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August 27, 2014

Humane Society Academy: Courses and Certificate Programs

  • iStockphoto/Maica

We offer online certificate programs in humane education and animal sheltering, with more credentialing and certificate programs being added soon.

Certificate programs include both instructor-led and self-paced courses. In both cases students log in at their own discretion to complete the course material unless a scheduled meeting is described in the syllabus. There are four terms each year, and students are expected to complete a course within the scheduled terms. Students may also take any of the courses individually without committing to an entire certification program.

To enroll in any of the programs or courses listed below, please register with us through DigitalChalk:
Current students »  |  New students »

Certified Humane Education Specialist Program

Ensure that the next generation will have the opportunity to develop and foster humane attitudes and behavior. The program is designed to help classroom teachers, school administrators, youth outreach professionals, shelter directors, humane education specialists and humane law enforcement officers enhance their credentials and effectively use their limited time and resources to infuse humane education into current prosocial programs. The courses center on activities, readings, and field-tested strategies for working with children, teens, school faculty and youth leaders.

Complete the prerequisite and four other courses in the humane education program of study, and pass an exam to receive Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) credentials. Maintain your CHES credential and presence on our active humane educator registry by recertifying every three years. Details regarding recertification and the registry coming soon.

  • HE 0001 History of Humane Education (self-paced, prerequisite for the CHES program) - Humane education has a long and rich history. This mini-course will introduce you to some of the key players and groups of past and present humane education as well as review the changes (both good and bad) as they relate to the humane movement. Register now »
  • HE 0002 Humane Education and Theories of Learning and Development (instructor-led course begins Oct. 6, 2014) - This course is designed to equip both formal and informal education practitioners with an understanding and appreciation of the fundamental theories of learning and how they relate to the components of humane and prosocial education and moral development. Students will review the similarities and differences among various theories and explore and evaluate personal educational practice related to them. The course includes a detailed examination of humane education programs—critically assessing methods, intent and the way a program correlates to academics. Additionally, students will be encouraged to reflect on their previous experience with various theories and bridge new understandings into future practice and as they create curricula and environments that are designed to support academic, social and emotional growth for a wide range of student abilities and diversity. **Prerequisite course: History of Humane Education**. Register now »
  • HE 0003 The Magic of Stories: Encouraging Empathy through Narrative (instructor-led) - Details coming soon.
  • HE 0004 Empowering Youth through Service-Learning (instructor-led) - Details coming soon.
  • HE 0005 The Educator’s Role in Breaking the Cycle of Violence (self-paced) - Details coming soon.

Sheltering Basics Certification Program

Designed for caregivers at animal care agencies, this program seeks to provide step-by-step training in best practices. Topics include basic customer service, cleaning, intake, handling and recognizing when medical care should be sought. Whether new to sheltering or in need of a review of the latest best practices, students will glean tips from operations management staff at some of the country’s most well-run sheltering facilities. Coming Fall 2014

Upon completion of the five courses, participants may request a final certificate.

  • SB 0001 Customer Smart: Beyond Customer Service (self-paced) - Those of us who choose to work with animals inevitably learn that caring for animals is only half of the job. Working well with people is the essential other half. This course was designed to help staff and volunteers in animal sheltering, veterinary and other animal care settings identify their full range of customers and effectively manage interpersonal situations commonly encountered. Register starting Fall 2014 »
  • SB 0002 Basic Sanitation and Disease Control (self-paced) - This course provides a framework outlining the basic sanitation requirements necessary to maintain health and well-being of dogs and cats while in shelter environments. Develop an understanding of sanitation needs and when disease control is necessary.
  • SB 0003 How to Perform an Intake Examination (self-paced) - In this course receive step-by-step training on best practices for full intake examinations of dogs and cats upon admission to an animal shelter. We’ll cover how to make key behavior observations, procedures for three minute physical examinations and techniques for low-stress restraint and handling. The course is designed for shelter staff and will not include how to interpret or diagnose any medical condition.
  • SB 0004 Recognizing When a Dog or Cat Needs Medical Care (self-paced) - Details coming soon.

Individual Courses

Students may take any of the courses listed above without committing to a certificate or credential. Students log in at their convenience to complete the course material. Depending on how the course is structured, students will read course material via the platform lessons or attached materials and submit quizzes or exams. Students are expected to complete a course within 90 days.

Enroll now: Current students »  |  New students »

Conferences and Presentations

HSA facilitators are available to present at conferences. If interested in scheduling a conference presentation or workshop, please contact the registrar at hsa@humanesociety.org or 301-548-7731.

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