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- Post-Professional Physical Therapy - non-degree
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- Graduate Certificate in Orthopedic Rehabilitation
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A.T. Still University (ATSU) of Health Sciences is the founding institution of osteopathic healthcare, established in 1892 by Andrew Taylor Still, DO. As a leading health sciences university, ATSU is comprised of two campuses (Kirksville, Mo., and Mesa, Ariz.) on more than 200 acres with six prestigious schools. The culturally rich learning environments include residential and online healthcare related graduate degrees as well as community-based partnerships worldwide. ATSU has more than 1,300 employees dedicated to its not-for-profit mission and an average annual enrollment of over 3,100 students from 35 countries.
ATSU is renowned for its preeminence as a multidisciplinary healthcare educator. The University is focused on integrating the founding tenets of osteopathic medicine and the advancing knowledge of today's science. ATSU continually earns distinctions as the graduate health sciences university with best-in-class curriculum and a community outreach mission to serve the underserved. The University has a rich history of leadership in both healthcare education and correlated research.
ATSU instills within students the compassion, experience and knowledge required to address the whole person and shape healthcare in communities where needs are greatest. Inspired to influence whole person healthcare, ATSU graduates contribute to the future of integrated care while also leading with a selfless passion in the communities they serve.
Colleges & Schools +
Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS)
- Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT), Online
- Doctor of Audiology (AuD), Residential
- Doctor of Audiology (AuD), Online
- Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc), Online
- Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), Residential
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Online
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Residential
- Master of Science in Athletic Training (MS), Residential
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MS), Residential
- Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS), Online
- Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS), Residential
- Certificate in Clinical Decision Making in Athletic Training, Online
- Certificate in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Online
- Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency (Non Degree Seeking), Online
- Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency (Non Degree Seeking), Online
- Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology Program Online Non-Degree
College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS)
- Doctor of Education (EdD), Online
- Doctor of Health Administration (DHA), Online
- Doctor of Health Education (DHEd), Online
- Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc), Online
- Master of Health Administration (MHA), Online
- Master of Public Health (MPH), Online
- Master of Public Health, Dental Emphasis (MPH), Online
- Master of Public Health, Dental Emphasis with Dental Public Health Residency (MPH), Online
- Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS), Online
- Certificate in Adaptive Sports, Online
- Certificate in Corrective Exercise & Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Online
- Certificate in Exercise and Sport Psychology, Online
- Certificate in Fundamentals of Education, Online
- Certificate in Geriatric Exercise Science, Online
- Certificate in Global Health, Online
- Certificate in Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Online
- Certificate in Sports Conditioning, Online
Mission and Vision +
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences serves as a learning-centered university dedicated to preparing highly competent professionals through innovative academic programs with a commitment to continue its osteopathic heritage and focus on whole person healthcare, scholarship, community health, interprofessional education, diversity, and underserved populations.
To be the preeminent University for health professions
- Leading innovator in health professions education
- Superior students and graduates who exemplify and support the University's mission
- Osteopathic philosophy demonstrated and integrated
- Pioneering contributions to healthcare education, knowledge, and practice
A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462
Accreditation by school and programs
- Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
- Arizona School of Health Sciences
- Athletic Training
- Occupational Therapy
- Physician Assistant
- Physical Therapy
- College of Graduate Health Studies
- Doctor of Health Administration
- Doctor of Health Education in Health Professions
- Doctor of Health Sciences
- Doctor of Health Sciences Fundamentals of Education Certificate
- Doctor of Health Sciences Global Health Certificate
- Doctor of Health Sciences Leadership and Organizational Behavior Certificate
- Master of Health Administration
- Master of Public Health
- Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis
- Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate
- Master of Science in Kinesiology
- Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health
- School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
Awards and Recognition+
The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.ATSU received the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for 2017 and 2018. The HEED Award and the Health Professions HEED Award are the only national awards that honor individual institutions for being outstanding examples of colleges, universities, or health profession schools that are committed to making diversity and inclusion a top priority across their campuses.
Evidence-Based Medicine +
Principles of evidence-based medicine
A.T. Still University's (ATSU) integrated learning platform includes the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM) alongside ATSU's founding tenets of whole person healthcare. Students learn not only in the classroom but also in actual practice settings. The elements of evidence-based medicine can be applied to any patient treatment-oriented practice field, allowing medical and healthcare workers to provide each patient with current treatment options based on the latest, most clinically relevant research including clinical trial results.
Evidence-based medicine is defined as "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best medicine in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research" according to David L. Sackett, pioneer of evidence-based medicine, and his colleagues.
Because EBM also is used in allied fields, including dentistry, nursing and psychology, the healthcare industry is embracing a more universal term: evidence-based practice (EBP).
The need for evidence-based medicine
Studies suggest our need for best evidence occurs twice in every three outpatient visits and up to five times per inpatient visit. The amount of new medical information formed daily is overwhelming. It is impossible to know everything. With this rapid formation of data, familiar sources such as textbooks are out of date by the time they reach the shelf. The development of online EBM tools and journals containing pre-analyzed articles help individual providers keep current.
Most importantly, practicing evidence-based medicine leads to improved patient outcomes and offers the surest and most objective way to determine and maintain consistently high quality and safety.
Myths about evidence-based medicine
Evidence-based medicine is not a new concept. The term evidence-based medicine was coined in 1992 by a group at McMaster University, but clinicians have always used evidence to make decisions about patient care. The evidence just may not have been the "best" evidence due to any number of reasons.
Some fear that EBM is an example of cookbook medicine, a way to cut costs of health care, or a way to keep patients from receiving the care they deserve. None of these fears is true. There will never be one recipe that fits all patients, and as stated clearly in the definitions above, EBM involves integration of clinical expertise and individual patient values. In some cases, the results of EBM may cut costs by eliminating unnecessary procedures or treatments; however there also may be situations where it is the expensive procedure or treatment that provides the best results for patients. Along that same line, practicing EBM is a way to eliminate unnecessary expenditure which, in theory, would allow more money to decrease the treatment and diagnostic disparities present in today's society.
Many can agree with the concept of EBM but are unsure that it can be practiced in a busy clinic. In reality, it is those busy clinicians who can benefit the most from the growth of EBM. As the search engines become quicker and the number of secondary sources grows, it will be easier than ever to find the answer to a clinical question that arises from a 15-minute office visit.
Locate a particular topic
To locate a specific topic, you may choose the most appropriate options from the sidebar navigation or you may use the search field above to access the information you want.
This website is made possible by the Academic Administrative Units in Primary Care grant D54HP05442 between A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Medicine. Margaret A. Wilson, D.O., is the project director.
The use of the A.T. Still University (ATSU) - Evidence-Based Medicine website is intended to serve as a structured set of guidelines to improve clinical practice. ATSU and its affiliates shall not be held liable for any hardships suffered or incurred as a direct or indirect result of the use or misuse of the information presented in this website, including but not limited to damage to or loss of personal property, sickness or injury from whatever source, legal entanglements, imprisonment, death, or loss of money. As with all information, the material presented in this website should be critically evaluated by the user before being implemented in a clinical setting.
Any and all information contained in this website is the property of ATSU. Reposting and redistribution of this material is strictly prohibited and is illegal without explicit written approval.
The information presented on this website comes from a variety of sources, including not only official ATSU departments, but also unofficial sources and individuals. Although every effort is made to present current and accurate information, ATSU does not author or edit all of the pages presented here and therefore cannot assume responsibility for all information. The author of each web page is responsible for the content of that page and is expected to abide by organizational policies and local, state, and federal laws.
To report possible copyright infringement, contact:
Susan Coon, M.A.B.C
NIH R25 Project Coordinator
800 W. Jefferson
Kirksville, MO 63501-1497
Hometown Scholars +
Do you want to help improve the health of your community?
Do you desire to work in your community's health center?
Do you aspire to be a doctor, dentist or physician assistant?
If you answered "yes," then ATSU's Hometown Scholars may be for you!
ATSU's Hometown Scholars programs were started in response to requests from community health centers (CHCs) and other safety net providers. Hometown Scholars help ATSU meet the needs of CHCs by attracting and training dedicated, motivated, and qualified community-minded dentists.
Discover how you might become a Hometown Scholars endorsed applicant for:
- Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (DMD)
- Arizona School of Health Sciences Physician Assistant program (MS)
- Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (DMD)
- School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (DO)
Our Communities +
The best of education is represented in Kirksville. Among the notable colleges and other institutions of higher learning, Kirksville is the home of osteopathic medicine and the world's first osteopathic university - A.T. Still University - founded by Andrew Taylor Still, DO, in 1892. Steeped in tradition and infused with innovation while always highlighting the importance of community, the city is located in northeastern Missouri in a growing city of nearly 20,000 residents. Kirksville is a thriving college community, offering a low cost of living and a high quality of life. Kirksville residents enjoy a variety of cultural activities that appeal to a wide range of tastes. On Saturday mornings from May through October, local farmers' markets offer fresh fruits and vegetables during the prime growing season. For outdoor recreationists, a state park, five conservation areas, and three large lakes are just a few miles away with camping, swimming, and boating facilities. For those who prefer to stay active in the city, a sports complex, YMCA, aquatic center, and neighborhood parks are available for public use. Kirksville also is host to several festivals and offers one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities, especially in the historic downtown area, not to mention many dining options.
Within easy driving distance of major cities such as Kansas City, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., and Des Moines, Ia., Kirksville also provides easy access to Missouri's notable Lake of the Ozarks, Hannibal, Nauvoo, and Mennonite and Amish communities. To learn more about Kirksville and tourism information, go to www.visitkirksville.com.
Progressive, vibrant, and diverse, Mesa, Ariz., is the state's third largest city. It is nestled in the Valley of the Sun, boasting more than 300 days of sunshine every year. More than 468,012 residents call this dynamic urban setting their home, complete with a first-class business environment, highly educated work force, and quality of life that appeals to a variety of lifestyles.
Just west of Mesa in the Valley of the Sun is the city of Phoenix, the capitol of Arizona and the nation's fifth largest city. The Valley offers professional football, baseball, hockey, and basketball; two national parks, including the Grand Canyon; 25 state parks; and hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. World-class golf courses, shopping, movie theatres, symphony, opera, art festivals, museums, and restaurants provide diverse opportunities to sample the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the Valley of the Sun. In the desert areas of Arizona, there is little rain or snow, and the winter temperatures are mild. Although summers are hot in the desert, there is relatively low humidity, making the actual temperatures more comfortable than in most other states during the same time frame. To learn more about Mesa, please visit www.visitmesa.com.
To learn more about the Phoenix metro area, please visit www.visitphoenix.com.
Our Founder +
Museum of Osteopathic Medicine SM [2000.34.05]
Andrew Taylor Still, DO, was born Aug. 6, 1828, in a log cabin in Lee County, Va. Around 1853, he decided to become a physician. It was common practice in those days for an aspiring doctor to train by studying medical books and working with a practicing physician – in this case, his father. He may have received additional, formal training at a school in Kansas City, but no records remain to establish where and when this training took place.
In 1864, Dr. Still returned from the Civil War and faced a grave personal crisis. Earlier that year, an epidemic of spinal meningitis had swept through the area and killed three of his children. He had already lost his first wife, Mary Vaughan, to childbirth complications; a month after the epidemic, the daughter born to his second wife, Mary Elvira Turner, died of pneumonia. His inability to save his family, coupled with his grim experiences as a Civil War doctor, led Dr. Still to reject most of what he had learned about medicine and search for new and better methods.
A New Revolution
Dr. Still's explorations were grounded in the study of anatomy. Having grown up as a hunter and farmer, he had a basic understanding of the structural relationships of bones, muscles, and organs – knowledge he now extended through the study of human skeletons. He became convinced that most diseases could be alleviated or cured without drugs. The key was to find and correct anatomical deviations that interfered with the free flow of blood and "nerve force" in the body.
From the beginning, Dr. Still met with considerable opposition to his new theories and techniques. The local church denounced his claims of hands-on healing as sacrilegious. His brothers were embarrassed by his outspoken questioning of medical tradition; they criticized his willingness to risk his livelihood by driving away patients and to neglect his family and farm in pursuit of his "crazy" ideas. When Dr. Still asked to present his ideas at Baker University, which his family had helped to establish in the 1850s, school officials refused him permission. In 1874, Dr. Still decided to leave Kansas and travel to Macon, Mo., where he hoped his ideas would be better received. They were not, and after a few months of trying, Dr. Still moved north to Kirksville. There he finally began to find some acceptance, enough to open an office on the town square in March 1875. Advertising himself as a magnetic healer and a "lightning bonesetter" and traveling to towns as far away as Hannibal, Dr. Still slowly built up his reputation. Word spread about the doctor whose system of drugless, manipulative medicine - officially named "osteopathy" in 1885 - was able to cure many apparently hopeless cases.
Osteopathy is Born
Finding he had more patients than he could handle, Dr. Still trained his children and a few others to assist him in his practice. Finally, there were enough people who wanted to learn his methods that he was persuaded to start a school. The American School of Osteopathy was founded in Kirksville in 1892 in a two-room frame building. The first class of five women and 16 men – including three of Still's children and one of his brothers – graduated in 1894. That institution is known today as A.T. Still University, the first osteopathic university in the world that now is the preeminent leader of whole person healthcare education.
More information about Dr. Still is available through ATSU's Museum of Osteopathic Medicine, whose mission is to preserve and promote the history and tenets of osteopathy through collections and research to a global audience.
Our President +
Craig Phelps, DO
Craig M. Phelps, DO, '84, is the twelfth president of ATSU. Prior to his presidency, Dr. Phelps served as ATSU's executive vice president for strategic initiatives and as provost of ATSU's Mesa, Ariz., campus for 12 years, overseeing the development and operations of School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, and Arizona School of Health Sciences.
Dr. Phelps is a fellowship-trained primary care sports medicine physician and is board certified in family medicine. Practicing for more than 20 years in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Dr. Phelps served as primary care physician for the NBA Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury, physician for Ballet Arizona, team physician for Grand Canyon University, Scottsdale Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, and Gateway Community College.
Dr. Phelps is a fellow of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, and he is a member of the Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association. He also served as the 2013-14 president of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association.
In 2012, Dr. Phelps was named to the Phoenix Business Journal's Most Admired CEOs and Top-Level Executives. He was chosen as one of the Phoenix-area's 25 most admired executives based on past achievements and ongoing outstanding leadership.
Quick Facts +
A.T. Still University is home to the founding college of osteopathic medicine. It is the oldest osteopathic institution in the world, founded in 1892.
- Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH)
- Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS)
- College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS)
- Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM)
- Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (MOSDOH)
- School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA)
Approximately 123 Non-Resident students from more than fourteen countries.
Percentage of Enrolled
% of FT enrollment
American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Two or More Races
Degrees Granted (2019-20)
Total Degrees Issued
Full-Time Employees (Benefit-Eligible)
Number of Student Organizations
GPA of Incoming Students
3.66 cumulative, 3.60 science
3.45 cumulative, 3.35 science
3.41 cumulative, 3.28 science
3.47 cumulative, 3.37 science
MCAT Scores of Incoming Students
DAT Scores of Incoming Students
Percentage of Students Awarded University Scholarships and/or Federal Financial Aid
Graduation Rates (2019-20)Note: Graduation rates for online programs are figured 5 years after matriculation for online programs masters degrees (2014-15 matriculates) and 7 years after matriculation for doctorate (2012-13 matriculates). Residential program grad rates are figured 3 years after matriculation for residential programs masters degree (2017 matriculates) and 5 years after matriculation for doctorate (2015 matriculates). More detailed outcome data can be found on School and College webpages. Graduation rate calculations on webpages may vary from those below due to discipline accreditation directives regarding timing and formulas.
Average Graduation Rate
* All CGHS programs are online.
Number of Degree Programs (fall 2020)
Total Degree Programs
Budget (Fiscal Year 2020-21)
Alumni DistributionClick the map to enlarge view of A.T. Still University alumni practice locations in U.S.
Outcomes: Board and/or licensing exam results (National rates posted when available)
Physical Therapy first-time pass rates
Occupational Therapy (MS) Board Certification exam pass rates
Occupational Therapy (OTD) Board Certification exam pass rates
Physician Assistant Certifying exam first-time exam pass rates
Audiology Praxis exam pass rates
NBDE Part I first-time pass rates
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
NBDE Part II first-time pass rates
Class of 2016
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
COMLEX Level 1 pass rates
COMLEX Level 2-CE pass rates
COMLEX Level 2-PE pass rates
COMLEX Level 3 pass rates
What is Osteopathic Medicine? +
"To find health should be the object of the doctor; anyone can find disease."
– Andrew Taylor Still, DO
Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, DO, founder and namesake of A.T. Still University (ATSU), the world's first osteopathic medical school. Dissatisfied with 19th century healthcare, Dr. Still founded a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and which focuses on the unity of the body. Dr. Still pioneered the concept of wellness and identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health.
Osteopathic physicians take a whole person approach to caring for patients. Instead of treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they regard the body as an integrated whole.
"Over the past few years, osteopathic medicine's traditional principles and practices (especially those focused on patient-centered, preventive care) have been heralded as central features of the kind of health care system that reform efforts aim to implement," states Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. "In other words, osteopathic medical schools are educating the kind of physicians this country needs, and that fact is being increasingly recognized throughout the nation."
Osteopathic medicine in practice
Today, osteopathic physicians and allied health professionals are one of the fastest growing segments of healthcare providers. They are on the cutting-edge of modern medicine, able to combine technology with compassion and their holistic approach to treating the body, mind, and spirit that provides thorough care for each patient.
Osteopathic physicians can choose any specialty, prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and practice medicine anywhere in the United States. DOs must complete the same amount of schooling and meet the same licensing requirements as MDs, with approximately 200 additional hours of training in osteopathic manipulative medicine.
DOs are prominent in both primary care and specialty areas of medicine, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, neurosurgery, cardiology, radiology, dermatology, and neuromusculoskeletal medicine. At ATSU, they have a passion to give back and meet unmet community healthcare needs in underserved and rural settings. Students become among the most dedicated physicians and allied health professionals, the wisest of mentors, and the most enthusiastic leaders who are inspired to change the future of medicine.
Osteopathic Medicine facts
- Andrew Taylor Still, DO, founded the tenets of osteopathic medicine in 1874.
- Kirksville, Mo., is known as the home of osteopathic medicine and the world's first osteopathic medical school established by Dr. Still in 1892.
- A.T. Still University is a private, not-for-profit University focused on integrating the tenets of osteopathic medicine with advancing knowledge of today's science.
- In 1897, Dr. Still's students organized to form the American Association for the Advancement of Osteopathy, or the American Osteopathic Association as it is known today.
- The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare recognized the AOA as the accrediting body for osteopathic medical education in 1952. In 1967, the AOA was recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting (now the Council for Higher Education Accreditation) as the accrediting agency for all facets of osteopathic medical education in the United States.
- Federal recognition had a profound effect on osteopathic medicine, spurring a second generation of schools and a dramatic increase in the number of osteopathic physicians. The big shift came in the move to state-supported schools, starting with Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing, which graduated its first class in 1973.
- Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) has been used to treat a variety of problems such as ear infections, sinus problems, colic in infants, and many adult maladies. It has had a success rate high enough to convince many MDs to take classes in OMM.
- More than 20 percent of U.S. medical students are enrolled in osteopathic medical schools.
- Approximately 78,000 DOs practice in the United States, handling more than 10 percent of all office visits in rural areas and eight percent in urban areas. DOs have a strong history of serving rural and underserved areas, often providing their unique brand of compassionate, patient-centered care to some of the most economically disadvantaged members of society.
- By 2020, the number of osteopathic physicians will top 100,000, say expert predictions, according to the American Medical Association. This is good news, as the need for more osteopathic physicians delivering compassionate, comprehensive healthcare continues to rise throughout the nation and around the world.
- AOA's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation accredits 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine in 37 locations.
Learn more about our osteopathic medical schools
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
Whole Person Healthcare +
At ATSU, students and faculty are part of a distinguished heritage of humanistic healthcare based on an integrated approach that includes the body, mind, and spirit of each patient. All three elements work in tandem to provide a more thorough and highly personalized healthcare delivery model that promotes wellness and meets the health needs of each patient. This approach distinguishes ATSU for innovation in post-graduate healthcare education. Graduates become compassionate leaders proposing global health solutions and meeting unmet community health needs.
Each program, from audiology to dentistry, family practice to public health, integrates the principles of whole person healthcare into its curriculum and emphasizes the important role of health education, health coaching, and well-coordinated treatment plans that foster collaboration with each patient.
Integrated, experiential learning forms the base of ATSU's educational foundation. Each student is encouraged to participate in a wellness program, to study nutrition, psychology, and problem-based learning, and to join in the many co-curricular activities that bring faculty and students together not only to optimize learning but also to enlighten and inspire.
Board of Trustees +
Linnette Sells, DO, FAOASM, '82
Rosie Allen-Herring, MBA
Reid W. Butler, JD
Jonathan Cleaver, DO, FAOCD, FAAD, FASMS, '08
C. Lisette Dottavio, PhD, CPA
G. Scott Drew, DO, FAOCD, '87
Geoffrey Hoffa, DHSc, '14, MS, PA-C, '00, DFAAPA
Jefferson City, Mo.
Michelle Mayo, PhD
Alan Morgan, MPA
Paulina Vazquez Morris, JD, MBA, MHSA
Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Isaac R. Navarro, DMD, MPH, '08
Gary Wiltz, MD
2016-20 Strategic Plan +
There is no place like A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. Our students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and external stakeholders all experience the benefits of rural and urban perspectives on healthcare, a commitment to whole person and whole community health, a family approach to nurturing student learning and personal growth, interprofessional experiences, and a collaborative environment.
Today, more than ever, our University's mission resounds with our country's needs and, in fact, our world's needs for health professions education, and healthcare delivery and service. As ATSU approaches its 125th anniversary, our new strategic plan places us at the forefront of educating tomorrow's healthcare leaders.
Patients and employers of our graduates require professionals skilled in critical thinking and decision making, team-based interprofessional care, cultural proficiency, interpersonal skills, and social responsibility. ATSU's core professional attributes initiative addresses these essential skills, assuring the distinctiveness of our graduates and ensuring their ability to meet patient and community needs.
In 2010, ATSU's Board of Trustees set a bold 15-year vision, based on four distinct criteria, to be "the preeminent University for the health professions." The criteria listed below clearly articulate the board's definition of preeminence:
- Leading innovator in health professions education
- Superior students and graduates who exemplify and support the University's mission
- Osteopathic philosophy demonstrated and integrated
- Pioneering contributions to healthcare education, knowledge, and practice
Strategic Plan 2016-2020 continues to guide ATSU toward the lofty goal of preeminence. A heartfelt thank you from the University to our strategic planning committee members who devoted significant time from their busy schedules to thoughtfully consider how to accomplish the University's mission and vision. Additional gratitude goes out to faculty, students, staff, board members, alumni, and external stakeholders for their input and contributions.STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
- Jeffrey Alexander, PhD
- Annlee Burch, EdD, MPH, PT
- Melanie Davis, DHEd, '13
- Norman Gevitz, PhD, Co-chair*
- Monnie Harrison
- Alison Kapchinske, MSOT, '15
- Bryan Krusniak, MBA
- Clinton Normore, MBA
- Klud Razoky, BDS
- Addison Roberts, OMS IV, KCOM
- Greg Rubenstein, MA
- Gaylah Sublette, MBA
- Alison Valier, PhD, ATC, FNATA
- O.T. Wendel, PhD*
- Lee Bonnel
- Neal Chamberlain, PhD*
- John George, PhD
- Tonya Grimm
- Lori Haxton, MA*
- Liz Kaz, EdD, MS
- Michael McManis, PhD, Co-chair*
- Sharon Obadia, DO
- Richard Rieder, MM, MBA
- Randy Rogers, CFP
- Patricia Sexton, DHEd
- Richard Thomas, OMS III, KCOM
- Matthew Wold, DMD, '15
* Steering subcommitteeCommittee members were challenged to respond to five key questions:
- How will ATSU accomplish its vision of preeminence?
- What skills and resources will faculty and staff need to continue to successfully educate students?
- What experiences will students need to be post-graduate, market, and patient-care ready?
- What can ATSU do to best prepare for America's changing demographic and economic future?
- What should ATSU look like in 2020 and beyond?
During the last 24 months, planning committee members and contributors analyzed, discussed, and prioritized ideas, goals, objectives, and metrics. Through diligent discovery, six themes emerged:
- Education Excellence
- Continued Commitment to Scholarly Activity
- Cultural Proficiency, Diversity, and Inclusion
- New and Expanded Partnerships
- Effective Branding and Marketing
- Fiscal Health, Affordability, and Compliance
The above themes allow framing for 14 goals and 37 objectives. Many of the goals and objectives will be met and exceeded; as with all plans, some may not. New themes, goals, and objectives are likely to emerge as rapid changes in healthcare and higher education manifest themselves.
An ongoing strategic planning support team will provide annual environmental scans and recommendations. ATSU will do its best to accomplish Strategic Plan 2016-2020 while remaining flexible in response to tomorrow's greatest challenges and preserving traditions and practices which make it a uniquely fulfilling place to learn and work.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ATSU's first comprehensive strategic plan provided the foundation for Strategic Plan 2016-2020. The University would be remiss in failing to express gratitude to contributors of Strategic Plan 2011-2015.
Thank you to Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president-academic affairs, and Michael McManis, PhD, vice president of planning, assessment, and institutional effectiveness (retired), co-chairs of 2016-2020 strategic planning. Your leadership is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Dawn Shaffer, compliance manager, and Norine Eitel, MBA, assistant to the president and secretary to the board, for assistance with organizing and shepherding the planning process.
Thank you to O.T. Wendel, PhD, senior vice president of strategic university initiatives, for leading the ongoing strategic planning support team.ATSU Mission
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences serves as a learning-centered university dedicated to preparing highly competent professionals through innovative academic programs with a commitment to continue its osteopathic heritage and its focus on whole person healthcare, scholarship, community health, interprofessional education, diversity, and underserved populationsATSU VisionTHE PREEMINENT UNIVERSITY FOR THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS
ATSU Core Institutional Values
- Leading innovator in health professions education
- Superior students and graduates who exemplify and support the University's mission
- Osteopathic philosophy demonstrated and integrated (i.e., whole person healthcare)
- Pioneering contributions in healthcare education, knowledge, and practice
ATSU Core Professional Attributes
- Whole person healthcare
- Leadership in community health
Education ExcellenceADVANCING OUR ROLE AS A LEADER IN ACADEMIC INNOVATION, INTERPROFESSIONAL EDUCATION, AND WHOLE PERSON AND WHOLE COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE
- Critical thinking
- Cultural proficiency
- Interprofessional collaboration
- Interpersonal skills
- Social responsibility
Today's ATSU student is preparing to enter a changing healthcare system with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. New knowledge and skills are needed to effectively participate in the delivery and business of healthcare. Gone are the days of individual providers effectively delivering care outside of a team-based, patient-centered model. In addition to expertise in their profession, students must acquire skills and knowledge in critical thinking and decision making, community health, interprofessional care, leadership, communication, technology, business, and cultural proficiency.
Our faculty and staff also face significant challenges in keeping current with rapid changes in healthcare, knowledge proliferation, upheaval of higher education's business model, legal and regulatory requirements, and pervasive use of technology in education and healthcare.
Continued investment in professional development of our faculty and staff will assure ATSU delivers a highly sought educational experience exceeding the needs of 21st century healthcare providers and supporters.
ATSU's core professional attributes (CPAs) help define the distinctiveness of our graduates who will be providing care and managing and leading healthcare teams and organizations. CPAs will address many of the skills deemed critical for healthcare professionals. CPAs are critical thinking, cultural proficiency, interprofessional collaboration, interpersonal skills, and social responsibility.GOALSOBJECTIVESImplement and enhance innovative learning strategies.
Continue as a national leader in interprofessional education and collaborative practice opportunities.
- Increase number of programs implementing competency-based learning and adaptive learning methods.
- Increase professional development opportunities for faculty and staff who will educate ATSU's community regarding innovative learning strategies.
Prepare graduates to be healthcare professionals who will improve the health of individuals and communities, including diverse, underserved patient and client populations.
- Increase professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
Respond to workforce and community health needs through innovative educational offerings.
- Ensure core professional attributes are instilled in all ATSU programs.
- Increase number of full-time faculty with master of public health (MPH) degrees.
- Offer at least two complimentary MPH elective courses to all residential students.
- Increase number of clinical experiences serving diverse, underserved patient and client populations.
Ensure ATSU clinics provide accessible, quality, and affordable healthcare in the appropriate context of whole person and whole community.
- Expand existing and develop new programs based on societal needs, market conditions, strategic locations, and University capacity.
Continued Commitment to Scholarly ActivityCONTRIBUTING TO KNOWLEDGE, HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONS, AND SOCIETY
- Clinics will develop and measure outcomes based on appropriate college/school/program and professional standards.
- Clinics will assess impact on individual and community health.
We are a teaching and learning university that values scholarly activity supportive of our heritage, mission, and vision. ATSU is fortunate to have a strong foundation of faculty and student scholarly activity.
Scholarly activity at ATSU encompasses Boyer's1 definition allowing participation from all interested faculty. Forms of scholarly activity include scholarship of teaching and learning, engagement, discovery, application, and integration.
Scholarship of teaching and learning is the process whereby conditions relating to both instruction and learning are studied in a systematic manner based on results of previous studies.2 Scholarship of teaching helps learners transform and extend the knowledge they possess.
Scholarship of engagement is a response to local community needs provided by the expertise of faculty where results are then utilized to solve community problems.3
The most recognizable form of scholarship is that of discovery. In scholarship of discovery, faculty are expected to pursue knowledge for its own sake.
Scholarship of application focuses on applying results of previous scholarship, both within and outside of academia, leading to new knowledge.
Scholarship of integration requires an understanding of an interdisciplinary approach and synthesis of information from a variety of sources.4GOALSOBJECTIVESContribute to healthcare education, knowledge, and practice through all forms of scholarly activity.
Maximize sponsored program funding and sources.
- Increase support and promotion of scholarly activity among faculty.
- Encourage student engagement in both faculty-guided and independent scholarly activity.
- Establish partnerships providing additional resources for scholarly activity.
- Increase recruitment and retention of faculty with a strong potential for securing extramural funding.
- Increase number and percent of faculty applying for and receiving external and internal funding, in the context of federal/external support levels.
- Establish an enhancement fund for new external grants received.
1. Boyer, Ernest L. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. A Special Report. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990. Print.
2. Meyers, Renee A. Guidelines for Human Subject Research Participants in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research: UWS Leadership Site for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2007. Web. 05.30.14 http://www4.uwm.edu/sotl/steps_to_success/uplead/LS-IRB-white-paper-dec7.pdf.
3. Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions. Linking Scholarship and Communities: Report of the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions. Seattle: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, 2005. Print.
4. Hofmeyer, A, Newton M, and Scott C. Valuing the Scholarship of Integration and the Scholarship of Application in the Academy for Health Sciences Scholars: Recommended Methods. Health Research Policy and Systems, 2007. Web. 05.30.14 http://www.health-policy-systems.com/contents/5/1/5.Cultural Proficiency, Diversity, and InclusionPREPARING OUR UNIVERSITY AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS FOR AMERICA'S CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
Providing quality healthcare and services to America's changing demographics is essential for all related organizations and individuals seeking success in the 21st century. Striving to attain cultural proficiency throughout the University is an endeavor worth undertaking. "Cultural proficiency is a way of being that enables both individuals and organizations to respond effectively to people who differ from them."5
America is projected to have more than 13 million citizens over 80 years old by 2020 and 19.5 million by 2030.6 By 2044, our growing combined Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations will represent over 50 percent of the population.7
Institutions embracing diversity and inclusiveness benefit from additional perspectives and experiences. ATSU is committed to developing campus, clinic, and virtual environments embracing the broadest constituencies possible.
Unconscious bias, health disparities, and lack of access to quality, affordable care are just a few of the challenges health professions universities must work together to solve. ATSU's mission statement directly addresses the needs of underserved communities. Our partnerships with community health centers across America strengthen our students' educational and personal growth while providing opportunities to positively affect the health of America's underserved through education, patient care, scholarly activity, and service
The world is rapidly changing, and ATSU's commitment to cultural proficiency will allow us to better understand and engage society.
GOALOBJECTIVESReach and attract a more diverse student body, faculty, and staff to further ATSU as a culturally proficient and inclusive institution.
- Increase recruitment and retention of diverse, service-oriented students, faculty, and staff by developing new partnerships and scholarships.
- Increase events and educational opportunities for the ATSU community and additional stakeholders to promote cultural proficiency.
- Conduct cultural climate survey.
- Identify accessibility limitations and make appropriate improvements.
5. Lindsey, Randall B, Kikanza J. Nuri Robins, and Raymond D. Terrell. Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders, 2003. Print.
6. Ortman, Jennifer M., Victoria A. Velkoff, and Howard Hogan. An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States. U.S.Department of Commerce, May 2014. Print.
7. Colby, Sandra L., and Jennifer M. Ortman. Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population. U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014 to 2060. March 2015. Print.New and Expanded PartnershipsFURTHERING OUR MISSION AND VISION WITH STRATEGICALLY ALIGNED PARTNERS
ATSU is fortunate to have many successful partnerships assisting with student teaching and learning, campus facilities, government relations, patient care, student services, and information technology
To meet future demands of a sustainable preeminent health sciences university, we will need to continue building win-win partnerships beyond the walls of our institution. The current model of graduate health science education and, in fact, all higher education, is being challenged by for-profit and other highly nimble organizations with significant resources to compete and innovate
With more than 16,000 alumni and a 123-year history of educating healthcare professionals, ATSU must continue engaging alumni in order to better understand relevant educational needs essential to responding to healthcare's rapid changes.GOALOBJECTIVESFurther the University's mission and vision with strategically aligned partners.
Effective Branding and MarketingLETTING THE WORLD KNOW WHO WE ARE AND WHAT ATSU OFFERS
- Increase number of new and expand existing partnerships with community health centers, clinics, hospitals, and similarly aligned organizations.
- Ensure sufficient quality clinical rotation sites.
- Collaborate with alumni to expand rotation, residency, fellowship, and employment opportunities.
- Broaden community support and advocacy by discovering alliances and forming new collaborations.
Developing broader brand awareness, deeper community support for our mission, and building a growing positive public image for ATSU is best facilitated by cross-organizational marketing strategies. Developing cross-departmental synergies and communications are key prerequisites for ATSU to successfully compete for superior quality students, faculty, and staff; donors; external grant funding; and expansion of its demographic diversity.
When ATSU's previous strategic plan was authored, "The Patient Safety and Affordable Care Act" had just been signed. Accountable Care Organizations were not in existence, functional medicine was an uncommon term and, like today, society was still struggling with cost and sustainability of healthcare. Now, more than any other time in our nation's history, ATSU's brand and the "Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine" have a renewed relevancy as solutions for all of us when treating the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including addressing mobility, function, pain relief, less reliance on polypharmacy, quality of life, disease, injury, and illness prevention. The influence of the ATSU brand and its reputation as the founding institution of osteopathic medicine will continue to be nurtured, reinforced, and protected with stewardship to ensure our leadership continues to resonate for whole person healthcare. Our lasting and growing relevance will be harnessed to help our communities, as well as our students and alumni from all degree programs, benefit from ATSU's 123-year-plus history of innovation within osteopathic education and practice.
Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine
GOALSOBJECTIVESBuild and maintain a strong public image of ATSU as a preeminent health professions university and founding institution of osteopathic medicine.
- The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
- The body is capable of self-regulation, self- healing, and health maintenance.
- Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
- Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the principles of body unity, self regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.
Become a preferred health sciences university for diverse and service-oriented students, faculty, and staff.
- Increase public awareness of the University's reputation as a quality health professions education and service-oriented institution focused on whole person and whole community healthcare.
Fiscal Health, Affordability and ComplianceDELIVERING ON OUR MISSION AND VISION THROUGH BEST PRACTICES AND CAPACITY BUILDING
- l Increase enrollment and employment diversity by enhancing awareness among appropriate audiences.
- Increase number of service-oriented students and employees by enhancing awareness among appropriate audiences.
Degree affordability and value remain at the forefront of national education discussions and at ATSU. The tuition we charge our students versus what they believe they are paying for will require continued discussions and clarification. With many states less willing to support higher education, we anticipate future students will enroll at ATSU with higher debt. ATSU will need to increase operational efficiencies, increase fundraising, and develop additional revenue sources to remain affordable for students.
Complexity and cost of compliance are weighing heavily on all educational institutions. It is estimated colleges and universities spend a minimum of three to six percent of annual budgets on compliance-related activities. ATSU will need to continue investing in compliance initiatives and related information technology while learning to become more efficient.GOALSOBJECTIVESExplore opportunities to lower dependence on tuition revenue and increase affordability.
Enhance overall financial health of the University.
- Increase total ATSU gift and external grant revenue.
- Increase number and corpora of endowments.
- Develop partnerships with additional businesses and institutions resulting in increased revenue or in-kind clinical rotational sites.
- Continue to develop operationally effective medical and oral health patient care centers.
Update and implement campus master plans, including information technology, for improving and/or increasing academics, scholarly activity, patient care, and campus life.
- Monitor and evaluate departmental expenses through a five-year, zero-based budget process.
- Maintain or exceed bond ratios per covenants.
- Comply with all applicable financial, accrediting, and local, state, and federal laws and regulatory requirements.
- Continue progress toward new/renovated academic, clinical, scholarly activity, and support facilities.
- Annually monitor and evaluate five-year capital expenditure pro forma.
- Utilize third floor of St. Louis oral health clinic for expansion of existing or development of new programs with strategic partners.
Annual Report +
ATSU's Annual Report provides a glimpse of the year's events and achievements. To ensure the University continues on its path to preeminence and stays true to its mission, ATSU chooses three areas to concentrate its efforts each year. For 2017-18, the focus areas were Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit preparation, ATSU patient care centers, and information technology. Read the complete 2018-19 Annual Report (pdf)
State Agency Information +
Student Complaint Resolution and Complaint Resolution Contacts
Students with complaints or concerns are encouraged to first utilize the University's internal complaint or review policies as noted in the student's school/program catalog. If the issue cannot be resolved internally, students may also file a complaint with the appropriate state agency your current state of residence (listed below).
State Contact Information for Online Students
The U.S. Department of Education requires disclosure to consumers residing in all U.S. states. The list below provides contact information for all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It should not be construed as informative of agency regulation, where an institution is licensed or in which states an institution is required to be licensed.
Alabama Community College System
Attention: Division of Academic and Student Affairs
P.O. Box 302130
Montgomery, AL 36130-2130
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
PO Box 110505
Juneau, AK 99811-0505
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
1740 W. Adams, Suite 3008
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arkansas Division of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, CA 95834
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818
Colorado Department of Higher Education
1600 Broadway, Suite 2200
Denver, CO 80202
Connecticut Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 707
Hartford, CT 06103-1841
Delaware Higher Education Office
The Townsend Building
401 Federal St., Ste. 2
Dover, DE 19901-3639
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Florida Department of Education
Commission for Independent Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 E. Exchange Place, Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084-5334
Hawaii Post-secondary Education Authorization Program
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
335 Merchant St., Rm. 310
Honolulu, HI 96813
Idaho State Board of Education
650 West State Street, 3rd Floor
Boise, ID 83702
Illinois Board of Higher Education
1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701-1377
Board for Proprietary Education
Indiana Commission for Higher Education
101 West Ohio Street, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1984
Iowa College Student Aid Commission
475 SW Fifth Street, Suite D
Des Moines, IA 50309
Kansas Board of Regents
1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 520
Topeka, KS 66612-1368
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
100 Airport Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Louisiana Board of Regents
P.O. Box 3677
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3677
Maine Department of Education
Special Services Team
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 N. Liberty Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, MA 02108
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Schools & Licensing Section
P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211-6453
Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
301 W. High Street, Suite 840
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469
Montana University System
Office of Commissioner of Higher Education
560 N. Park Ave
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201
Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
PO Box 95005
Lincoln, NE 68509-5005
Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
2800 E. St. Louis
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860
Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
1 John Fitch Plaza,
10th Floor, PO Box 542
Trenton, NJ 08625-0542
New Mexico Higher Education Department
2044 Galisteo Street, Suite 4
Santa Fe, NM 87505-2100
New York State Education Building
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
North Carolina Community College System Office of Proprietary Schools
200 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
North Dakota University System
2000 44th St. SW, Suite 301
Fargo, ND 58103
Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools
30 East Board Street, Suite 2481
Columbus, OH 43215
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
655 Research Parkway, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Higher Education Coordinating Commission
3225 25th Street SE
Salem, OR 97302
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education
PO Box 19900
San Juan, PR 00910-1900
Commissioner of Higher Education
RI Office of Higher Education
80 Washington Street, Suite 524
Providence, RI 02903
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1122 Lady St., Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
South Dakota Board of Regents
306 E. Capitol Ave, Suite 200
Pierre, SD 57501-2545
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1900
Nashville, TN 37243
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
1200 E. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78711-2788
Utah Division of Consumer Protection
160 East 300 South, 2nd Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6704
Vermont Agency of Education
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
101 N. 14th Street, 10th Floor
James Monroe Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Washington Student Achievement Council
917 Lakeridge Way SW
Olympia, WA 98502
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301-2800
State of Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 83705
Wyoming Department of Education
122 W. 25th St. Suite E200
Cheyenne, WY 82002
A.T. Still University is an institutional participant in the National Council for State Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) initiative. The listing for A.T. Still University of Health Sciences may be found under the Kirksville, Missouri campus at http://www.nc-sara.org/states/mo.
As a member of NC-SARA, ATSU complies with stated guidelines that meet all current individual state mandates regarding online education. ATSU regularly reviews changes in state laws that may not be included in the SARA agreement and is unaware of any non-compliance. ATSU is committed to maintaining the required compliance. However, the variability of state processes and the lack of a formal system of notification may result in unexpected delays. Online student complaint process may be found on the SARA site at https://nc-sara.org/student-complaints.
Each student enrolled in any ATSU program, including online programs, signs a letter prior to matriculation that clearly states the cost of the program and the refund policy. This letter has been reviewed by numerous state educational authorities and has been recognized as satisfying the rights of students to understand program cost and their right to refunds.
Student Complaint Resolution +
ATSU offers mechanisms for resolution of complaints arising out of academic, non-academic, administrative, or behavioral concerns. Each process is designed to help ensure the safety, security, and fair treatment of all students. ATSU encourages informal resolution through direct communication with the individuals involved, whenever possible. In instances where informal resolution as described below is unsatisfactory or there is a specific complaint process, concerns are elevated to formal complaints. Students should consult with Student Affairs if they are unsure about where or how to address a concern.
Informal General Complaint Processes
Informal complaints (i.e. concerns or expressions of dissatisfaction or disagreement) should be handled through direct communication (i.e. conversation, email, letter) between the student and the individual or office involved.
- The majority of student complaints can be addressed through communication with the individuals involved and are issues that are commonly handled by a university support office (i.e. Student Affairs, Human Resources, etc.)
- If the issue remains unresolved, the informal complaint should be directed to the appropriate university office, academic unit, or Dean for additional pursuit of resolution.
Specific Complaint ProcessesThere are many types specific complaints directly addressed by policy. Specific complaints and the source for the appropriate processes are listed below.
- Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. University Catalog or University Student Handbook
- Title IX or Clery Act. Prohibition of discrimination, harassment and retaliation
- Work study and Title VII. University Student Handbook: Professional Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct
- Student Records/FERPA.
- Disability Access and Accommodation. University Catalog or University Student Handbook: Appendix G
- Institutional Accreditation. Any prospective or enrolled student may request a copy of ATSU’s accreditation and state approval documents. Complaints relating ATSU’s institutional quality may be file with the Higher Learning Commission.
- School and/or Program Accreditation. University Student Handbook: University Catalog or University Student Handbook: About ATSU-University Accreditation. For Arizona programs, students may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Private Postsecondary Education (1740 W. Adams, Ste. 3008, Phoenix, AZ 85007)
- Veteran’s Affairs. Students who are receiving VA tuition benefits may submit a complaint to the US Department of Veterans Affairs if they believe ATSU is failing to follow the VA’s Principles of Excellence in education and training. VA complaints can be filed online
- Federal Financial Aid. Students can file a complaint with the Department of Education if they are dissatisfied with their experience in the federal student aid process or want to report suspicious activity related to federal loans. Financial Aid complaints can be filed online
General Complaint Processes
ATSU recognizes students’ rights to express general complaints and seek solutions to problems arising from complaints, disagreements with faculty/administrators, or different interpretations of ATSU policy. Some concerns may involve course grades, promotion, financial concerns, etc. The procedure for expressing a general complaint that does not fall under the Code of Academic Conduct; Code of Behavioral Standards; Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Grievance procedures; or FERPA follows:
- Academic. Any concern that is academic in nature should be first discussed with the immediate instructor. If resolution cannot be reached, a student may appeal in writing to the next ranking administrator.
- Non-academic. Similarly, if there is a concern in areas other than academic, the student should first direct their complaint in writing to the director of the specific area of concern and then to the appropriate dean or vice president.
General complaints should include the nature of the complaint, requested outcomes, and a description of previous attempts to resolve the issue informally. Students should expect a preliminary response from the appropriate office/unit within ten (10) business days of receipt of the general complaint. The designated responder will address the general complaint as timely as possible and will provide the student a final written determination including any proposed resolution.
- General complaints cannot be anonymous or filed on behalf of another person.
- Complaints that are handled through a different university process or procedure will be returned to the student with information on where/who to submit the complaint to for processing. See above for a list of specific complaint resources.
Students are encouraged to consult with Student Affairs if unsure about where or how to address a concern and/or complaint. Submit a complaint.
Professional Licensure Disclosures+
In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, and its final regulations effective July 1, 2020, ATSU provides the following information pertaining to professional licensure and certification for all programs, both online and residential.
Licensure and/or certification requirements for all ATSU professional programs are well defined by a set of national standards that are applied on a state-by-state basis. ATSU has determined the curricula for all ATSU academic programs meet the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in the following states and US districts and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Students graduating from ATSU programs are eligible to take applicable exams and apply for licensure in each of these locations. Students should check any additional professional licensure requirements for the state, district or territory in which they intend to pursue employment. Dental students should be particularly aware certain states have unique licensure requirements. For example, in order to provide sedation in the dental practice, individual states have a variety of differing educational and/or experiential requirements.