You’ve been accepted!
More things you need to know before you arrive.
Once you’ve been accepted to Southeastern Guide Dogs, be sure to familiarize yourself with the information in “What happens during our 26-day training period” section, including the information on Living arrangements: rooms, meals, and amenities. In addition, the following information may be helpful:
It is important to prepare for our training regimen by exercising at home before entering our class. All students should be in the best possible physical condition before entering the training program. We encourage every student to exercise by walking as much as they are able. Our training routes cover various types of terrain, with and without sidewalks, regardless of weather conditions. Our trainers work with students’ abilities, but students should come prepared to work.
Once accepted, applicants are responsible for travel costs to the school and for the return trip home upon completion of training. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Class begins on Monday, and arrival times should be scheduled between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The last day of class is always scheduled for a Friday, and departures should be scheduled by noon. Ground transportation will be provided to and from the nearby airports of Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ), Tampa (TPA), or Clearwater/St. Petersburg (PIE). If coming by Amtrak or Greyhound bus, your destination will be Bradenton, Florida. Please forward all travel arrangements to the admissions department two weeks prior to your class start date.
Meals are prepared by our on-campus chef, who will be informed of any dietary restrictions indicated on your initial application. The chef will discuss any dietary needs and food preferences with you upon your arrival. Snacks, coffee, juices, and fruit are available at all times in the dining hall, at no cost. Vending machines are also available.
WHAT TO PACK
Identification tags with your name and address should be affixed outside and inside your luggage. If flying, identify all luggage at the airport and make sure it is in the school vehicle before traveling to the school. No foot lockers or trunks, please.
The atmosphere is casual. Bring seasonal clothing suitable for the 26-day training period. Foul weather gear is necessary because training is conducted regardless of weather conditions (raincoats, jackets, etc.). Please, no umbrellas. Women should use shoulder bags or “fanny packs” rather than handbags. Sensible, comfortable, broken-in walking shoes and thick socks are recommended. Students may wish to bring dress clothing for individual or class pictures.
Students should bring a supply of medications and medical supplies (diabetic syringes, for example) to last one full month. Each student should bring a copy of their insurance card along with the name and phone number of your physician. If needed, the services of a physician are available at a cost to the student on an appointment basis. If required, appointments will be arranged through your trainer.
Personal items and cash
Students should bring a minimum seven-day supply of personal items such as toiletry articles, cigarettes, etc., and then enough money to purchase additional toiletries and personal items for the remaining time. Shopping time will be available but shopping is not scheduled during the first seven days of class. Since training occasionally involves the use of department stores and malls, students can use those opportunities to shop.
On campus, a small gift shop is available. Extra dog equipment, class photos, and individual photos are available for purchase. Vending machines with soda are available, and students may wish to bring a roll of quarters for vending, as there is no change machine. Smokers should note that Southeastern Guide Dogs does not have a cigarette vending machine.
All meals are provided for students with the exception of one lunch, which will cost students approximately $10. Students should figure an expense of approximately $50 for spending money for one lunch, photos, and any personal items.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is unable to cash checks or change large bills for students. Out-of-state students should be aware that it is very difficult to cash out-of-state checks. ATM/debit cards are recommended, and after the first week of class, ATMs may be accessible during regular training excursions.
No alcohol or illegal drugs are permitted at any time!
We recommend that students do not bring valuables to the school; however, private in-room lock boxes are available upon request.
Students are encouraged to bring cell phones, chargers, and any easily transportable hobby equipment, personal reading materials, guitars, radios, digital music players, etc., to use during down time. Computers with internet and email access are available for shared use in the student computer area. Students are encouraged to bring a digital recording device to record lectures for future reference.
WHAT NOT TO PACK
Umbrellas and valuables are not recommended. No weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs are permitted at any time.
For the convenience of our students, we have adaptive equipment and a complimentary computer lab designed solely for students. Additionally, WiFi is available throughout the dormitory area at no charge.
Incoming mail is received in the afternoon, Monday through Friday, and will be distributed by the class instructor. This mail can be read in privacy and in confidence by any member of the staff, as requested. Outgoing mail can be left in a pre-designated location at the counter in the lobby. Mail is picked up Monday through Friday by the post office. Stamps can be purchased in the main office, Monday through Friday.
Bedding and towels are washed by the school. For personal laundry, washers and dryers are free of charge. The school provides laundry detergent.
Smoking is not permitted inside; however, there is an outside covered area where smoking is permitted.
Southeastern Guide Dogs pursues a safe, comfortable, and welcoming experience for all students. While we make every effort to accommodate all students and their individual needs, we retain the right to terminate a student’s program for the safety and comfort of our dogs and the class. A student whose program is terminated prematurely will return home without their dog. Due to careful application pre-screening, early termination is a rare, isolated occurrence, but may be required in instances of repeated class disruption, lack of safety, inability of the student to work safely with the dog, negligence of personal health, unwillingness to follow instructions, or unexpected physical and health circumstances that prevent the student from physically completing the training. Please understand that substance abuse cannot be tolerated and will result in an early dismissal.