The canine companion for Wisconsin's only Compassion Care Certificate program, which is housed in CUW's School of Education, has begun her official training with Saukville-based Dawgs in Motion, LLC.

Concordia has a new compassion care canine-in-training!

Grace, a labradoodle born May 21, recently began her extensive training with Dawgs in Motion to prepare to succeed Zoey as Concordia’s newest comfort dog. Grace is expected to join the CUW campus sometime in 2023, once her training is fully completed. At that time, Grace will take over for Zoey as the designated comfort dog for Concordia’s innovative Compassion Care Certificate program, the only program of its kind in Wisconsin and one of only a few nationwide.

The goal of the concentration is to equip future educators and other mental health professionals to provide compassionate, trauma-informed care to those whom they’ll serve. The concentration:

  • Is designed as an additive for students already enrolled in an education, social work, or psychology programs at CUW
  • Will consist of four courses (12 credits that may be completed within a year)
  • Launched in fall 2021 with eight members in the inaugural cohort

The program equips students to use trained dogs in classrooms or other therapy settings. Students who graduate from the program will be in a position to either purchase their own certified comfort dog to use within their workplaces or serve as an experienced director of a school-funded program. Even without the use of a working dog, the concentration promises lessons and experiences that prove invaluable in today’s day and age.

“There are still so many kids who are dealing with anxiety and depression and a variety of different types of trauma,” said Nicole Muth, elementary education department chair at CUW. “Research shows that there’s something about petting a dog that allows a child to just open up and talk more about the things they’re dealing with.”

Want in?

For more information about the Compassion Care Certificate at CUW, contact Nicole Muth at

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.