- How can I know that CASI provides a useful educational experience? How can I be assured of the credibility of the school?
The first way is by our clarity. The course objectives are clearly stated on each course and program page so that you will know exactly what is covered in that course or program. This clarity and detail offers less room for surprises. A school that does not identify exactly what is instructed may not end up teaching you what you want to know.
The second way is to check out the testimonials that grads, students, and guest speakers have provided us.
The third way is that our Advisory Board and faculty is made up of well known and well respected trainers and behavior professionals. They are industry leading, practicing behavior technologists. They literally put their name on the line for our quality. They know the programs well and stake their reputations on it.
Fourth, my professional bio is here: www.jamesoheare.com. Have a look at my credentials. They can all be verified. I am a respected behaviorologist and author of several books, many of which have been translated into other languages to be sold throughout the world. Search my name at www.dogwise.com. You will see many of my currently available books and reviews for them. If you have read any of my current books, my work stands on its own and gives an idea of the kind of instruction you will receive.
Fifth, please feel free to email me, James O'Heare, and ask me any questions you might have about the programs. I would be pleased to answer them.
Sixth, our students, former students, graduates and faculty are active in their field. Lynn Hoover became co-founder (along with James O'Heare) and president of the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants, Kellyann Conway has been the president of the Association for Pet Dog Trainers, Mychelle Blake was editor of the Chronicle of the Dog, published by the APDT and Animal Behavior Consulting: Theory and Practice, published by the IAABC and is the Executive Director of the APDT. Parvene Farhoody has been president of the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers and Lisa Clifton-Bumpass was the secretary and chair of the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers Exam Development Committee. Niki Tudge runs the Pet Professional Guild and Angelica Steinker and Marilyn Wolf also work with the PPG. Susan G. Friedman has been the chair of the IAABC Parrot Division. The list goes on. Check out our testimonials page. A CASI Graduate putting her education to work. We are very proud of the fact that our students are very pleased with their experience with CASI.
Seventh, and certainly not least, we have made the details of our programs of study available to professional associations and certifying bodies for scrutiny and they have been approved for credit toward certification or recertification educational requirements. Check the CEU and Certification page for details.
- Of what value is a CASI certificate or diploma?
CASI certificates and diplomas tell clients that you have been formally educated in what you do; that you are serious about your profession, and that your knowledge has been formally tested. Credentials are an important sign of a serious professional. CASI also provides continuing education credits for recertification through the Certification Counsil for Professional Dog Trainers, the primary certifying body for dog trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. CASI is an approved education provider by the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals. CASI has developed a strong reputation among professional trainers and behavior technologists and the credential is a significant one. Instructors are practicing industry leading professionals, here to help you develop your knowledge and further your career. And of course, you come out much more knowledgeable/skilled than you came in.
- Can I earn my certificates and diplomas by distance?
Yes. There are NO residency requirements for any of CASI courses or programs of study. All of your assignments, including any hands-on components, can be done where you are. We have students completing their studies from all over the world. It is completely distance oriented.
- How does it work? How do I work toward my graduation?
Here is how it works taking a course or program of study through CASI:
Step #1. Explore the diploma and certificate programs and decide what would be best for your goals.
Step #2. Click the ENROLL link to complete the enrollment application. You will be notified whether you are accepted or not and if you are accepted, you will receive the enrollment agreement to complete and send in.
Step #3. Pay the tuition fee when the invoice arrives via email.
Step #4. Receive your coursework documents and handbook from CASI. Start studying the required materials and working on your assignments.
Step #5. When you hand in your assignments your work will be graded and if a passing grade is earned a certificate will be awarded.
- Do you provide a payment plan option if the full tuition is too much to handle?
- Where can I find the tuition fees and are there any other fees?
The tuition fees can be found on each program page. When you click on the title of a program it will bring you to the program page. Canadian residents pay HST. There are no other fees (e.g. enrollment or graduation fees etc.).
- What is CASI's refund policy?
Because all of the CASI resources are made available immediately upon enrollment in a format (PDF) that is not “returnable,” CASI does not provide a refund option.
- Can I take individual courses rather than the program as a whole?
Yes, you would apply to be accepted into a program whether you intend to complete all courses toward that program or not and then you would simply take each course individually observing prerequisite requirements.
- Can I enroll in a smaller program (Diploma of Professional Dog Training) of study and then pick up remaining courses to achieve a larger diploma program (Diploma of Canine, Feline, Parrot, Equine or Animal Behavior Science and technology). Also, what if I take one large diploma program and want to pick up another of the large program?
Yes, what we would do is get you through the Dip.PDT program and then we would get you enrolled into the larger diploma program of study after you graduate. We would transfer credit for the courses in common that you have already completed. The tuition would be the tuition for the larger program minus the tuition you paid already, plus a $300 cdn administrative fee. If you really ultimately just want the larger program, it would be less expensive to just start with that program rather than starting with a smaller program. But if you really do want both as your ultimate goal, then this option definitely is available.
If you have taken one of the larger diploma programs and want to pick up one of the others as well, that is just a matter of taking the remaining courses required to complete the other program.
- Are there exams or assignments to complete?
Most assignments involve the completion of brief essays (some based on hands-on training, consulting, or practical career development tasks). You get the assignments immediately upon enrolling and they are due by the end of the program deadline. Some assignments are hands-on. Some require training a dog, coaching a human volunteer or video recording in some instances. The course or program page will state whether you will be required to do any of these though, so that you know up-front.
- How will I be graded?
We will be grading based on completeness, accuracy, and adherence to the assignment preparation guidelines. Please do not expect all A-range grades; you will only be setting the occasion for disappointment. The assignments are used to demonstrate proficiency in achieving the stated course objectives. We use a shaping model of education. Where we identify any deficiencies, we will offer guidance in order to help you develop a stronger repertoire for the principles involved and achieve proficiency in the course objectives. If you do not demonstrate proficiency in an assignment, your instructor will offer you an opportunity to revise and resubmit the assignment up to two times per assignment or they may simply pose remedial questions in order to secure a demonstrated proficiency with the course objective. Your conditioning is far more important than merely slapping a grade on something. That said, every assignment must be passed eventually for the student to move forward in the program and if they cannot do so after attempts at remediation, CASI may discontinue the student’s enrollment (without refund).
Letter Percent Explanation
A 90–100 Mastery of all course objectives. Pass
B 80−89 Minimally proficient comprehension of course objectives. Pass
C 70−79 Inadequate comprehension of course topics, failing to meet course objective. Fail
D 60−69 Inadequate comprehension of course topics, failing to meet course objective. Fail
F 0−59 Inadequate comprehension of course topics, failing to meet course objective. Fail
- Are textbooks or other required materials including in the tuition?
- Can I get an extension if I am unable to complete my coursework on time?
The time frames provided should allow most students to complete their coursework within the allotted timeframes stipulated on the program page and also in the coursework documents received by students when they enroll. However, we appreciate that “life happens” sometimes and extensions may be required. Nor do we want students to feel rushed with hard and fast deadlines.
Therefore, extensions are available for diploma programs (and not the certificate programs, see below) for $50 and / month from the enroll page. Extensions are granted/approved at the sole discretion of CASI. Extension requests must be made via the button on the enroll page BEFORE the student’s deadline date.
For certificate programs, students will be allowed to re-enroll, at the sole discretion of CASI, with a 70% discount, which would allow them another year to complete the remainder of their coursework. Re-enrollment must be arranged (using the button on the enroll page, BEFORE the original due date to secure the discount.
- Can I transfer credit from other post secondary educational institutions?
The following are the only allowable credit transfers:
If you have graduated the Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services course through the Australian Delta Society you many transfer that credit to Animal Training Technology I and II. Program tuition fees are not adjusted but you will have the same amount of time and will not have to complete the coursework for the transferred course.
There are no other transfer of credit options.
- Can I take advantage of federal grants and loans or otherwise apply for government financial assistance for my education with CASI?
Not many of these kinds of assistance programs in all countries or states/provinces are applicable for the kind of school CASI is (professional development). You may look into it, but they are rarely available.
- Will I receive Canadian tax deduction forms for my taxes
No, CASI does not issue such forms. These forms are for "career colleges" and “universities" and not for the kind of school CASI is (professional development).
- What is CASI's association with professional associations and certifying bodies in the field?
CASI has sought and achieved course approvals and institutional approvals from the field's most prominent and credible professional associations and certifying bodies. This has involved varying degrees of scrutiny. CASI is pleased to be able to provide graduates with credits toward certification and recertification with these organizations. CASI is associated with the various associations and certifying bodies above in various other ways as well, which is important to address with transparency. James O'Heare, the owner of CASI was also co-founder and Board of Directors member of the IAABC and was the founder of the AABP. CASI and AABP share some Board members. Some CASI faculty, Advisory Board members, students and graduates are, or have been, Board Members, Directors or otherwise affiliated with each of the organizations listed above. The professional community is small and the interrelated affiliations are an indication CASI's extensive interaction / participation in the professional community. CASI is obliged to meet the same standards and criteria that any other school is. Where any possible conflicts of interests may arise, CASI will work to avoid or address them carefully and ethically.
- What is the theoretical orientation of CASI?
CASI is a natural science-based school. CASI instructs in the natural science of behavior referred to as behaviorology (which is similar to "behavior analysis" except that it is not a branch of psychology but rather a completely independent and comprehensive discipline). We do not instruct in the less efficient and less effective medical model approach or an ethological approach. We do not instruct in how to apply broad generalization labels called "diagnoses" and we do not instruct in imitating wild canine social structures.
- What is the history of CASI?
James O'Heare, CABC founded CASI in 1999. James had been the author of many well received books which have been published around the world in several languages and there was a great demand for James to teach others dog training and behavior consulting. At the time there was no professional association for behavior consultants or certifying body for dog training and the only other school focussing on animal friendly methods was Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers, which was in San Francisco (Jean Donaldson no longer works for the SFSPCA in this capacity) and was an in-person program, so a distance program seemed to satisfy the demand. James started with a single course, which was soon expanded and then split into 3 courses. Soon after, as demand grew, James formed an advisory board of industry leading professional colleagues to help guide the progress of the school. The courses grew in number and programs of study were designed and course approvals have been sought from newly developing associations and certifying bodies. New instructors have been brought in and with the advent of certifying bodies and professional associations, CASI has sought and achieved course approvals through them.
- Is a Certificate or Diploma a degree?
A certificate or diploma is not a degree. It is a document certifying the completion of a course of study involving multiple courses. CASI does not issue university degrees. We award certificates or diplomas to represent graduation from our programs of study.
- Is CASI "Accredited"?
Not being a degree issuing university or vocational private career college, CASI does not require any form of "accreditation" at all. As a private professional skills development institution, we have voluntarily sought our course approvals, continuing education credits and memberships in order to help ensure that we meet appropriate standards specifically related to our field and to help assure potential students of that. Please see our course approvals page for details. Our CEU pre-approvals and memberships demonstrate that we meet a high standard of service and we have subjected ourselves to this outside independent scrutiny in order to be sure we are providing high caliber services.
- Does CASI provide vocational programs?
No. Although the CASI programs are designed to be in-depth and comprehensive, the behaviorology department programs do not provide the supervised hands on skills development that would be required to practice professionally. The programs are designed to help trainers, behavior consultants, or other animal reacted professionals upgrade and develop their skills and knowledge.These programs do, however, provide instruction well beyond the industry standard, allowing animal-industry professionals to advanced their knowledge and skill.
- Is CASI a Degree issuing University or a Private Career College and are the programs intended to be vocational?
No. While CASI provides challenging and advanced coursework and programs of study and the credentials are respected and meaningful, CASI is not a degree issuing university, or a private career college. CASI is a nonvocational, nonregistered private institution offering certificate and diploma courses and programs for recognition of graduation from challenging programs of study. CASI is not a university or private career college.