Doctor of Health Education Degree Online
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Health Education Degree Online
The only degree program of its kind, the prestigious Doctor of Health Education degree online offered by A.T. Still University (ATSU) positions students for superior career success. Through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies, students examine the current state of health education and their individual roles and responsibilities within it. The online health education degree curriculum is meticulously aligned with Certified Health Education Specialist competencies to provide the nationally recognized credentialing needed for advancement.
ATSU’s Doctor of Health Education degree is a 78- to 84-credit-hour program that is 100 percent online. It is closely aligned with the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) competencies delineated by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), the nationally recognized agency for health education credentialing.
No residency is required to earn the Doctor of Health Education degree, saving travel time and expense. The first two years of the online health education degree program are spent taking core courses and the third year is spent completing the dissertation. In addition to completing all core courses and a dissertation, students in this health education degree program must also present their dissertation study online to their dissertation committee and any ATSU faculty, staff and students who wish to attend. Choose between an applied or theoretical dissertation based on your individual interests and priorities.
Additionally, online health education degree students must take the CHES or MCHES exam and submit their dissertation study to two peer-reviewed journals, providing the opportunity for industry-wide exposure as a published scholar. They select a dissertation mentor from a panel of dedicated and highly accomplished faculty for the most relevant and enriching collaboration. These requirements offer several opportunities to prepare themselves professionally.
This advanced online health education degree provides invaluable flexibility and faculty support and guidance to advance your careers without interruption and maintain a balance with work and family – support that includes direct access to the program chair. This asynchronous anytime/anywhere model for this unique health education degree program frees students to work at the ideal pace for them, from one or two courses per term.
Graduates with this highly respected health education degree excel as leaders, improving community health and wellness in the rapidly expanding field of health education that’s projected to grow at a rate of 37 percent nationally.
Doctor of Health Education Program Guide +
Click on the Doctor of Health Education program guide to learn more about the program and the University.
Read detailed course descriptions and dissertation specifications for the doctorate degree in health education and find answers for many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.
There are many potential advanced career outcomes for graduates who hold the DHEd degree, including:
- Administrator/professor at a college or university
- Director of corporate worksite wellness
- Director of community education in a hospital or health system
- Director of community health services
- Director of local, state or federal government health agency
- Program manager in a community-based service organization
Doctor of Health Education Degree Faculty
The Doctor of Health Education degree program offers a challenging educational experience that enables intellectual and professional advancement. The ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of the health education degree student. Comprehensive student services are available, including advising, tutoring, technical support, and career services.
CGHS instructors have diverse academic and professional backgrounds in public health and health education, and all hold doctorate degrees. Their academic areas of interest include community health, health literacy, child and adolescent health, college health, environmental health, rural health, microbiology, epidemiology, parasitology, emerging pathogens and infectious disease, program evaluation, factors affecting health behavior, allied health and health sciences education, professional education of health educators, online learning and innovative teaching methodologies.
Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA
Dr. Don Altman, is the Dean for CGHS as well as Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health (CGHS) and Director, Public Health & Research at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. He has been with the University since October 2006.
Dr. Altman graduated from The University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at The University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at The University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University.
Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health.
Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
- Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA
Associate Dean +
Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment
Dr. Adler is the Associate Dean for Assessment and Student Success at the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS). She began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2006, became the Program Chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the Associate Dean in 2012.
Dr. Adler holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.
During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person healthcare are the keys to a healthy community and society.
- Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
Erin Breitenbach, PhD
Dr. Erin Breitenbach is Program Chair of the Health Education program at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She holds a BA in kinesiology (1991), a MA in health education (1996), and a PhD (1998) in health education from The University of Texas at Austin. After several years conducting health education research, Dr. Breitenbach spent time managing oncology clinical research before returning to health education as a public health instructor for ATSU.
Dr. Breitenbach’s research interests include cancer screening in Hispanic women, school nutrition behaviors, and developing collaborative partnerships among institutions of higher learning, state-level organizations, and local school districts to improve comprehensive school health education.
- Erin Breitenbach, PhD
Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, MCHES
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Dr. Olsen has a doctorate in health education with a minor in environmental and occupational medicine, completing his DrPH at UCLA in 1970. He earned his master of arts in teaching at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and a Master of Public Health degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a baccalaureate degree in health and physical education. By profession, he is a health educator and has worked in community, school, and university settings.
Dr. Olsen has been in academics for more than 40 years and has been a program coordinator, department chair, associate dean, and dean at various colleges and universities. He has authored or coauthored more than 30 textbooks, 100 publications that have appeared in professional literature, and has presented more than 300 papers at the meetings of local, national, and international organizations. He has been a national officer in numerous national and international professional organizations and is currently the chair-elect of the School Health Education & Services Section of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Olsen was a member of the steering committee for the National Health Educators Update Project to delineate the generic roles of both entry and advanced-level health educators and has directed or served on over 300 master’s and doctoral dissertation committees. His research interests lie in factors that affect health behavior, program evaluation, and environmental health issues.
Colleen Halupa, EdD
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Dr. Halupa has been an associate professor in the Doctor of Health Education program at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies since 2006. She has an EdD in curriculum and instruction, a Master of Science in Health Administration, Educational Leadership and Management, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and an Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology. Prior to her career in academia, Dr. Halupa was a biomedical sciences officer in the United States Air Force. During her tenure in the Air Force, she held varying positions in health administration and education.
She served as department manager, the compliance manager for a large hospital where she oversaw quality improvement, risk management and infection control, as the director for an Air Force medical training program, and as an assistant administrator at a large health facility. Before entering the Air Force as an officer, she was a laboratory manager and consultant at a 100-bed hospital with a 150-bed nursing home in rural Nebraska as well as the chair of the Hospital Hazardous Materials committee. Dr. Halupa started her career as a medical laboratory technician, then a medical technologist, in the Air Force.
Dr. Halupa is an active contributor to professional journals and has spoken at several state, national, and international health and education conferences. She currently conducts research in online learning, graduate education, student satisfaction, mentor relationships and online continuing medical education, in addition to writing and presenting on rural healthcare issues and the new Health Reform Act. Her other research interests also include microbiology and epidemiology, parasitology, emerging pathogens and infectious disease, environmental safety and health – particularly hazardous chemical and biological agent management and response, allied health education and miscellaneous health administration topics.
Donna Allen, PhD, CHES, FAWHP
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Dr. Allen earned her PhD in Health Promotion from Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas; a Master of Education Degree with an emphasis in Health Education and Exercise Physiology from Baylor University, Waco, Texas; and a Baccalaureate Degree in Health and Physical Education at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas.
She is a Certified Health Education Specialist, a Wellcoach, and Fellow for the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion. She is certified by Gallup University as a Strengths Advocate and a Strengths Coach, and holds a K-12 Teacher Certification in Health.
Dr. Allen is a recognized leader in health promotion, and is finalizing a book entitled Roadmap to Success with co-authors Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard. Her passion to advance the field of health promotion has been recognized in many awards and accomplishments, including the Innovation in Positive Psychology by Mentor Coach, Innovative Teacher of the Year, and Health Educator of the year by the Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Dr. Allen has served as a full professor and chairperson in higher education, at a middle school, as a high-school health teacher, and as a business consultant for worksite wellness.
She has been invited to deliver more than 500 keynote speeches and presentations internationally and nationally about positive psychology and strength-based wellness. Her research interests include the measurement of social, economic, psychological and human capital as it relates to the global quality of life. Her focus is on positive health, positive productivity and building a bridge between positive psychology and wellness. At the International Positive Psychology Conference in Croatia, her presentation led to partnerships with colleagues in Spain to develop Wellness Courses for MBA core curriculum. She also is the founder of the Linkedin Group on Positive Health and Productivity.
Dr. Allen enjoys serving others through cycling. She has twice Biked Across America, completing 2,927 miles in 26 days from San Diego, CA to Tybee Island, GA, in fundraising for the American Breast Cancer Foundation and The Hope Center for Kids in North Omaha.
Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES
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Joshua Bernstein joined the ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies in 2010. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from New Mexico State University, a master’s degree in education from Centenary College in Louisiana, and a PhD in health studies from Texas Woman’s University. He is a certified health education specialist, a certified wellness specialist, and a certified athletic trainer. .
Dr. Bernstein spent 12 years in sports medicine as a professional athletic trainer and manager of an outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation clinic. His experiences included extensive travel domestically and internationally with professional and collegiate sports programs as a medical director. After completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Bernstein moved into the fields of public health and health education pedagogy. His previous academic appointments include positions at the University of Texas - Tyler, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, and Texas Woman’s University. Dr. Bernstein now teaches full-time as an assistant professor for A.T. Still Universities doctor of health education program.
Dr. Bernstein is an active contributor to professional health education literature, collaborates on contemporary textbook projects, peer-reviews for professional journals, provides editorial review for health education textbook revisions, and volunteers regularly on conference planning and presentation review committees. His research interests include adolescent risk perception related to unintentional injury, wellness and wellbeing among university populations, and professional preparation among health educators. Dr. Bernstein is an active member of the Society for Public Health Education, the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, the National Wellness Institute, and the National Athletic Trainers Association.
Candace Ayars, PhD
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Dr. Ayars holds a doctoral degree in Community Health Science from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, and completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. She also holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in biology with a physiology concentration and two Bachelor of Science degrees (biology/anthropology) from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Dr. Ayars is a member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the American Evaluation Association.
She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of chronic disease risk factors in children, beginning as a project and field director for three large NIH funded epidemiologic studies (Project HeartBeat!, Project HealthVOICE, and The Heartfelt Study). Most recently, she served as the Director of the Healthy Communities Section of the Kansas Department of Health & Environment where she led evidence-based statewide efforts to reduce the burden of primary chronic disease risk factors in Kansas. She served as the State Health Department Expert Advisor for the Kansas ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change) grants. Prior to joining KDHE, she collaborated with clinicians in the Geisinger Healthcare System of Pennsylvania to develop research initiatives for primary care and school-based pediatric obesity prevention and treatment programs. Dr. Ayars’ work in chronic disease risk factors in children has been published in peer-reviewed publications, such as Preventive Medicine, and presented at national and international conferences, including The Obesity Society and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Lori Dewald, EdD, CGHS
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Dr. Dewald, EdD, ATC, MCHES, F-AAHE has two undergraduate degrees: one from South Dakota State University in Athletic Training & Physical Education and the second from Mankato State University in Teacher Education. Her master’s and doctorate degrees are both in Health Education from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.
Dr. Dewald was the first person in the country to achieve both the credentials of Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Health Education Specialist in combination with a doctorate. She became a master certified health education specialist when the new advanced credential was developed in 2011.
She currently serves on numerous committees within the American Association for Health Education (AAHE) and is on the review board for 15 different professional journals. She also is on the Healthy Campus 2010/2020 National Commission, and was the first person ever appointed as liaison between the American College Health Association and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, with four continuous reappointments. She is a member of the ACHA’s Ethics Committee and a longtime NCAA CHOICES grant reviewer.
Dr. Dewald has given more than 100 national conference presentations, and has had 40 peer-reviewed publications. She was the 1996 Mabel Lee Award Recipient from AAHPERD. She was inducted into the exclusive Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Key Women Educators in 2008, and one year later, in 2009, she became one of five people (and the only woman) inducted as a Fellow in the American Association for Health Education. In June 2011, she received the NATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
Her primary research interests are in college health and school health education. An avid tennis player, Dr. Dewald owns two certified Shetland sheepdog therapy dogs that visit nursing homes; and she is in the final stages of becoming a Deaconess in the Lutheran Church, where she will be a volunteer in hospital chaplaincy and in hospice care.
Lynda Konecny, DHEd, MS, CHES, CGHS
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Dr. Konecny earned her Doctor of Health Education degree from ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She obtained her Master of Science in Counseling/Student Personnel Services from Emporia State University in Kansas and Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Psychology from Northern Michigan University. Dr. Konecny is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a member of a variety of professional organizations.
Dr. Konecny has been with ATSU since 2005 and began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2008. In addition to her experience with online education, she has taught residential courses in public, private, civilian, and military educational institutions. During her career, she has been a professional presenter, holding a variety of positions in college student services including admissions/recruitment, marketing, student activities/intramural sports, and residential life. Dr. Konecny also spent many years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. In addition, she has more than 13 years experience working in the fitness industry as a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer and fitness center manager.
Dr. Konecny’s research interests include the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative teaching methodologies and introducing new technologies to enhance curriculum delivery and student learning; educating and improving overall wellness, or dimensions of wellness, within various and diverse populations; exploring the practical application of health education behavior theories and the educational aspects of health promotion; examining learning theory in relation to online and residential instructional design, assessing the impact and value of student services for the online learner; and psychological research emphasizing behavior modification in public health and health education settings.
Warren G. McDonald, PhD
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Dr. McDonald has more than 30 years of healthcare and business experience. He is chief executive officer of McDonald and Associates, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to the optical industry and related profession and a registered optician in the State of North Carolina. Dr. McDonald has been an adjunct faculty member at ATSU since 2006.
His academic background includes undergraduate degrees in opticianry and management. He holds graduate degrees in healthcare management, adult and community education, the doctor of philosophy in health sciences, as well as a number of professional certifications, including the prestigious master of ophthalmic optics, and advanced certification in contact lenses from the National Contact Lens Examiners. He is a member of the class of 2005 at the Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education at Harvard University and holds a graduate certificate in healthcare risk management from the University of Florida. Additional faculty appointments include professor of health administration at Methodist University, Fayetteville, N.C.
Current research interests include non-traditional and distance-learning techniques, pedagogy and the development of advanced-level training programs for students in the health sciences. Specific management research interests include health care marketing, leadership, and organization transition and change.
Meg Sheppard, PhD, CHES
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Dr. Sheppard graduated from a joint PhD program in Health Education and Health Promotion at the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to her time at the University of Alabama, she earned a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Health Education from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health from Texas A&M University. Dr. Sheppard has more than eight years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in both a traditional classroom setting and online. She is active in the Public Health Education and Health Promotion section of the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Sheppard is a strong advocate of holistic health and increasing quality of life across the life span locally as well as internationally. Her research interests include examining both qualitatively and quantitatively the effectiveness of approaches to help individuals and communities increase health outcomes, specifically quality-of-life indicators, through behavioral and lifestyle changes. She also has both local and international experience in community-based participatory research.
- Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, MCHES
Doctor of Health Education Degree Admissions
Admission to the Doctor of Health Education degree program requires a master’s degree in health education or a related field, or a master’s degree in a non-related field and at least 3 years of work experience in the health education field.
Health education degree students are selected by an admission committee that considers the overall qualities of the applicant through application content, academic record, prior experience, letters of evaluation and personal motivation.
The highly-respected health education doctorate degree program prepares individuals to be leaders in the field of public health. Candidates applying for admission must have the following:
Master’s degree or higher from an accredited university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation in health education or a related field, or master’s degree or higher from an accredited university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation in an unrelated field plus three years of work experience in health education or a related field. Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States must provide a degree equivalency evaluation.Completed admissions applicationOfficial transcript from degree-granting institutionNon-refundable application fee submitted with applicationCurrent resumeComputer literacy and experience in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a personal computer prior to matriculation and have access to a high-speed Internet connection.Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 may apply by completing an additional essay during the application process to explain factors that precipitated a student’s low GPA and how and why a student will be successful in a program. Students who did not attend an institution where a GPA system was used are required to petition the program chair.Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants when English is not their first language. The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:
- CBT - minimum total score of 213
- Min. 22/Reading Skills section | Min. 26/Writing Skills section
- iBT - minimum total score of 80
- Min. 22/Reading Skills section | Min. 24/Writing Skills section
- PBT - minimum total score of 550
In addition to the requirements listed above, students in the DHEd program are required to have available to them software to convert Microsoft Office products to PDF format. There is free software available online, such as www.freepdconvert.com, or students may opt to purchase a software package.
- 2.0 GHz Dual Core or better
- 4 GB RAM
- 80GB hard disk or more
- CD-R/DVD combo drive
- Ethernet adapter
- 802.11 a, g, or n compatible wireless network card
- Windows 7
- Adobe Reader
- MS Office 2007 or 2010 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
- Internet Explorer 8 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 3.x or higher, (Firefox preferred.)
- Internet access via personal Internet Service Provider (ISP), broadband required
- Personal printer
- Web camera
- Most recent Java (www.java.com)
- Web camera with microphone and/or headset with 3.5 mm plugs that plug directly into PC headphone & microphone ports (necessary for participation in Blackboard Collaborate chat sessions)
- A recent Mac with a 2GHz or faster Core Duo or Core 2 Duo Intel chip
- 4 GB RAM
- 80GB or more hard disk
- CD-R/DVD combo drive
- Ethernet adapter
- 802.11b/g or n compatible wireless network card
- Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard or greater)
- MS Office 2008 or 2011 for Mac
- Safari 5 or greater or Mozilla Firefox 3.x or greater (Firefox preferred)
- Internet access via personal Internet Service Provider (ISP), broadband required
- Personal printer
- Web camera
- Most recent Java (To keep Java up-to-date, use the Apple Software Update Tool regularly in OSX.)
- Web camera with microphone and/or headset with 3.5 mm plugs that plug directly into PC headphone & microphone ports (necessary for participation in Blackboard Collaborate chat sessions)
In addition to the requirements listed above, students in the DHEd. program are also required to have available to them software to convert Microsoft Office products to PDF format. There is free software available online, such as www.freepdconvert.com, or students may opt to purchase a software package.
Tuition and Financial Services+
CGHS tuition rates are competitive. Tuition is to be paid in full (or all financial aid award-letter steps completed for the appropriate term) 14 calendar days prior to the first day of class. Students are responsible for the purchase of their Internet service fees and computer hardware and software fees. Contact your admissions representative at 877.626.5577 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All courses are four credit hours, except the dissertation (five credit hours).
Federal financial assistance is available for qualifying students. For information on financial aid, please visit ATSU’s Financial Services department online or contact them at 866.626.2878 or by email at email@example.com
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- required steps
- satisfactory academic policy
- student budget determination
- special conditions
- financial planning
THE 9 STEPS REQUIRED FOR A STUDENT TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
The student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) or a Renewal FAFSA by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov and following the instructions on the website. ATSU’s school code is G02477.
The Central Processing System (CPS) performs matches and edits, calculates a student contribution, and sends the data back to the processor.
ATSU receives the information electronically (ISIR) within three to five business days.
The student looks over the Student Aid Report (SAR) and, if accurate, keeps it for his/her records. If any corrections are needed, the student contacts the Financial Assistance Office.
Student Financial Services performs verification and then sends an electronic award letter to the student’s ATSU email address, along with instructions for completing the loan applications and other required forms.
The student accepts, refuses, or modifies the award letter and submits all required forms to the Financial Assistance Office.
Student Financial Services looks over the required forms and transmits the loan data to Sallie Mae
The lender wires the funds by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to the school or sends the institution a loan check.
If by EFT, all funds will be applied to the student’s account. The refund will be directly deposited to the student’s bank account if so desired by the student and proper documentation is on file.
Eligibility for Financial Assistance
Eligibility or unmet financial need is determined by subtracting a student’s expected contribution from the student budget. The student’s expected contribution is listed on the Student Aid Report (SAR) and is based on the student’s financial strength. Students may choose to receive financial assistance up to their unmet financial need. For example, if a student’s budget is $9,000 and the expected contribution is $5,000, the student’s unmet financial need is $4,000. The student may receive financial aid through scholarships, loans, etc., to arrive at this figure. (Note: Students may use the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan or any private loan to replace their expected contribution.) Every effort will be made to meet the student’s need, but in some instances, the student may have to rely on other outside resources. It is of critical importance to be creditworthy, as most private loans require a credit check.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Financial Aid
According to the United States Department of Education regulations, (34CRF 668/16 and 668.34 and October 29, 2010 Final Federal Register), all students receiving federal financial assistance must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Student Financial Services will review the academic progress of financial aid recipients after each payment period. Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is measured in terms of qualitative and quantitative standards.
The qualitative measure of a student’s progress is measured by cumulative grade point average. The minimum cumulative GPA students must maintain for financial aid is as follows:
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average at A.T. Still University 2.00 for all programs on 4.0 scale 70% for all programs on 100% scale
Maximum Time Frame
Financial aid recipients must complete an educational program within a time frame no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. All attempted withdrawn, failed, repeated, and/or transferred credits that apply to a student’s program count toward this maximum time limit. For example, a student pursuing a doctorate degree requiring 120 credit hours may attempt up to 180 credit hours before financial aid eligibility is suspended (120 x 150% = 180). A student pursuing a doctorate degree requiring 5100 contact hours may attempt up to 7650 contact hours before financial aid eligibility is suspended (5100 x 150% = 7650).
Pace of Progression
Pace of progression is required to ensure students complete within a maximum time frame and that the pace is measured at each standard review time. Financial aid recipients must maintain a 67% minimum completion rate for attempted credit hours or contact hours. For example, a student pursuing a doctorate degree requiring 120 credit hours may attempt up to 180 hours before financial aid eligibility is suspended (120 divided by 180 = 67%). A student pursuing a doctorate degree requiring 5100 contact hours may attempt up to 7650 contact hours before financial aid eligibility is suspended (5100 divided by 7650 = 67%).
Dropped, failed, and remedial courses for which no credit is received do not count towards credit hours earned. Credit hours for a course are earned by completing and passing the class.
Financial Aid Warning
Failure to meet the minimum academic progress requirements will result in a student being issued a financial aid warning. Students issued a financial aid warning will have one payment period to correct a progress problem due to qualitative or quantitative standards. Students will be notified of their status in writing via ATSU email. Students issued a financial aid warning will have an opportunity to file an appeal to request financial aid probation prior to the upcoming standard review time, which is at the end of each payment period.
Financial Aid Probation
If a student appeals their financial aid probation status and the appeal is approved, that student is put on financial aid probation for one payment period. Students may receive federal financial aid while on financial aid probation if he/she meets the terms of his/her appeal decision. If a student fails to meet SAP standards during the term of financial aid probation, he/she may request an additional appeal.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to meet the requirements of the financial aid warning or do not appeal their financial aid probation status are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for federal financial aid. These students will receive written notification to their ATSU email account of their failure to comply and that future federal aid will be canceled.
Students who have been issued a financial aid warning may submit a written appeal for reinstatement of eligibility prior to the start of the next payment period. Occasionally, extenuating circumstances contribute to their inability to meet the requirements for satisfactory progress. Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Death of an immediate family member
- Severe injury or illness of the student or an immediate family member
- Emergency situations such as fire or flood
- Legal separation from spouse or divorce
- Military reassignment or required job transfers or shift changes
Students whose appeals are denied must establish eligibility by completing courses without federal aid in one or more payment periods at ATSU until the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate meet the required standard before any additional federal aid will be disbursed.
Students who have extenuating circumstances may appeal using the following procedure:
- Submit a completed Appeal form. Student will be notified if additional supporting documentation is required.
- Appeal packet is presented to the SAP Committee for consideration.
- Student is notified via email of the SAP Committee’s decision and recommendations.
Federal financial aid may be reinstated when one of the following conditions has been met:
The student completes courses without federal aid in one or more payment periods at ATSU until the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate meet the required standard.
- OR -
The student files an appeal and the SAP Committee approves the appeal. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Student Financial Services when reinstatement conditions have been met.
Enrollment Status Policy
Full-time enrollment definition
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Dental Medicine and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine are always defined as full-time.
Full-time enrollment requires enrollment in a minimum of nine (9) quarter credit hours, or six (6) semester hours.
Half-time enrollment definition
Half-time enrollment is defined by enrollment in a minimum of five (5) quarter credit hours or three (3) semester hours.
Enrollment Status Definitions 1 Quarter Credit = .67 semester credit Program Minimum # of Credit Hours Minimum # of Credit Hours Full-Time Half-Time Osteopathic Medicine and Dental Enrollment is always full-time All other programs 9/quarter, 6/semester 5/quarter, 3/semester
Student Budget Determination
The student expense budget is determined each year by the director of Student Financial Services. Every effort is made to ensure that allowances in each category are realistic and fair. Although the director determines the average student budget, students having credit history difficulties may not be able to borrow the full budgeted amount, due to the private loans being based on creditworthiness.
Verification is the process by which Student Financial Services checks the accuracy of the information submitted by the student when applying for federal financial aid. It is intended to reduce errors in the financial information that students submit so eligible applicants can receive the correct amount of financial assistance.
ATSU will verify all applicants who are selected for verification from the federally approved edits. If selected, students will need to submit a signed copy of their federal income tax return from the prior calendar year along with a verification worksheet. ATSU will compare the tax return and the verification worksheet to the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) to verify required items. Financial aid will not be awarded until the verification is complete.
Professional judgment allows the Director and Assistant Director the flexibility to handle individual students with extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. This authority is clearly stated in the regulations and is used as needed. The adjustments may be made in the cost of attendance, expected family contribution, or satisfactory academic progress.
Although every effort is made to meet a student’s financial need, financial assistance is not an entitlement and, in some instances, not all of a student’s need will be met.
Financing your education is an investment in your future. As a major investment, it should be entered into with conscientious planning. Setting goals and establishing a game plan are essential in order to minimize your debt.
A simple financial plan begins with the establishment of a long-term goal. As you plan your strategies to reach this end, keep in mind that your short- and mid-term goals should be consistent with and built upon this long-term goal. To help keep you on track, it is important to develop a budget.
A budget lists all sources of income, as well as all estimated expenditures. To make a budget work for you, keep the following points in mind:Have a written planSet realistic goalsEstablish prioritiesKeep expenditures below incomeStick to your game plan
It is important for you to determine your needs so that you will borrow only the amount necessary, rather than the amount for which you are eligible. In the end, you may pay back 2-3 times the amount you borrowed. Therefore, the less debt you accrue in school, the more financially secure you will be later.
For online programs, tuition is due 14 calendar days prior to the first day of class. For programs with payment per credit or course, the tuition covers the payment for the coming quarter. For programs that have payment per program, payment in full is due prior to the start of the program or per their admissions agreement on a quarterly payment schedule. The Controller’s Office will receive tuition payments and make refunds as necessary. Delinquent tuition penalties accrue at 1 1/2% per month, which is 18% per year.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Policy
The Department of Education is encouraging and, at times, requiring educational institutions to become paperless. Therefore, funds received through federal and private loans will normally be transferred electronically to a student’s account at ATSU. Students will receive a receipt itemizing the type of loan and amount credited to their account at the institution. Funds electronically transferred above what is owed for tuition and fees will promptly be refunded to the student by check or deposited directly to the student’s bank account. (Students that have lenders that do not wire money to ATSU will receive their financial aid through a co-payable check.) Generally, funds are available when tuition is due.
Many banks in states outside of Missouri make students wait 10 business days to tap their loan funds when deposited by check. Therefore, we require all students to use direct deposit where ATSU wires money to the student’s bank account. This way, the money is available on the day it is wired to the bank.
The ATSU Family and Culture
Doctor of Health Education Curriculum Overview
ATSU’s Doctor of Health Education degree program empowers students with the most updated curriculum designed for relevance and immediate impact in the industry. The curriculum complements ATSU’s mission of encouraging its constituencies to become leaders in improving community health and wellness with a comprehensive appreciation of the whole individual while helping to create the best health educators in the world.
Health education degree courses are conducted through virtual teaching methods, such as web-based instruction, video demonstrations, directed readings, and e-mail and online discussions with faculty. Curriculum design is mission-driven and context-based, and student learning is monitored through authentic embedded assessments.
The online Doctor of Health Education degree program of study is typically three years (although the length of time to complete the program may vary, depending on how many dissertation courses are required to complete the dissertation). The dissertation process begins in the student’s third year. The maximum allowable time to complete the program is seven years.
Course descriptions, course durations, and related information are subject to change. All courses are four credit hours, unless otherwise specified.
Advanced Health Education+
Students examine health education and how to use social, environmental, behavioral, and epidemiological concepts to develop effective methods for needs assessments and strategies for planning, implementing, and evaluating theoretically and evidence-based health education programs.
Health Education Ethics and Leadership+
Students examine ethics and how character contributes to achieving integrity, compassion, and leadership, in the practice, promotion and advocacy for health education and the health education profession. Students develop a personal plan for establishing integrity and compassion in leadership and professional growth and service to advance the health education profession.
Theory in Health Education Research and Application+
Students are provided an overview of popularly-employed theories in health education. The socio-ecological perspective is used as an organizing framework and the interconnections among theories are emphasized. Besides identifying major constructs, hypothesized relationships, and assumptions of theories, students critically assess the strengths and limitations of theories as well as evaluate use of theory in health education and promotion research. Students apply theory to explain health behaviors and identify intervention strategies. Ethical issues in the practice of health promotion (i.e., health communication and social marketing) are examined.
Health Education Practices+
Students examine effective methods for collaboration and implementing community and public health efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Incorporated and imbedded within the course content and assignments are ethical issues, multicultural comparisons, and diversity exploration.
Advanced Community Public Health Assessment+
Students examine the advanced individual, group, and community health needs and capacity assessment strategies and how these strategies can be used to determine and develop goals and effective implementation and collaboration efforts in community health programs.
Health Education Program Planning+
Students develop skills in the use of theoretical frameworks; formative, outcome, and impact data; needs assessments; outlining of goals and objectives; best practices; steering committees; timelines; proposal preparation; strategic planning; budgeting; and advocacy for health education and the health education profession in the planning of health education programs.
Cultural Competence in Health Education and Health Promotion+
Students examine the importance of cultural competence, explore various dimensions of culture (e.g., race and ethnicity, spirituality, complementary and alternative medicine, sexual orientation, aging), understand how culture is associated with health and disparities, and explain what health education and promotion professionals and healthcare organizations might do to provide culturally sensitive and responsive programs and services. Students are prepared to ensure cultural competence when they interact or work with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Public Health Administration and Policy+
Students examine both the administrative aspects of public health as well as the development of public health policies. Public health administration recognizes and incorporates both financial resources and non-financial resources at the local, state, and national levels. Public health policies are designed to advocate for policy changes within the context of the political process around health policy making and the political roles of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are explored. Practical mechanisms for framing issues to influence policy makers and guiding effective advocacy for public health and for the public health education profession are discussed.
Instructional and Educational Technology in Health Education Program Development+
Students examine the use of instructional technology, including application of instructional technology in health education and promotion programs and how educational technology and computing currently affect health education and promotion. Effective methods and techniques of health communication are also examined.
Evaluation of Health Education Programs+
Students examine the evaluation of community health services, health education programs, health communication programs, health status, and health behavior. Effective strategies for developing and implementing health education process, impact, and outcome evaluation and measuring goals and objectives are examined.
Students examine the study of disease in populations from a public health perspective. Topics include research methods, study designs, sampling, data analysis, interpretation of data, and application of findings for public health policy.
Biostatistics is the study and development of statistical, mathematical, and computational methods applied to biological, health, and human sciences. Biostatisticians play a key role in the design, conduct, and analysis of research studies in areas of health and disease, and create and apply methods for quantitative research in health-related fields. Topics covered include data description, probability, distribution of random variables, applications of the binomial and normal distributions, estimation and confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, contingency tables, regression, and analysis of variance. Additional topics include an introduction to statistical computing and data management, non-parametric statistical methods, and demographic measures. Students need to use a statistical program (Microsoft Excel® or other program) to assist with computations.
Qualitative Research Methods+
This course provides students with a conceptual overview of qualitative research and hands-on opportunities to conduct qualitative research. Topics include defining qualitative research and conducting a qualitative study (e.g., designing the study, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results).
Research Planning and Design I+
The ability to become a life-long learner depends on sustainable assessment skills. In this course, the focus is on developing and enhancing skills related to research strategies, problem and purpose statements, research questions, formulation of hypotheses, literature review, proposal preparation, and how they relate to the dissertation.
Students examine linear models that are popular in many areas of study. Specific topics that will be covered include correlation, simple linear regression, multiple regression, indicator variables, analysis of covariance, model selection procedures, one- and two-factor analysis of variance, and logistic regression. The focus is on general understanding and applications with limited theory. SPSS statistical software is required.
Research Planning and Design II+
Students focus on identifying, defining, and measuring variables. Topics include distinguishing among types of social research, identifying relevant variables from qualitative research, defining variables, developing questionnaires (including item development and measurement scale development), determination of psychometric qualities (e.g., assessing reliability and validity), using surveys in data collection, and evaluating research quality.
The dissertation is the cumulative project for the DHEd program. The topics and projects introduced and implemented during this program of study will be used to complete this requirement (5 credit hours). A series of DHED9500 courses (DHED9500, DHED9510, DHED9520 and DHED9530) are taken until the dissertation is completed; a minimum of DHED9500 and DHED9510 are required, and typically four dissertation courses (DHED9500 - DHED9530) are taken to complete the dissertation. The dissertation must be completed within seven years of beginning the program.
Community Health Center
As a leading provider of quality healthcare for area residents, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center also provides community employment and health education. More than 80% of the staff are local residents, and many were trained at the affiliated Waianae Health Academy. Find out more.
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