Emotional support animals: Western Carolina University’s campus preparedness

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
BaShaun H. L. Smith (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Kofi Lomotey

Abstract: Emotional support animals (ESAs) are sprouting up on college campuses around the country. The purpose of this disquisition is to explore their impact on the students who need them and one university who have them on campus. Through this research, I found that there is not that much literature on ESAs on college campuses; however, there is much research on animal assistance. Additionally, I found that several schools faced litigation for not allowing ESAs on their campus due to a no-pet policy. Moreover, colleges are hesitant to have ESAs on campus due to a lack of understanding of mental disorders. Although there are some hesitations, ESAs have proven beneficial to students, given the rise of mental health issues across the nation. Despite the benefits and the laws such as the Fair Housing Act, colleges are still reluctant to accept the fact that some students require emotional assistance.I addressed this challenge using improvement science. I used both qualitative (journalentries) and quantitative (Qualtrics surveys) research methods to analyze student, staff, andfaculty knowledge on the topic of ESAs. I used Emotion Coding to see the trends in the journalentries using qualitative methods. For the quantitative methods, I sent the pre-survey to the research participants; then I sent the educational intervention module with the post-survey as well. Overall, the data analysis supported the fact that there was a change after participants took the pre-survey, watched the educational intervention module, and then took the final post-survey. There were some limitations in the research, but with improvement science, those limitations became a strength.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Capacity, College Campus, Emotional Support Animals, ESA, Service Animals

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