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Doctor of Education in Health Professions

Doctor of Education in Health Professions

The Doctor of Education in Health Professions (EdD) program at A.T. Still University (ATSU) focuses specifically on developing health professions educators. Unique in its class, this online program involves practical experience-based teaching rather than research-based teaching. This prestigious health professions degree is designed for practicing clinicians, healthcare educators, leaders, and directors who desire to pursue their passion to teach.

With the nation’s healthcare focus shifting toward preventive care and education, there is an increasing demand for qualified health educators that ATSU graduates can help fill, with growth projected to rise 21% by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS), the EdD in Health Professions is a 55 credit-hour program that’s 100 percent online. No residency is required, saving travel time and expense. This online health education degree program is a true value, offering an anytime/anywhere model that frees students to work at the ideal pace for them, from a minimum of one course per term.

Positioning students for superior career success, the healthcare education curriculum focuses on teaching health professionals how to educate others on their individual roles and responsibilities within healthcare delivery. Sharing their knowledge and experiences with others, graduates with this highly respected health education degree excel as leaders in the rapidly expanding field of health professions education.

The comprehensive Doctoral Research Project (DRP) process provides students a manuscript that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication upon course completion. The DRP gives students a critical edge in networking and the opportunity to be published, thanks to faculty support and guidance.

This online health education degree provides invaluable flexibility with diligent faculty support and guidance to advance your career without interruption while maintaining a balance with work and family – support that includes direct access to the program chair.

The ATSU-CGHS curriculum and teaching methodology are unique, shaped by a dedicated health sciences university that, for more than 120 years, has devoted its mission to teaching, inspiring, and supporting healthcare professionals in their practice.

That dedication is infused throughout all six of ATSU’s prestigious schools: a college of graduate health studies, two medical schools, two dental schools, and a school of health sciences.

Learn more about how this curriculum makes a difference in helping students advance their knowledge and deepen their impact in the world.

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  • Doctor of Education in Health Professions | Erin Breitenbach, program chair
  • College of Graduate Health Studies, ATSU | Don Altman, Dean
  • ATSU | Dr. Craig Phelps, President
  • Diversity at A.T. Still University
  • University Catalog+

    • University Catalog Program guide

      Read more about the Doctor of Education in Health Professions in the University Catalog to learn more about detailed course descriptions and doctoral research project specifications for the EdD in Health Professions and find answers for many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.

  • Career Advancement+

    • Potential advanced career outcomes for graduates who hold the doctor of education in health professions degree include:

      • Professor at a college or university in a multitude of health professions
      • Director of health education department or program
      • Director of community health services
      • Health professions clinical educator

Doctor of Education in Health Professions Degree Faculty

The ATSU-CGHS faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of each health professions degree student. All ATSU-CGHS instructors hold doctorate degrees, with diverse academic and professional backgrounds in education, public health and health education.

Their academic areas of interest include curriculum and instruction, adult education, health professions education, health literacy, community health, health behavior, college health, child and adolescent health, rural health, environmental health, parasitology, microbiology, epidemiology, emerging pathogens and infectious disease, program evaluation, professional education of health educators, allied health and health sciences education, online learning, and innovative teaching methodologies.

Offering a challenging educational experience, the Doctor of Education in Health Professions program enables professional and intellectual advancement with the resources that support you throughout your journey. Comprehensive student services are available, including advising, tutoring, technical support, and career services.

  • Dean +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,<br />Dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,

        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA,<br />Dean  LinkedIn

        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU 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 (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

        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 and is currently the president.


        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.

  • Associate Dean Academics and Assessment +

      • Jim Farris, PT, PhD Jim Farris, PT, PhD

        Jim Farris, PT, PhD, is the associate dean for academics and assessment in A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS). Dr. Farris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1987, and master’s degree in exercise science in 1989, both from California State University, Fresno; as well as a bachelor’s degree in physical therapying 1999 from Arkansas State University. His doctoral degree was conferred by The Ohio State University in 1995, where his studies focused on exercise physiology and nutrition. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at cardiopulmonary fitness throughout the lifespan.

        He joined ATSU in 2009, started his associate dean role in 2020, and is now in his 25th year of higher education and administration. Dr. Farris has over a decade of academic administration and assessment experience as a department chair and has strived for overall educational excellence in that role. He completed the American Physical Therapy Association’s Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, is an Educational Leadership Institute Fellow, and has served on the board of directors for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy before joining ATSU-CGHS.

        He enjoys serving the community, and one our nation’s most underserved populations, through his role as a clinical director for the FUNfitness program that is part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete’s program. Work-life integration is a goal and he “sharpens the saw” through golfing, cycling, fishing, hiking, cooking, brewing, yardwork, and many other outdoor activities.

  • Chair and Associate Professor +

      • Erin Breitenbach, PhD<br />Chair Erin Breitenbach, PhD

        Erin Breitenbach, PhD<br />Chair  LinkedIn

        Dr. Erin Breitenbach is program chair of the health education program at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She holds a MA and PhD in health education from The University of Texas at Austin and a MEd in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston. Dr. Breitenbach’s research interests include factors influencing doctorate program completion, innovative online teaching strategies, interprofessional education, and scholarly writing development.

  • Administration and Faculty +

      • Erin Breitenbach, PhD Erin Breitenbach, PhD
        Associate Professor and Chair
        Read Bio Erin Breitenbach, PhD LinkedIn
      • Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Joshua Bernstein PhD, CHES LinkedIn
      • Candace Ayars, PhD Candace Ayars, PhD
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio Candace Ayars, PhD  LinkedIn
      • Lynda Tierney Konecny, DHEd, DHSc, MCHES Lynda Tierney Konecny, DHEd, DHSc, MCHES
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio Lynda Tierney Konecny, DHEd, DHSc, MCHES LinkedIn

Doctor of Education in Health Professions Degree Admissions

ATSU’s Doctor of Education in Health Professions online program will admit professionals who have a master’s or doctorate degree.

EdD in Health Professions 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.

  • Requirements +

    • The highly-respected EdD in Health Professions degree program prepares individuals to be leaders in the field of public health. Candidates applying for admission must have the following:

      1. Application:
        • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.


      2. Academic:

        • An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
        • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
        • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
        • Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.


      3. Elements of Success:

        • A current resume.
        • Completion of an essay.
        • English Proficiency **
        • Meet technology requirements.***


      *Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:


      **Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

      Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are: 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 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
      • iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
      • PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section

      The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100 ***ATSU technology requirements


  • Tuition+

    • Review tuition and fees for the Doctor of Education in Health Professions program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

The Family and Culture

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Doctor of Education in Health Professions Curriculum Overview

Students in ATSU’s EdD in Health Professions program are empowered with the most updated curriculum designed for relevance and immediate impact in the industry. Curriculum design is context-based and mission-driven.

Health education degree courses are conducted through virtual teaching methods, such as web-based instruction, video demonstrations, directed readings, and email and online discussions with faculty. Student learning is monitored through authentic embedded assessments.

The curriculum complements ATSU’s mission, 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 professions educators in the world.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, course durations, and related information are subject to change. All courses are three credit hours, unless otherwise specified.

*Students take either Finance and Budgeting (focused on institutions of higher education) or Healthcare Economics and Financial Budgeting (focused on healthcare organizations), depending on their area of interest.

All courses in the Doctor of Education in Health Professions program at ATSU-CGHS are Quality Matters Certified.

  • Cultural Competence and Multicultural Education – EDUC7300+

    • Students examine the influence of diversity, culture, ethnic origin, and societal change on educational and health care institutions. Students will learn how to teach and lead in the continuously changing global environment. Students explore how language, gender, race, tradition, education, economic structure, societal transitions, and global events affect how educational and organizational philosophies are developed. In addition, this course will concentrate on multicultural teaching and learning

  • Educational Program Evaluation – EDUC8900+

    • Students will be introduced to educational program assessment and evaluation. Topics include meeting health programmatic accreditation requirements, creating academic institutional effectiveness plans, program creation and revision, curricular evaluation, and strategic program assessment at the college and university level. Other topics discussed include evaluating certification and licensure pass rates, retention and attrition statistics, and integrating advisory board guidance into educational programs.

  • Finance and Budgeting* – EDUC7700+

    • Students will examine financial concepts and theories that influence the budgets of higher education institutions. Topics include potential revenue sources, budgeting techniques, effect of legislative action on budgets of higher education institutions, cost sharing concepts, reallocation concepts, and downsizing.

      *Students may take Healthcare Economics and Financial Management – DHAD8200 which focuses on finance and budgeting for health care organizations instead of higher education institutions if they prefer; however, they must notify their Academic Advisor before they begin their program since this may alter their academic degree plan.

  • Innovative Teaching Strategies in the Health Professions – EDUC8100+

    • Students will learn about traditional and emerging learning theories in pedagogy and andragogy. Topics discussed include student-centered learning, heutagogy, Pedagogy 2.0 and 3.0, problem-based learning, and transformative learning. Emphasis will be placed on teaching and learning in the face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments.

  • Instructional Design and Program Planning – EDUC8500+

    • Students will examine the use of a systematic process-based on learning theory to plan, design, and implement effective instruction for health professions education. Students will use educational taxonomies for the creation of instructional objectives for traditional and competency-based programs, and they will learn techniques for mapping curriculum.

  • Qualitative Research – EDUC8300+

    • Students will develop a theoretical framework for qualitative research. Topics include how to conduct various types of qualitative research projects through interviews, observations, and open-ended data, as well as how to analyze and report results. Students will conduct, analyze, and report qualitative data.

  • Quantitative Research – EDUC7900+

    • Students will be provided with an overview of the types of quantitative designs and statistical techniques. Students will learn about descriptive statistics; sampling techniques; statistical inference, including the null hypothesis, significance tests, and confidence intervals; and causal-comparative analyses, including t-test and ANOVA. Students will be required to do hands-on activities, and interpretation of data will be emphasized.

  • Technology and Educational Transformation – EDUC7500+

    • Students will examine how technology has transformed health care and educational environments. Topics include how to integrate technology into instructional design and how to evaluate the effectiveness of technology. Copyright, fair use, and the Teach Act will be discussed, and students will have the opportunity to experiment with some of the latest technology tools.

  • Transformative Leadership and Ethics – EDUC7100+

    • Students will be provided an introduction to the organization and governance of health care organizations, colleges, and universities. Faculty, academic and administrative contexts, and organizational cultures within which students may be employed will be explored. Topics discussed include organizational theory, employee evaluation, ethics, institutional effectiveness, and accreditation.

  • Student Assessment – EDUC8700+

    • Students will learn how to create authentic assessments within a health curriculum. Best practices in assessment will be discussed, and students will create problem-based, competencybased, and transformative assessments that provide them with critical thinking and career-specific skills to facilitate training and education in the workplace.

  • Doctoral Research Project Courses+

    • The Doctoral Research Project (DRP) consists of five 5-hour courses that develop a research project from the stages of proposal to dissemination. The research project is a research based effort in an area chosen by the student. The goal of the DRP is to advance practical knowledge in health professions education based on research and analysis. Each student will be assigned a faculty member to approve the project and provide mentorship and supervision throughout the process.

      1. Proposal Preparation for DRP – EDUC9600 – 5 credit hours
      2. Literature Review for DRP – EDUC9610 – 5 credit hours
      3. Research Design for DRP – EDUC9620 – 5 credit hours
      4. Data Analysis for DRP – EDUC9630 – 5 credit hours
      5. Publication for DRP – EDUC9640 – 5 credit hours