SUNY Cobleskill has been awarded Premier Accredited Center status by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), the credentialing organization for therapeutic horsemanship centers and instructors. The College launched its Bachelor of Technology in Therapeutic Horsemanship program in fall 2016, the first institution in New York and one of less than a dozen across the country to offer PATH Intl. certification as part of the degree program.
Therapeutic Horsemanship uses interaction with horses to help people with special needs overcome physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Students in the program study a broad range of subjects — from equine science to education and psychology — while working with other students, volunteers, clients, parents, teachers and therapists through partnerships with community organizations.
SUNY Cobleskill was cited as an exemplar of PATH standards, passing with a score of 100 percent during the PATH accreditation review process and site visit. In addition, SUNY Cobleskill Assistant Professor Margaret Mansfield is one of fewer than 30 total PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructors. Emma Paden, SUNY Cobleskill Barn Manager, is also a PATH Intl. Registered Certified Instructor.
This May, six SUNY Cobleskill students became PATH Intl. Registered Certified Instructors during the first certification course hosted by SUNY Cobleskill.
“This year’s hard work paid off, both being recognized as a PATH International Premier Accredited Center and hosting our first of many PATH International Certifications at SUNY Cobleskill,” said Mansfield. “The students had a very successful certification and will be heading out into the field as PATH International Registered Instructors.”
Becoming a member of PATH Intl. demonstrates that SUNY Cobleskill is following industry best practices. The PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation cover facility safety, center administration, equine welfare, and more to provide best practices for promoting safety and optimal outcomes for individuals with special needs who work with horses to meet health and wellness goals. Every PATH Intl. Center Member must have on staff either a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor or a PATH Intl. Instructor in Training.
For therapeutic horsemanship instructors and professionals, PATH Intl. certification ensures clients that the professional has undergone a stringent educational, training, and certification process that includes continuing education requirements in the areas of teaching, disabilities, equines, and how to effectively combine all three to provide safe services with optimal outcomes for individuals with special needs.
SUNY Cobleskill also offers guaranteed transfer for qualified Therapeutic Horsemanship graduates into the Sage Colleges’ Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology program.