ATSU ONLINE HEALTH PROFESSIONS EDUCATION
A.T. Still University (ATSU) is consolidating online efforts, creating synergy, and increasing opportunities for online health professions education.
During the past 12 months, a team of University leaders met regularly to evaluate ATSU’s online efforts. University representatives visited and studied successful online institutions and engaged a consultant. While ATSU has a successful online educational presence, many opportunities were identified to increase effectiveness, student learning, and enrollment.
Areas including marketing, ITS, admissions, financial aid, tuition billing, and academic design were specifically analyzed and deemed to offer potential efficiencies to bolster ATSU’s online educational efforts.
“ATSU has done exceptionally well with online health professions offerings. Bringing appropriate programs together in an environment of best practices, unified support, and focused resources will better serve our students, faculty, and staff. All education in the future will offer some component via technology, and ATSU will use this opportunity to enhance faculty and staff professional development across the University,” said Craig M. Phelps, DO, president of ATSU.
Consolidating into a new entity will allow ATSU to utilize resources necessary to assure success. The new entity will consist of the Arizona School of Health Sciences’ (ASHS) Human Movement and Doctor of Health Sciences programs and the School of Health Management’s (SHM) Doctor of Health Education, Doctor of Health Administration, Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Health, and Master of Pubic Health – Dental Emphasis programs. Program faculty and staff will continue in respective locations: Kirksville, Mo., Mesa, Ariz., and virtual; however, all will function under a common identity and leadership. A name for this new entity is to be determined, and teams of University faculty and staff will help guide the consolidation. SHM Dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA, will lead the enterprise.
“Beginning in 1999, ATSU has provided online degree programs within two separate schools. By bringing all ATSU non-discipline specific online programs together under one new entity, the message will be clear. ATSU ‘is’ the online place to go for health professionals to enhance their education,” said Dean Altman.
ASHS Dean Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, said, “Indeed this is an idea whose time has come. This opportunity will allow ATSU to take advantage of higher education best practices with respect to ATSU’s distinctive needs and context.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Haxton reported, “ATSU Student Affairs is excited to support, enhance, and expand opportunities for online education. This refinement into a single entity will help solidify future efforts and priorities.”
Consolidation will begin Jan. 1, 2014, and be completed by July 1, 2014.