Amber got her first glimpse of the college when she met staff on a walk around campus today (July 20) and had the chance to get to know the grounds ready for her official start date at the end of August.
The Labrador/poodle cross joins Lincoln College as a ‘faculty dog’ and it is hoped her being on campus will benefit students and staff in a variety of ways from being a calming presence to people with any anxiety issues to helping learners destress during their exams.
Amber has been chosen based on temperament, intelligence and suitability for the College and her appointment comes following extensive research into the benefits she will bring. To become a faculty dog, Amber underwent in-depth positive reinforcement training and was rigorously assessed against criteria to clarify that she has an impeccable temperament and is competent and safe to work in the College environment.
She has been trained under the Autism Dogs CIC Faculty Dog Programme and when she is not at college will be living with Charlotte McHugh, who is head of student services and supported education at the Lincoln College Group.
Charlotte said she is excited to be able to introduce Amber to the Lincoln College Group.
“We feel Amber will be a benefit in many ways to everyone here at the college, from students spending time with her during college work and exams to help with any potential anxiety or stress experienced by learners.
“Amber will also be able to accompany learners who are part of our supportive education curriculum, and there will be some students we could identify who would really benefit from working more closely with Amber. It’s an exciting time and we’re all looking forward to having Amber.”
A number of members of staff have been trained in how to work with Amber and among her first engagements will be meeting learners during the College’s Big Welcome event in September, as well as attending off campus events, meeting and greeting visitors and being a visible presence on all three college sites at Lincoln, Newark and Gainsborough.
Gary Headland, CEO Lincoln College Group, said the college works hard to ensure students and staff have access to as much support as possible, and introducing Amber was another way of providing help and assistance.
“We’ve been looking very closely at the benefits of having a faculty dog and have carried out extensive research into what a dog like Amber could bring to the group and the overwhelming feedback has been that she will be a great presence. We’re delighted to be welcoming Amber as part of our team.”