Over the years, the online delivery of education has continued to grow. The benefits of distance learning have always been the flexibility it offers to the students. Today, online learning has become even more critical when the world faces challenges of overcrowding, congestion, pandemics, and global warming, to name a few. Currently, in the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing the incredible benefit online education provides to students and faculty, making education accessible and engaging under any circumstances. Not just in times of crisis but online education brings together students from around the world who contribute diverse perspectives and for whom education may not otherwise be accessible.
Serving the same purpose, the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) was founded as a distance education institution in 1978. Since 1999, ACHS has been providing fully online classes, which profits the institution with over 4 decades of experience in offering education at a distance. Through its online learning, it allows the student to create their schedule while continuing to further their education. For 40 years, ACHS has provided global access to integrative health modalities training via traditional distance and now online studies. Currently, ACHS students are from 80 different countries and every state within the USA.
Personal Challenges led to the Establishment
Dorene Petersen, (Founder and President) of American College of Healthcare Sciences, was a working single mother with young children, and having to attend on-campus classes for four-years gave her first-hand experience of challenges which led to the establishment of the online learning platform. ACHS was established with a firm commitment to offer the life-changing benefits of integrative health and through the flexibility that distance learning provides. She later opened additional branches in Australia and Hong Kong. Today, ACHS is housed entirely on the U.S. campus located in Portland, Oregon, and the college’s satellite campus in Kona, Hawaii.
The ACHS mission and vision are based on Dorene’s beliefs and principles that have stood the test of time: “To provide leadership in holistic health education through comprehensive professional online and on-campus education and high-quality natural products with a commitment to sustainable practices and principles. Through our mission, ACHS fosters competence, professionalism, and cooperation in holistic healthcare and works to preserve and share knowledge in natural medicine. We will achieve our objectives through a set of values that respect our students, customers, employees, suppliers, and community, and to operate with integrity that is deserving of their trust.”
Excelling In Academic Rigor and Integrity
As an accredited college, ACHS excels in academic rigor and integrity whilst fulfilling the traditional values of natural medicine study. The emerging educational needs are met by fostering engagement with the natural health industry through employer surveys, Program Advisory Council (PACs) and regular attendance at industry conferences. Apart from this, the classes utilize the interactive platform for teaching, and students engage in frequent, substantive interaction with their instructor throughout each of the 7.5 or 15 weeks courses.
ACHS has a variety of online programs, including undergraduate and graduate-level certificates, diplomas and degrees as follows,
- Department of Aromatherapy
Under this department, ACHS offers Certificates, Diplomas, Associates, Bachelors, and Master of Science degrees in Aromatherapy. As a professional aromatherapist one can explore working in several industries like perfumery & flavoring, natural products & cosmetics, hospital & clinical settings, private in-person and virtual wellness consulting as well as spa & hospitality.
- Department of Holistic Nutrition
With a degree in holistic nutrition, one can empower the clients to make optimal decisions for daily health. This course prepares the individual to emphasize educating and empowering thus inspiring the clients to make better health choices.
- Department of Herbal Medicine
The Herbal Medicine Department at ACHS offers the opportunity to confidently explore nature’s most precious plants. During this interactive, engaging, online herbalist training students will learn to recognize and work with a wide range of herbs, many of which are common weeds. Learn to formulate herbal remedies to support wellness, address specific wellness challenges, and enhance the optimal function of the body. All online classes include organic herb sample kits and other study materials to enhance experiential learning.
- Department of Integrative Health
Integrative approaches to health and wellness are designed specifically to enhance and optimize a patient’s treatment plan. One can learn to employ best practices in aromatherapy, homeopathy, herbalism, and holistic nutrition to treat patients in a truly personalized way that enhances healing and vitality.
Cutting-Edge MBA program aimed at Health and Wellness
The recently launched ACHS MBA program provides students the opportunity to graduate from a rigorous MBA grounded in principles of sustainability and organizational health and wellness.
Integrative health and wellness professionals graduating from this MBA will have tools to make an even more significant impact on the unprecedented health care challenges, needs, and opportunities facing us today. Students will learn to recognize and make decisions based upon the interconnectedness that exists between organizational actions and the financial, environmental, and social well-being of our complex and dynamic global society. Today more than ever, those leading, managing, and developing business enterprises need an edge. Enroll in this cutting edge MBA and interact with experienced doctoral professors and faculty who focus on the development of the skills required to thrive amidst 21st Century challenges. Throughout this program, students use business concepts and sustainability fundamentals to identify the related opportunities, trends, and challenges resulting from an approach to business that considers the financial, environmental, and social impact of organizational decisions. An added benefit is throughout the program, students will develop projects that lead to a portfolio of tangible, outward-facing examples of their skills and capabilities for execution.
Learn Well, Live Well, and Educate Others
For several years, ACHS has been named in the top 10 of the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon by the Oregon business post. As a virtual campus, ACHS is inherently environmentally friendly and strives to minimize its carbon footprint. The institution operates with a focus on people and the planet both. It is devoted to transparency, accountability, and better the world for others and encourages and inspires all ACHS students to do the same through regular events and gatherings.
ACHS actively encourages student and graduate participation in events such as the eco-challenge, a global initiative that connects the dots between individual action and collective impact to create global change on a human scale. The college also provides paid volunteer days so staff can provide support in their community. Furthermore, ACHS fosters social and cultural responsibility amongst students by fostering awareness and demonstrating commitment by contributing to the public good. The institution focuses on charities that support basic human dignity at home and abroad by preventing and addressing hunger, homelessness, and access to education and educational opportunities.
Dorene concluded by saying, “Our programs prioritize holistic living and education about environmentally responsible practices empowering our students and graduates to make ecologically accountable decisions personally and professionally.“
Appreciation for the Outstanding Alumni
Students will find the ACHS graduates in leading holistic health organizations and corporations across all industries not just in the US, but worldwide. “Our graduates are as diverse as the roles they play in the industry. What they all have in common is a passion for helping others,” proudly asserts Dorene.
ACHS graduates are passionate about health and wellness and having a positive impact on the communities they serve by improving personal health and wellness and supporting family and friends to making a difference as holistic health practitioners and educators around the world. Each year, ACHS recognizes a Famous Alumni and Outstanding Graduate to represent the College as part of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission Outstanding Graduate program.
Notable Highlights of ACHS
The programs provided by ACHS offer flexibility for working students while retaining academic rigor, encouraging critical thinking, and practical application of theoretical material. Furthermore, the institution encourages and invites employers in the holistic health industry to join its active Program Advisory Councils (PACs). Through this approach, the ACHS PACs goal is to ensure that the programs align with today’s employers’ needs hence the students enter the workforce as a holistic health expert and have fundamental job-success skills. ACHS also provides a comprehensive Alumni network and Practitioner Directory, and the career center highlights holistic health-related jobs where students can search for current openings in their fields.
Lastly, many of a student’s assessed projects are useful in a corporate setting, such as developing employee corporate wellness programs and personal and professional development opportunities. Other assessed skills include, practical coaching assignments creating a business plan, or lean canvas business model, or career plan, all of which augment a graduate’s career.
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