects of stress, including normalizing of heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the level of the stress hormone cortisol, and an increase in the hormone oxytocin which is associated with anti-anxiety effects.
Therapy dog programs for stress relief are becoming increasingly popular in libraries and on college campuses across the United States and Massachusetts schools are no exception. Colleges such as Harvard have dogs that students can check out for 30 minutes.
Endicott has experimented with making dogs available to students in the past and Endicott Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Brandi Johnson says the college is looking to bring the comforts of home to its students. “Dogs are a great way for students to recharge between exams. It is natural for stress levels to increase during finals week and we are excited to see how the dogs can help alleviate that stress and give students a well-deserved break.”
As an academic content provider, EBSCO Information Services, (EBSCO) located in Ipswich, Massachusetts decided to fund the #EBSCOStandByMe project because it has seen the benefits of this dog therapy. EBSCO Strategic Projects Coordinator Janna Charette brought dogs from Service Dog Project to EBSCO last year. She says the response was overwhelming. “When we saw the immediate impact these dogs had in a business environment, it was easy to see that we could bring this program to our library customers and their users.” EBSCO also understands the role it plays in finals week for students around the world. The search system and research databases students use to complete their research papers receive some of their highest usage during the end of the semester.
Service Dog Project has trained and donated more than 120 fully-certified Great Danes as service dogs. The dogs are provided to individuals who have severe balance issues including children and war veterans. Founder Carlene White says the Great Danes she raises and trains are great for the Endicott College event because they are calm and spend a lot of their days napping. “Calm breeds calm. Dogs that are innately relaxed are easy for students to approach. Once someone is petting a dog, the nurturing is two-sided. The dogs love the attention and students naturally relax.” White says this kind of therapy is a good experience for them as they are trained to become service dogs.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.
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“When we saw the immediate impact these dogs had in a business environment, it was easy to see that we could bring this program to our library customers and their users.”