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Healthcare and Human Service Certificate and Associate Degree Programs Overview
College for Applied and Continuing Learning
Certificate and Associate Degree Programs Overview
Believing that specialized professional education partnered with the liberal arts promotes and reinforces our institutional values, the College for Applied and Continuing Learning pursues three central learning outcomes for its students: professional preparedness - readiness for entry-level positions or specialized roles; academic preparedness - intellectual and technological capability for educational advancement and lifelong learning; community and societal awareness - social understanding that encourages involvement, service and leadership.
The curriculum in the associate degree programs and healthcare certificate programs includes course work in the liberal arts and sciences, professional education and practical experiences such as laboratory work, clinical assignments, fieldwork and internships. A strong co-curriculum enhances student learning. While the arts and sciences and professional education programs have discrete educational objectives, through them the University also addresses commonly held liberal arts goals:
- Leadership and Collaboration
- Ethics and Social Justice
- Diversity and Global Perspectives
- Critical and Creative Inquiry
- Discipline-Based Competence
- Effective Communication in a Variety of Modes
- Purposeful Life-long Learning
Courses in liberal arts and sciences encourage exploration of important elements that are central to the human experience. Art, literature, psychology, religion, natural science and social science have become vehicles that humans use to understand themselves and their world. When you take courses in these disciplines, you further identify your personal struggles and accomplishments as related to other individuals and the broader human condition. An enriched perspective prepares you to relate to and work with people who exhibit diverse responses to common problems or illness.
We achieve our educational goals by creating opportunities for learning through caring relationships and interdisciplinary collaboration. Courses in Core Integrated Learning (CIL) have been designed to provide both the content and the learning processes in which you can become a competent professional. Content has been chosen to assure that you will have an opportunity to become an excellent practitioner by engaging with content that is central to the practice of healthcare and human services today. This content has a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences (ethics, communication, systems theory, sociology, etc.) and is applied to healthcare and human service practice. Processes have been designed that provide you the opportunity to have an intensive, focused learning experience with interdisciplinary student and faculty groups.
Courses in our professional education programs provide you with the specific knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function competently in your field. The curriculum is presented using a developmental and cumulative framework. That is, in the beginning of your learning experience, emphasis is placed upon laying the foundation that will constitute the base for your professional education and work orientation. It is here that you learn fundamental concepts and skills. As you master these concepts and skills, we introduce increasing complex ideas and learning activities. By the end of the course of studies in the professional program, you:
- are equipped with skills necessary to function capably in your chosen field.
- possess a foundation of theoretical knowledge upon which to base your practice and are free from the need for constant supervision.
- know when to function independently and when to seek direction.
- have the necessary knowledge and interpersonal skills to function as an effective and responsible member of a team.
- understand the need for study in rapidly changing occupational areas after completing your program.
The laboratory provides you with safe and controlled learning experiences in which professional skills are developed and clinical problems are simulated. These exercises are carefully planned and sequenced so you can master necessary psychomotor skills, apply theoretical principles and integrate skills and principles into appropriate, ethical clinical judgments and actions. As an integral part of developing competence, you are involved in real-life situations in a variety of ways, including clinical laboratory settings, internships and fieldwork assignments. Here both faculty and clinical staff provide expert instruction and supervision as you continue to practice and learn. By the end of all these practical experiences, you:
- have developed increased understanding and skill in problem solving resulting from the exercise of critical, independent judgment in real-life situations.
- have integrated previous learning through practice.
- have gained new knowledge, which is introduced in the laboratory setting.
The College for Applied and Continuing Learning benefits from the experience of the range of human diversity among our students and gains an appreciation for those who have a variety of abilities and cultural, socio-economic backgrounds.