Students living in Canadore College’s residence have a furry friend and access to more than 25 other services to help melt their stresses away while studying for year-end assignments and exams this week.
Niiji, meaning ‘friend’ in Ojibway, is Canadore’s mental health and wellness dog. He is an integral part of the College’s student success strategy, a holistic approach to health for the whole college community.
The two-year-old German Shepherd helps to create a comfortable atmosphere, by assisting students in expressing their emotions, de-escalating high intensity situations and reducing day-to-day stress and anxiety.
The College’s avant-garde services delivery model, which included Niijii, resulted in highly-favourable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) survey results this year.
According to the most recent standings, Canadore boasts the highest graduation rate of all English language colleges in Ontario and its students rate the College’s overall quality of services above the provincial system’s average.
Nicole Peacock, a first-year Early Childhood Education student from Huntsville, Ont., heavily relied on Niijii for support during this week’s exam period and throughout the whole academic year.
“Niijii has definitely helped me to prepare for my exams,” said Peacock. “During my study breaks I found it quite comforting to have a big lovable animal on campus to hang out with. He is the sweetest dog you will ever meet!”
The dog has undergone intensive training as a service animal and lives in Canadore College’s residence under the care and supervision of its residence life coordinator.