Online Alternative Health Degree Courses

Position yourself on the forefront of healthcare delivery when you earn your Bachelor of Arts in Complementary and Alternative Health.

Introductory Course

All Bachelor’s program students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are also required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105.

Student Success Orientation
The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self-evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learning resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education
This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course.

Major Course Requirements

(36 credits, all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Students explore culture in its role of guiding human behavior and providing social order, structure, and stability for individuals and groups of people. Culture is presented as a system of adaptation involving beliefs, behavior, language, customs, socio-political strategies, traditions, and technology that evolve over time.

HWE 200 Introduction to Health & Wellness
This course provides students with a holistic overview of the multi-faceted dimensions of health and wellness across the lifespan. The seven dimension of health: physical, social, intellectual, emotional, occupational, spiritual, and environmental are explored within the context of a wellness lifestyle.

HCS 326 Holistic Health
This course examines health from the perspective of synergism of mind, body, and spirit as opposed to the tenets of the traditional biomedical model followed in traditional health. Divided into three major themes, the course explores strengthening inner resources, developing healthy lifestyle practices, and taking charge of mind, body, and spirit challenges.

HCS 316 Cultural Diversity in Health & Illness
This course explores the complexities and dimensions of health and illness through diverse cultural perspectives. Traditional health beliefs and practices among selected populations are presented along with the influences of social, political, and demographic changes impacting issues and perceptions of health and illness in a multi-cultural society.

HCS 321 Foundations of Complementary & Alternative Health 

This course introduces students to basic definitions and classifications of non-allopathic complementary and alternative health systems. Content includes the history and development of practices, practitioner nomenclature, and cultural influences of the major systems of Complementary and Alternative Medicine used today.

SOC 313 Social Implications of Medical Issues 
This introductory course provides learners with a basic foundation of human biology, as it applies to health and human services providers. This course explores basic human biology and its relationship to selected socio-cultural domains, grounded in Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model of Human Development.

HCS 339 Introduction to Western Herbalism; Basic Doctrine, Energetics and Classifications
This course explores fundamental constructs of Western Herbalism. Its focus is in providing the student a framework from which herbs can be conceptualized as entities with energetic and practical signatures. Consequently, herbs will be presented and appreciated from various and eclectic points of view which describes their characteristics and actions for their application in various body tissue conditions. The course will also cover qualitative descriptions (constitutions) that are tied to the human organism, appreciation of therapeutic laws, and classification of medicinal plants.

HCA 415 Community & Public Health 

Community and public health is an introductory course exploring community and public health services in the well-being of a population. Regulatory mandates promoting public and community health are explored. The interface among community and public health services and the overall health care industry is explored. Legal and ethical imperatives emergent in public health services are discussed. Financing options are explored recognizing the role of categorical fiscal resources. Health care promotion and prevention strategies are explored in concert with the role of health care institutions and the public sector. Health information data is utilized in the planning of a community and/or public health project.

HCA 430 Special Populations 
Special Populations is a topics course exploring health care services for special populations. The populations include clients/patients in the following groups: those with mental health issues, substance addiction, in rehabilitation, geriatric populations, and clients/patients utilizing selected specialty services. The course is problem focused emphasizing access, cost-quality issues and financing considerations. Health information data is utilized as resources for the analysis of demand, quality and cost-efficiency. Historical perspectives are presented as shaping factors influencing the present models of health services for special populations. Government mandates, categorical services, legal, ethical, and reimbursement issues are presented as driving forces in the provision of special population health services. Multidisciplinary models of special population health service models are discussed. Learners will develop a model program for a self-selected special population.

HCS 435 Spirituality, Health, & Healing 

This course explores the connections between spirituality, culture, health, and healing. Students examine spiritual rituals and practices from multi-cultural perspectives, in addition to examining elements of spiritual care in a variety of health settings and contexts.

HPR 460 Analysis of Health Research
This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of health research. Students are given the opportunity to learn about the various types of health research and associated research designs and methodologies. This course provides the students with increased exposure to health research literature and teaches students strategies to critically analyze this literature. Students are provided the opportunity to learn about the ethical dimensions, physical limitations, and practical application of health research. The students are provided a supplemental booklet containing example literature and figures that highlight the major concepts covered in the course.

HCS 495 Complementary & Alternative Health Capstone
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of complementary and alternative health. A substantive paper is developed which requires students to critically analyze their experiences and integrate knowledge gained throughout the program.

You may also choose to delve deeper into other areas of health care when you add a specialization to your degree program. A specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits each. These courses are taught online as part of your degree program. Choose the following specialization:

Health Care Informatics Systems

HIM 301 Introduction to Health Informatics 
This foundational course details the history and factors driving the emergence of health informatics. In addition to emphasizing the concepts, terminologies and scope of health informatics, the course delves into health information exchanges, data standards, health informatics ethics, online resources and E-research. The course includes and overview of basic database architecture, design and file structure and data warehousing and data mining in healthcare.

HCA 417 Electronic Health Records 
This course begins with an exploration of the evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) and then delves into the current forces driving the adoption of electronic health records. The components of EHR's are reviewed and the core functionalities of the EHR are examined. Major consideration is given to HIPAA and confidentiality regulatory requirements in terms of EHR management. In addition, the different methods of data capture and recording of data are reviewed, as well as a comparison of contents for an inpatient versus an outpatient EHR.

HIM 410 Health Informatics – A Systems Perspective 
This course focuses on the behind the scenes components of exchange, standards and interoperability of information in healthcare. The course will evaluate informatics-based support resources to include evidence based practice, clinical decision support and transport protocols.

HIM 435 Analyzing Healthcare Data 
This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of health informatics. Students will learn about the construction and utilization of health care data sets; the use of computerized statistical packages in health care; and the role of health informatics in financial and performance improvement goals. The student will apply common performance improvement models and tools to develop data-driven organizational reports.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.