Online Health Care Degree Courses

Revitalize your career! In this curriculum, you will learn about the US health care system, as well as medical ethics and law. Your courses cover subjects from community health to special populations.

Below you will find the courses for this program beginning with the introductory courses. You have a choice in this program, either to take a standard program composed of major course requirements, or you may choose to add a specialization. Please note that you must complete the major course requirements' capstone course before you can begin your specialization. A specialization consists of four (4) courses, each worth three (3) credits.

Introductory Courses *

All Bachelor degree-seeking students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are 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 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students entering with twenty-four (24) or more transferable, traditional semester credits are required to successfully complete PSY 202 Adult Development and Life Assessment as their first course. PSY 202 is designed to help experienced students acclimate to the online college environment.

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 learner 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. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.         

PSY 202 Adult Development & Life Assessment 

This course presents adult development theory and links theoretical concepts of life and learning through a process of psychometric assessment and reflection. Both classical and contemporary adult development theories are examined. These theories then provide the paradigm for self-analysis and life learning, including a plan for personal, professional and academic learning. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

Major Course Requirements

(30 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

HCA 305 The US Health Care System
The US Health Care System is an introductory course exploring historical origins, foundations, values and resources. Other national health care systems are discussed in comparison to that of the United States. Throughout the course, health care service is integrated with marketplace, legal, ethical, regulatory, and financial forces that influence the continued evolution of the US Health Care System, and its resulting opportunities.

HCA 322 Health Care Ethics & Medical Law
Ethics and Medical Law presents the ethical and legal implications of health care administration. The unique legal aspects encountered in the provision of health services are analyzed. Concepts of access, affordability, health care interventions, and human rights are combined with legal and ethical issues that challenge the provision of health care services. Concepts of risk management, continuous quality assurance, guardianship, Institutional Review Boards, and needs of special and diverse populations provide discussion points. The overlapping domains of ethics and medical law are examined. Case studies, and discussion of ethical and legal precedent-setting decisions, are used to link theory with reality.

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.

HCA 340 Managing in Health & Human Services: An Interdisciplinary Approach
An upper-level management course providing basic management theory for the beginning manager. Management challenges, human service environments, management theories, organizational design, program planning, supervisory relations, managing finances, program evaluation, leadership theories, and teams in organizations are explored.

BUS 303 Human Resources Management
This course applies theory and research to human resource management (HRM) policies and practices; including attaining organizational goals; legal concerns, labor relations; strategic analysis; the HRM role in shaping organization and employee behavior; applying technology and systems to HRM; and HRM problems/issues.

HCA 415 Community & Public Health
Community and Public Health explores public health services in the well-being of a population. Regulatory mandates that promote public and community health are explored. The relationship between 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 explores health care services for special populations, such as: mental health, substance addiction, rehabilitation, geriatrics, and selected specialty services. The course is problem-focused, emphasizing access, cost-quality issues, and financing. Health information data is utilized as resources for the analysis of demand, quality and cost-efficiency. Historical perspectives are presented as factors that influence 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.

HCA 331 Introduction to Health Education
This foundational course provides an introduction to teaching and learning for health care professionals, consumers and clients. Theories of adult learning and introductory instructional design concepts provide the framework for students to design interactive courses.

HCA 333 Introduction to Long Term Care
This course provides an overview of the long-term service delivery continuum. Course topics include: patient-family-centered services; introduction to theories of adult development and aging; modalities of the long-term care delivery system; organizational culture; introduction to regulatory agencies; financial resources; and quality assurance.

HCA 497 Health Care Studies Capstone
In this final course, students will demonstrate their mastery of program outcomes by reflecting on and synthesizing insights gained from their studies. This will take the form of a focused study of a significant trend or problem in contemporary health care.


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 from the following specializations:

Health Care Informatics Systems

HCA 401 Introduction to Health Care Informatics
This course provides an overview of health care informatics including basic vocabulary, concepts, technology, uses and practices. The history, background, and development of health care informatics are presented, as well as academic, private, and government influences.

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 HIPPA 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.

HCA 419 Current Topics in Informatics
This course examines trends and emerging technologies involved in health care delivery and information systems/technology management within diverse health care settings. Content includes the following health care applications: process improvement and innovation for computerized provider order entry (CPOE), telemedicine, imaging systems, bio-surveillance, genomics, bioinformatics (methods used to process data from biological experiments), robotic surgery, and pharmacogenomics. In addition, ethical and legal considerations and aspects related to the use of computerized technology and information systems in the delivery of health care are reviewed.

HCA 435 Informatics Applications
This course provides a broad overview of the various components of informatics and the practical usage focusing on administrative and clinical functions across diverse health care and health care delivery settings. Emphasis is given to process improvement, control, and management of health care data. Topics covered include the following: evidence-based medicine, information retrieval, decision support systems, security and confidentiality, bioinformatics, information system cycles, key health information systems and standards, and medical devices.


Long-Term Care Management

SOC 304 Social Gerontology
This course focuses on social stereotypes and prejudice against the aged, discrimination, friends and family, care giving, living environments, demography, senior political power, legislation, elder abuse, and death and dying.

PSY 317 Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly
This course explores cognitive functioning in later life including biological, socioeconomic, environmental, cognitive adaptation, and life history factors influencing cognitive function as an individual progresses along a developmental continuum. The major psychological constructs of self concept, socialization, and thinking processes are presented. Etiology, interventions, education, and support systems are discussed.

HCA 442 Contemporary Issues in Aging
This course presents significant major interdisciplinary aging issues and controversies drawn from biological sciences, medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, gerontology, public policy, and social work. With an emphasis on critical thinking, divergent views and perspectives of aging phenomenology are explored through the reading and research of selected articles and reports covering current topical content.

HCA 444 Long-Term Care: The Consumer Perspective
This course examines the role and impact consumers have in long-term care decision making and provision of care. Factors and challenges influencing consumer choices are explored within the context of long-term care improvement in both institutional and community settings. Current topical issues such as customer/provider relationships and quality of care are overviewed in this course.

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