How long is the CCSPRO program?
The NWSCS Canine Studies Pro program runs 10-12 weeks, depending on the calendar. It runs a minimum of once a year on a quarterly schedule. For specific information about the session(s) you’re interested in, see Calendar & Tuition.
How many people who apply actually get in?
The percentage of applications we accept varies greatly from year to year based mostly on strength of the applicant pool. Some years we’ve accepted as many as 80%, other years as few as 50%.
What type of certificate is awarded for completion of the program?
Graduates of NWSCS earn a CCS - Certificate in Canine Studies.
Why does the NWSCS require applicants to have completed at least one year of college-level education before applying?
The material presented during the CCS program is advanced and it draws from many disciplines including cognitive science, animal behavior, learning theory, behaviorism, etc.. The program is very intensive, and students are presented with ethically challenging and emotionally provocative material. The NWSCS has found that applicants who have had at least a little college tend to fare better in this setting and help to promote a safe, smart, progressive classroom environment. Exceptions to this requirement are considered on a case-by-case basis at the time of application.
Please note that the program has a reputation for academic and practical excellence; the exams are hard and the program rigorous. We cannot stress this enough and strongly encourage applicants to honestly assess their abilities to fully participate during their session. Those who are not able to do so are less successful and may not pass final exams.
How does the CCS transfer to the professional world?
Since 2006, the NWSCS has graduated over 100 students. CCSs have gone on to work in a wide variety of setting in the dog world and our contemporaries are familiar with what a CCS is capable of. We are well regarded in the community and practicing graduates report an easy transition and acceptance into the field among equally and more qualified peers.
What careers or successes have your past students achieved?
Our graduates go on to open private businesses, start or support rescues and shelters, service dog training operations, graduate schools, community education and outreach, you name it! Many of the well-known dog facilities in Seattle are run by CCSs, and several of the shelters and rescues in the area have been staffed by our graduates. We have graduates across the states and around the globe, as far as China and Mongolia!
Can you please send me a copy of the syllabus?
No. The NWSCS does not provide a set syllabus for any of its professional programs because of the nature of the program itself. The core material provided is the same for each class, but it may be reorganized, customized, adjusted, and it is always updated with the most current information available in the field even if this is during a session already underway. The school is known for this ‘first to market’ approach and a syllabus does not suit our commitment to remaining agile in step with the way the field changes.
The school is state licensed; why aren’t financial aide and alternative loans available at this time?
Unfortunately, the recent economic climate has resulted in Sallie Mae suspending all new loans to small schools licensed after 2006. On the advisement of Sallie Mae, the NWSCS checks the federal loan offices every six months for updates. While no new loan options are anticipated in the future, the website will be updated immediately if this should change. For more information, see Policy & Loan Info at the bottom of the application page.
Is the school accredited?
No. While the NWSCS is state licensed by the Washington State Workforce and Education Board under RCW 28C.10, it is not accredited by any traditional organization. We are a very small school and intend on staying small, hence accreditation is not a fiscally responsible decision for us.
Where can I find more detailed information about the school and what are my student responsibilities?
A complete catalog including more specific course, requirement, loan, and enrollment information is kept on file with the Washington State Workforce & Education board. Registration into the program acknowledges acceptance of these policies and agreements.
Can I speak with any graduates of the program?
You bet. Please contact the office and we’ll be happy to provide you with a current list of grads available to be contacted by prospective students.
I am interested in eventually training service/therapy/support dogs. Is your program right for me?
Past students who interested in these fields report the education they received at the NWSCS was paramount to their chosen service/support training thereafter, allowing them to launch into a specialized career with a competitive edge among their peers. While we offer no specific service dog training track, the CCS curriculum addresses every aspect of foundational behavior work.
Is there flexibility in the class schedule or would I be able to customize the schedule?
The class schedule is set. We encourage students to form study groups and participate in the private, closed Facebook group that will be created so that when a student must miss class for any reason they can work together with their classmates to discuss the material that was missed.
Is a laptop required?
No. Some students prefer to use laptops or tablets but that is by no means required. Pen (or pencil) and a notebook will do. Access to the internet for participation in the Facebook group is strongly encouraged. Recording of any kind is never allowed.
Do I need to bring a dog for the hands-on classes?
Yes. This dog does not have to be yours but does have to be accessible enough to be in your care throughout the program.
I want to visit the facility, speak to past/current students and observe classes at the studio before I apply. Is this possible?
Yes. We are always delighted to meet with students considering application to view our facilities and answer any questions. Please note that this is only possible during certain times because of facility usage, program calendar, and material-sensitive portions of the program requiring closed classes. Because of this, don’t wait to arrange a visit.
If you have questions not answered here, please contact us.