For Students

Start your Maddie's University Education Here.

Welcome to the Maddie’s University

Please bookmark this page as reference for your apprenticeship. This page includes many answers to commonly asked questions and details regarding your apprenticeship. We look forward to welcoming you to Austin!

Before You Arrive

Step 1

Plan your trip

Austin Visitor’s Guide

Step 2

Complete Pre-work on Maddie's University

(check email for registration code!)

Step 3

Sign up for Maddie's Pet Forum and Join groups

Keep an eye on your inbox for communications from

[email protected]

Social Media Toolkit

As part of your learning experience, we hope that you will share highlights on your social media profiles. Below we have included sample posts for both Facebook and Twitter.

We’d also love to see you post about your progress after you visit! Show us what you're working on at your home shelter, so we can highlight your success.

Please feel free to use this language, embellish, or create your own content! Make sure you remember to tag @americanpetsalive and to use #thankstomaddie.

Here are some tips for your posts:
  • Include photos and/or videos
  • Check with your teacher/program manager if you have a question about any content or photos/videos you’d like to share
  • Tag American Pets Alive! by typing @americanpetsalive
  • Mention Maddie's University
  • Use the hashtag #thankstomaddie

Sample post for announcing your acceptance

Just heard from @americanpetsalive that I have officially been accepted to participate in the Maddie’s® University, where I’ll learn how to set up a [program name] program here at [@TAG YOUR SHELTER]! #thankstomaddie for this incredible opportunity!

Sample posts for your organization to post
about your acceptance and participation

Our very own [@tag your colleague] has been selected to participate in the Maddie’s® [program name] Apprenticeship at @americanpetsalive, where they will learn how to set up a [program name/type] here at our shelter! #thankstomaddie for this incredible opportunity!

After your Apprenticeship

Tag @americanpetsalive in social media updates, fill out our follow up surveys, stay engaged on Maddie's Pet Forum.


The Academy is provided through a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund, Students attend at no cost to their organization. Travel stipends are provided to students attending apprenticeships. The stipend is provided to assist your organization with your travel costs and to off-set your expenses. This may not fully cover the cost of travel, lodging and meals.

The stipend amounts vary per program and are listed on the Maddie’s Fund website under the individual program you are attending.

  • Stipends are mailed out after your visit (7-14 days after first day of class)
  • Attendance is confirmed on the first day of instruction prior to any stipends being processed
  • Stipends are made out to and mailed to your home organization
  • Stipends are flat rates and determined by program and number of days, no receipts or expense reports are necessary from the students or organizations
  • Per the Department of Labor, any stipends related to Apprenticeships must be used for travel (airfare, taxi, etc), meals, and lodging. Please reach out to your internal accounting department with any questions on the use of these stipends
  • Stipends are not provided to organizations located outside of the United States, however, international students are welcome to apply
  • Beginning in 2019 W-9’s will be required for all organizations receiving stipends

Please forward this information to your financial team so they are aware prior to your visit, any further questions regarding your stipends may be sent to

[email protected]

Cancellation Policy

Students who need to change their apprenticeship due to illness, death in the family, etc., are asked to notify us at [email protected]. With your notice of cancellation, please inform us of the reason you need to cancel and if your organization would like to send a replacement student. If sending a replacement, our instructors will review and confirm acceptance.

Students who need to cancel their apprenticeship are asked to notify us (at the email address above) at least 4 weeks in advance. This will allow enough time for another applicant to be notified and invited. Cancellations fewer than 4 weeks in advance or No-Call/No-Show’s, may forfeit their organization’s opportunity to participate in other apprenticeships at Maddie's University.

Resources for Students

Resources specific to certain classes and only available to students can be found below.

Thursday March 28th, 2019

The Transparency Checklist: How to Know if Your Community’s Animal Shelter is Truly Transparent

Inspired by Kristen Auerbach's 2019 presentation at the American Pets Alive! Conference The word...