10 Ideas For Celebrating Your Online Graduation

How do you celebrate your graduation when instead of walking across the stage, you are taking part in a virtual ceremony? Even if you are not able to have an in-person ceremony this year, there are still lots of ways for you to celebrate your hard work! 

1. Make sure to sign up for your virtual graduation ceremony

You don’t want to miss your virtual ceremony, so make sure you are signed up! You can register for the ACHS Virtual Commencement on June 18th, 2021 here. Mark it in your calendar, and make sure to join. This year we have some amazing faculty and alumni speakers so you won’t want to miss it.

2. Wear your regalia

Even if you won’t be walking across the stage, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still wear your cap and gown! Wearing your regalia during your online ceremony can be fun, and don’t forget to also take some graduation photos for you to remember the occasion.

3. Celebrate with family and friends

Consider holding a small celebration with family and friends. They are just as excited as you are for your accomplishments and will be thrilled to celebrate with you in person! Another option is to hold a virtual Zoom celebration party if a personal gathering is not an option due to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Note: Your family and friends are also welcome to watch the ACHS Virtual Commencement ceremony!

4. Thank your instructors

You are now a graduate, but you didn’t get there alone. Your instructors helped and guided you along the way as you learned, and some may have made a lasting impression. Now is a perfect time to send them an email or thank-you card letting them know about the difference they made in your education. Don’t forget to thank your friends and family for supporting you as well!

You can even thank your instructors on social media! If you are an ACHS grad, use the hashtag #ACHSGrad2021 on social media when you post about graduation so we will be able to see and share it.

5. Share your knowledge

There’s no better way to celebrate graduation than sharing your knowledge! Host a virtual event for family and friends, start a blog, or host a webinar. If you studied nutrition, maybe you have some fun healthy summer recipes to share! If you studied aromatherapy, maybe you would like to show your friends how to make your new favorite blend. If you are an ACHS graduate, you can even share your writing on the ACHS blog. The possibilities are endless!

6. Engage in some self-care activities

The end of the semester before graduation can be stressful with final exams to study for and essays to write. Once it’s over, take some intentional time to rest and care for your mind and body. Soon you will likely be searching for a job with your new degree or certification, but taking a moment to rest first can put you in a more energized and better state of mind to do so.

Need ideas? Check out our article 4 Ways To Practice Self Care.

7. Stay in touch with your classmates

Your classmates can end up as valuable parts of your professional network long after graduation. Not to mention they probably share some of the same interests as you and you will be able to learn from each other. Note: ACHS students and graduates can connect through the Coaching For Success Facebook group. If you haven’t joined yet, contact your Student Services advisor for details!

8. Update your credentials on your resume and LinkedIn

Make it official! Let the professional world know about your accomplishments. Once you’ve taken a minute to rest after graduating, update your resume and LinkedIn and let your professional network know if you are looking for job opportunities.

9. Make a plan for the future

For a long time, your biggest goal was probably working towards graduation. Now that you have accomplished it, it’s time to set some new goals. Try making a vision board or writing a 5 year plan and put some thought into what you would like to work toward next.

10. Continue your education with a microcredential

If your classes are over and you just really miss learning and being a student, then consider gaining more knowledge through an online microcredential. They are a short term commitment with long term benefits. Right now, ACHS offers two microcredentials: Certified Aromatherapy Safety Professional™ and Certified Dietary Supplement Professional™ Exam Prep. Learn more and check them out here.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Let us know in the comments how you will be celebrating.

Earn an Accredited Online Degree. Click here to learn more.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post 10 Ideas For Celebrating Your Online Graduation appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/17/10-ideas-for-celebrating-your-online-graduation/
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Dads and Grads Aromatherapy: 3 Essential Oil Recipes To Celebrate

Written by ACHS Aromatherapy Program Chair Amanda Lattin

The month of June is one of celebration. Here at ACHS, we are gearing up to celebrate our graduating students in our graduation ceremony on June 18th. Many of us will also be celebrating the dads in our lives over Father’s Day weekend as well. The summer solstice is also happening on June 20th heralding the beginning of summer. Midsummer’s Eve has a long tradition of celebration for cherishing nature’s bounty and the light and warmth of the summer sun. And if those are not reasons enough, there are June brides, birthdays, and anniversaries – the list goes on!

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite essential oils for this special month whether you are out for a hike in the woods, having a backyard barbeque, attending a graduation, enjoying some summertime self care, or perhaps giving the gift of aromatherapy to someone special in your life you want to celebrate. 

Celebrate your Graduate

Celebrate the grads in your life with bay Laurus nobilis (L.) essential oil. Bay L. nobilis essential oil has long been associated with scholars and poets. A crown of bay leaves was used to crown the heads of heroes and Olympians in ancient times. Bay L. nobilis essential oil has a spicy, sweet, and slightly medicinal aroma. It combines well with other summertime favorites such as lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.) essential oil and is a fantastic choice for an aromatherapy spray or diffuser blend for graduation to calm nerves and focus the mind.

Graduation Day Aromatherapy Spray

  • 2oz Glass Spray Bottle
  • 1oz vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 1oz distilled water or lavender hydrosol
  • 20 drops bay L. nobilis essential oil
  • 20 drops lavender L. angustifolia essential oil

Directions: Add essential oils and alcohol to a two-ounce spray bottle and shake well. Add distilled water/lavender hydrosol to fill the bottle and shake again.

Celebrate Father’s Day

For the special dad in your life, our essential oil blend The Naturalist: A Men’s Fragrance Blend is the perfect aromatherapy gift. This blend is made of four of our favorite essential oils: Copaiba balsam Copaifera officinalis (Jacq.), Black pepper Piper nigrum (L.), Sandalwood Santalum album (L.), and Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides (Nash). Black pepper P. nigrum has a rich history. Pliny once spoke of it as “more expensive than gold.” Today, it is one of the most commonly used spices and a favorite aroma for men. Black pepper has a spicy, sporty, and woody aroma that adds a classic and robust vibe to men’s blends. It’s also ideal in after-exercise formulas. Woody and rustic, copaiba balsam C. officinalis is a unique and hearty base note for men’s blends. It promotes nourished and cleansed skin, so copaiba is a fantastic addition to homemade aftershave and other bath products for men.

A beloved classic of men’s blends and fragrances, sandalwood S. album essential oil’s distinct, sweet, woody, and long-lasting aroma is uplifting and invigorating. It’s a favorite choice for men’s soaps, aftershave, and colognes.

It’s important to know that all sandalwood is not created equal. Due to overharvesting and slow replanting, the S. album tree is vulnerable. Because of this, the ACHS College Store, the Apothecary Shoppe, sources sandalwood S. album essential oil exclusively from a sustainable sandalwood plantation in northern Australia. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to know where your oils are coming from and how they’re produced—so you can feel good about your purchase and smell great, too!

Vetiver roots have been used to fragrance fabrics and clothing for centuries. The roots have even been used to create traditional, aromatic baskets and mats. With a deep, husky, earthy aroma, vetiver V. zizanioides essential oil’s strength is a superb fixative in blends for men. An added benefit: vetiver V. zizanioides is uplifting and has been said to promote concentration and focus.

The Naturalist: A Men’s Fragrance Blend can be used to create a fragrance spray, or used in an essential oil diffuser, or a few drops can be added to body wash for an easy aromatherapy shower experience. 

You can also make your own naturalist room spray with your own essential oils.

The Naturalist Men’s Fragrance Spray

  • Copaiba balsam Copaifera officinalis oil: 10 drops
  • Black pepper Piper nigrum oil: 10 drops
  • Sandalwood Santalum album oil: 1 drop
  • Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides oil: 1 drop
  • Alcohol: 1 oz
  • Filtered water: To fill bottle

Directions: Add essential oils and alcohol to a two-ounce spray bottle and shake well. Add filtered water to fill the bottle and shake again. Spray upward into the air as a room freshener or use as a natural body spray.

Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and is a time of warmth, blooming flowers, and celebrating nature. Summer flowers are on full parade at this time of year and we love to use their essential oils in our self care. Rose Rosa damascena (Mill.) essential oil is a favorite. Both lavender L. angustifolia and lavandin Lavandula intermedia (Emeric ex Loisel.) are ready to harvest around the summer solstice. There are also many herbs that bloom in the early summer. Marjoram Origanum majorana (L.) is a great example. Marjoram O. majorana essential oil has a sweet herbaceous and slightly medicinal aroma. It blends well with rose R. damascena, lavender L. angulstifolia, and lavandin L. intermedia essential oils for a summer meadow type of aroma, perfect for a cool evening aromatherapy bath.

Summer Evening Aromatherapy Bath

  • 1 cup epsom salts
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil of choice
  • 2 drop lavender Lavandula angustifolia or lavandin Lavandula intermedia essential oil
  • 1 drop rose Rosa damascena essential oil
  • 1 drop marjoram Origanum majorana essential oil

Directions: Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil. Add to epsom salts and stir. Pour mixture into a full bath and swish water to incorporate. 

You can find all of the ingredients (except alcohol) for the recipes in this blog post right here in the ACHS Apothecary Shoppe! Let us know in the comments which recipe you are most excited about making!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Earn an Accredited Online Degree in Aromatherapy. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am an instructor for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

 

The post Dads and Grads Aromatherapy: 3 Essential Oil Recipes To Celebrate appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/15/3-essential-oil-recipes-to-celebrate-fathers-day-graduation/
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Inside Hillcrest: A Unique Job Opportunity for Aromatherapists and Herbalists

Written by Gillian Turner, Social Media & PR Specialist

Located in La Verne, California, Hillcrest Retirement Community is unique because of its one-of-a-kind Integrative Therapy Room. I spoke with Ryan Harrison, Director of Resident Life & Wellness at Hillcrest, who says that the Integrative Therapy Room, or ITR for short, is unusual and he is not aware of any other retirement communities that offer something quite like it. 

So, what is an Integrative Therapy Room?

Originally just a massage therapy room, Ryan recognized the opportunity to expand its use and invite in more modalities when the current massage therapist retired. With a background of 16 years working as a holistic health practitioner, he had an appreciation for holistic and integrative therapies that others may not have. The ITR currently has an Acupuncturist, Reflexologist, and Directional Non-Force Technique Chiropractor. Ryan hopes to add an Aromatherapist or Herbalist to the team in the near future.

After being closed for quite some time because of the COVID pandemic, Ryan is hopeful that the ITR will be able to start offering services in person again soon as California is relaxing its safety restrictions. In the meantime, he has been supporting the residents of Hillcrest through virtual presentations on various integrative health topics.

Job Opportunity for Aromatherapists or Herbalists

Ryan hopes that as the ITR reopens, he can bring in an Aromatherapist or Herbalist on contract. Or even better, someone who has expertise in both aromatherapy and herbalism. If you are a certified Aromatherapist or Herbalist living near La Verne, California, keep reading to learn what working at Hillcrest would be like. And if you are an Aromatherapist or Herbalist living elsewhere, at the end of this blog post I will also include some tips on how to pitch your holistic health services to a retirement community in your own area.

Hillcrest currently has two job listings that ACHS has shared through our Career Center:

Hillcrest Retirement Community – Certified Herbalist (Contract)

Hillcrest Retirement Community – Certified Aromatherapist (Contract)

What does a day at work look like?

Each of the practitioners on contract at Hillcrest use the Integrative Therapy Room for one day out of the week to see their clients in 1 on 1 appointments. “They share a Google calendar so they can all access it and put in the info for who they’re seeing that day. Because they set their own schedule, they’ll come when they want and leave when they want,” Ryan says.

In addition to 1 on 1 appointments, the job involves giving group presentations to educate the residents. For example, Ryan and a recent ACHS graduate will be giving a virtual presentation on the basics of aromatherapy this month. As COVID restrictions loosen and presentations go back to being in person, Ryan says that the more interactive they are, the better.

Another benefit of the job is that the new Aromatherapist or Herbalist will have the ability to use the ITR to work with not only residents, but also staff and the general public.

Working with an older population

The ideal candidate for working at Hillcrest would be someone who lives locally. “They really need to appreciate older adults and the challenges older adults come with, which can include impaired eyesight and hearing. Someone who is patient, fun, funny, kind, those are really some of the top qualities,” Ryan says.

The best part of working at Hillcrest is undeniably the residents. “We have great residents here,” Ryan says. “A lot of them are retired educators, a few are retired doctors and engineers so they are a smart group of people. In general, they are also unstudied and unfamiliar with these kinds of therapies. It’s an opportunity for the Aromatherapist or Herbalist to educate people as they work.”

Want to join the team at Hillcrest?

“It’s a pretty vibrant community,” Ryan says. “It’s a good team of therapists, we get to know each other and help each other. It’s a beautiful facility and a nice opportunity to settle into a really lovely community and do some really meaningful work.”

If you are local to La Verne, California, and are interested in this job opportunity, you can find Ryan’s contact information below:

Ryan Harrison, Director of Resident Life & Wellness

rharrison@livingathillcrest.org

How to pitch integrative health services to a retirement community

“I don’t think there’s another community like ours that has anything like this. We’re doing something that’s really never been done before, which is really exciting,” Ryan says. Because the Integrative Therapy Room at Hillcrest is so unique, I asked Ryan for some tips for holistic health practitioners to introduce a similar concept in other retirement communities.

A great way to get your foot in the door is to do an unpaid presentation to educate the community. This helps to build trust within the community and generate interest in holistic health. “If the community doesn’t know enough to trust it, they’re probably not going to open the door. It’s going to be on the [practitioner] to start to create interest and trust. The more they do that, the better,” Ryan says.

He also suggests doing lots of research on your holistic health modality and how it affects older adults. Having data on your modality and being able to show research studies is important. Working with a local osteopathic doctor or chiropractor is also a useful way to gain extra credibility.

If you are interested in working in the Integrative Therapy room, be sure to send Ryan an email at rharrison@livingathillcrest.org. For job listings with ACHS and other industry opportunities, visit our Jobs page.

Earn an Accredited Online Degree in Aromatherapy. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

 

The post Inside Hillcrest: A Unique Job Opportunity for Aromatherapists and Herbalists appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/10/hillcrest-job-listings-aromatherapist-herbalist/
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ACHS Scholarship Winners Share Tips For Students

The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) is committed to helping students achieve their academic goals. ACHS offers a scholarship for adult students in the form of a one-time $1000 tuition scholarship and awards up to 10 of these scholarships each year. Meet our 3 students who were awarded the ASEP scholarship for summer 2021, and hear their tips for prospective students!

Ashley Broshious

As she moves forward with her goals of becoming an herbalist and wellness coach, this scholarship will provide the financial support necessary for Ashley to keep her commitment and focus on her courses at ACHS while moving forward in her career.

“For me, the journey to health and wellness has been a long and winding road. I knew that to live a healthy and happy life I needed to start at the beginning. ACHS has empowered me to not only dig into the reasons why wellness is important but has given me the confidence to start a business that brings my first passion of wine and hospitality together with my current education. I am so grateful for this journey and all the support ACHS has offered,” Ashley says. 

Ashley’s favorite thing about studying online with ACHS is the community. After attending two other universities, Ashley realized that ACHS has developed an integral and interactive community that is supportive, connective, and empowering. The professors are knowledgeable, and the administration is tuned into the needs of their students.

Tip for prospective students: Just do it. Yes, it will be work and a restructuring of your current habits and lifestyle, but continuing your education and helping to focus on a holistic way to be a part of this world is worth every minute.

Janine Swiney

Janine says that this scholarship will reduce her student loan debt more quickly and allow her to be successful in a career in herbal medicine.

“I’m just starting classes in May and I’m already a fan of ACHS. From the generosity and caring from the staff and professors, I already can’t say enough positive reviews about ACHS. I look forward to graduating with ACHS on my resume,” she says.

Her favorite thing about studying with ACHS is the kindness and helpfulness of the staff and professors. She is an aspiring healer of people, animals, and the earth.

Tip for prospective students: Focus on selecting your graduation project a minimum of a year in advance. 1 and 1/2 years to 2 years is more ideal to start choosing the project in case anything goes wrong and you have to start over which happens a lot.

Kristina Oldaker

Kristina desires to enter the medical field as a Holistic RN, helping those around her hone in on the connection of body, mind, and spirit in overall healing. She says that the generous scholarship from ACHS will assist her in furthering her goals.

“Poverty is the catalyst to ingenuity due to absolute necessity. As a divorced, single mother of 9, I can attest that you can do anything you put your mind to. Each step forward is a step in the right direction,” Kristina says.

Kristina enjoys the flexibility of the ACHS canvas, online zooms, and module interactions which makes the virtual classroom more user-friendly and easy to maneuver.

Tip for prospective students: Don’t live your life in fear. Fear is the main reason we tend not to go outside our comfort zones. Remember that harnessing your fear and projecting it in a positive light will not only illuminate your path, but highlight your unique abilities.

Kristin says that she is honored to be chosen to receive the adult scholarship granted by ACHS in 2021. It not only is a blessing upon her finances but a legacy blessing to her children. She is most grateful for the opportunity to study under Professors who are not only leaders in their fields, but guide with a hunger for learning and great compassion towards their fellow humans.

We know that funding your education is an important investment. Scholarships are free money that you don’t have to pay back and an excellent way to supplement other funding sources. If you have any questions about our scholarships, don’t hesitate to reach out to an admissions advisor and schedule a time to chat.

Earn an Accredited Online Degree. Click here to learn more.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post ACHS Scholarship Winners Share Tips For Students appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/08/achs-scholarship-winners-share-tips-for-students/
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What is an MBA Capstone and How Do I produce one?

In this article, Dean of Admissions/ Military Education Coordinator Amanda Heller speaks with the Dean of Business Dr. Susan Marcus to get all the details about what an MBA Capstone is and why it’s important.

Amanda Heller: Hi, Susan! One of the questions we hear a lot is about the Capstone. Could you talk a little bit about that?

 

 

Susan Marcus: Sure! One thing is certain: students don’t get out of the program without it! Seriously, it’s 100% relevant and student-driven. We actually provide a document that states the learning outcomes, and each student fills it in describing how their capstone project will demonstrate mastery. That is all we care about: that students demonstrate mastery of the course learning objectives (which for this class are the same as the program-level learning outcomes), and work on a project that is meaningful to them.

You’ll see what I mean by our BUS 598 Applied Capstone course description: In the capstone course, students identify, examine, and apply the practical connections between the MBA program, their personal and professional lives, organizations, their communities, and the triple bottom line perspective that includes financial, environmental, and social impacts. Using skills and competencies that demonstrate mastery of the MBA program learning outcomes, students identify a project in which to apply their learning. Employing a variety of tools, students demonstrate their ability to synthesize and apply theory to create an implementation plan for improved organizational performance and make a contribution to the literature on sustainable business practices.

This is the outcomes document I was referring to:

BUS 598 Capstone Course Learning Outcomes Matrix

The ACHS MBA program Capstone project is designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course learning outcomes in a context that is relevant to students’ current and future professional goals and interests. As such, you are at liberty to select a project topic and scope, subject to approval by your Capstone course instructor. Once you have selected a project topic, use this matrix in combination with other project proposal assignments to demonstrate how course learning outcomes will be met. Include 1) the aspect or component of your Capstone that will reflect these learning outcomes, and 2) the actual evidence (text, charts and visuals, artifacts within appendices, etc.) within the project itself that demonstrates mastery. 

Learning Outcome Component Showing Mastery  Evidence Provided
Demonstrate an understanding of domestic and international business leadership, professional best practices, and sustainable business management.
Using a global mindset, formulate core business functions in a global or local community business environment, incorporating sustainability principles that support the health and wellness of a community and optimize sustainability and wellness outcomes.
Improve organizational proficiency in the management of technology.
Design methods for the analysis of complex data to produce performance improvements consistent with sustainability values.
Generate research that contributes to the literature on sustainable practices in a global or local community business environment.

Amanda: It sounds like your goal for this Capstone experience is for it to be relevant for students, and could even be a project they actually implement. Is that correct?

 

 

Susan: Exactly right, Amanda! If the project is not important to the student, our view is why devote time on it during this culminating assignment in their MBA program? 

We actually invite students to begin thinking about their Capstone project from the very first course, Organizational Leadership & Effectiveness. We ask them to reflect on their specific interests, which might include research, structural change to bring about diversity, equity, and inclusion, leadership development, change management related to sustainable practices, or general organizational effectiveness. We ask students in that initial core MBA class to create a portfolio using Google Sites, and begin to think about which of their assignments and projects throughout the program will result in artifacts they will want to refer to in their Capstone, and beyond. This might be the Risk Management Plan they produce in Business Law, a Sustainability Report created in Accounting & Financial Management, a performance dashboard in Business Analytics, or their marketing plan in the Marketing & Communications course. The portfolio becomes an outward-facing resource they can use for professional development purposes. 

The Capstone can be anything from a business plan to a strategic change initiative. It might be a comprehensive Sustainability Plan for an organization, or a Health and Wellness Audit. As long as students have a solid roadmap for demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes discussed above, we’re good. 

Students receive heavy coaching during the course of their work in the Capstone class, and have reading and discussion assignments in support of their project work. They submit components of the project at certain points in the semester for feedback which can be incorporated into their final version. There is also an opportunity for peer reviews, and students present their projects during the final week of class. There is plenty of celebrating and a few surprise visits that week, too!

Amanda: Thank you, Susan! Can you be reached directly with other questions?

 

 

 

Susan: By all means! I can be reached at susanmarcus@achs.edu. Thanks so much for this opportunity to describe and discuss the ACHS MBA Capstone experience! 

If you’re ready to apply to an online MBA program with ACHS, you can start your application here. If you’re interested in starting out with a single business course, start your single course application here.

Still wondering what to expect during the application process? An admissions advisor is happy to speak to you at a time that works for you. Schedule an appointment with an admissions advisor here.

Speak to an ACHS Advisor

Apply to ACHS

Request Information

If you have any questions, please leave us a comment on the blog!

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

 

The post What is an MBA Capstone and How Do I produce one? appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/03/what-is-an-mba-capstone/
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Who Are The Instructors Teaching In The ACHS MBA Program?

Pictured: Some of the instructors in the ACHS MBA program

In this article, Senior Admission Advisor Molly Sykes speaks with the Dean of Business Dr. Susan Marcus to get all the details about the instructors for our MBA program.

Molly Sykes, Senior Admissions Advisor: Hi, Susan — thanks for answering some of the questions we are getting from prospective students. We often hear questions about the instructors. Who are they? Do they have experience teaching students who may be mid-career and out of school for a while?

 

Susan: Thank you, Molly — that’s a great question, and certainly one I would be asking. I can tell you from my own experience as a mid-career “nontraditional” student, it matters! I had a mix of tenured professors, and also those who taught because they were passionate about the topics and had a “day job” in their professions. In other words, they were not career academics. Some of my best learning experiences were with the part-timers who were actively engaged in their professions.

They brought their real-time experience into our learning community. They taught the curriculum while asking “how does this work in the ‘real world’” and the answer was sometimes it doesn’t! Those reality checks were so important. I also noticed a difference in the way they communicated and interacted with us. Many of the tenured professors seemed more interested in maintaining distance and a power differential rather than engaging and making sure we understood the material. This had the effect of adding stress and anxiety, especially in the quantitative subjects. 

Molly: Yes, we get questions about whether there are lots of courses with statistics and such, and whether students need a background or undergraduate degree in a quant subject in order to do well in an MBA program. What would you say to that question?

 

Susan: The answer, in a word, is no. While some schools do require an undergraduate degree in a business-related field, or a certain number of years of job experience in a business environment, we do not require either. We also do not require applicants to take the GMAT exam and achieve a certain score in order to be admitted. Research shows a GMAT score is not a predictor of student success. And if it does not serve that purpose, why would we ask applicants to incur the expense, not to mention the anxiety?

 

Molly: Makes sense. Could you say more about the instructors and their teaching style? Maybe a little about how you recruited them and the selection process?

 

 

Susan: We did local recruiting based on my connection to another institution that had a very large MBA program (and with about one-half of the courses offered online). Although that institution had regional accreditation, only 50% of our instructors were required to hold doctoral-level academic credentials. Our accrediting body here at ACHS requires that 100% of our instructors have doctorate degrees. This meant we had to do some additional recruiting, which we conducted on a national level.

We found some excellent, very student-centered people who were outstanding in their content areas and also shared our passion for business conducted with an emphasis on sustainability and wellness. Our instructors, especially in the quantitative topics, were recruited and hired specifically because they have proven track records teaching their topics in ways that are accessible to students, whether the class is online or in person. This entails using an array of resources geared to various learning styles. And equally important is their demeanor. If they lack the social and communication skills to engage with students and bring the concepts to life, or cannot apply the material in a context that is relevant, then the learning experience will be a lonely one for students.

Each of our candidates were invited to do live, interactive teaching demonstrations via Zoom, similar to the Zoom sessions instructors conduct in all of our classes. We hired only those who conveyed expertise with their subject, both academically and based on current professional experience, and a demeanor that showed us they view themselves as partners with students in the learning process. While working with them on course development and in the selection of materials, we’ve come to know their guiding ethic is centered on student success. It is literally how they measure their own success!

Molly: That sounds great, Susan! Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share about the instructors?

 

 

Susan: They are each amazing in their own way and each brings a global perspective to their work. Our Business Law professor writes wonderful novels and has done extensive pro bono work related to immigration. Another is an expert in sustainable agriculture, with an undergraduate degree from Cornell and business and family ties to Japan.

Our quantitative topics professor recently completed his dissertation bridging two areas of expertise, finance and economics, entitled, Millennial Students’ Awareness of Retirement Issues, Their Retirement Preparedness and Future Expectations.

Our professor for courses in organizational effectiveness and human capital has professional and family ties to Togo in W. Africa, launched and oversees several nonprofit organizations focused on leadership and community development work, and has a multi-decade career in US government. As I said, they are amazing!

Molly: Thanks, Susan! Can prospective students contact you with other questions? 

 

 

Susan: Absolutely! They can reach me at susanmarcus@achs.edu. I can even take them on a brief tour of some of the MBA course online classrooms!

If you’re ready to apply to an online MBA program with ACHS, you can start your application here. If you’re interested in starting out with a single business course, start your single course application here.

Still wondering what to expect during the application process? An admissions advisor is happy to speak to you at a time that works for you. Schedule an appointment with an admissions advisor here.

Speak to an ACHS Advisor

Apply to ACHS

Request Information

Watch for our final blog in this series entitled, What is an MBA Capstone and how do I produce one? And if you have any questions, leave us a comment on the blog.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post Who Are The Instructors Teaching In The ACHS MBA Program? appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/06/01/achs-mba-instructors/
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What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get With An MBA from ACHS?

Written by ACHS Dean of Business Dr. Susan Marcus

As discussed in the first post in this series, an MBA is fundamentally a management degree. The knowledge and skills developed during our courses can be applied for advancement in a current setting, or towards a career transition. 

For us, it was also very important to embed principles of sustainability and wellness throughout the program, including the option to select the three elective classes from our wide array of graduate-level Integrative Health and Wellness courses. Alternatively, there are three graduate-level business courses covering human capital, operations and value chain management, and sustainable community economies. Whichever path you choose, there are many ways to pursue your specific interests and career goals.

Photo 185290515 © Yuliia Chyzhevska | Dreamstime.com

Occupational areas of opportunity

So, what are some areas of opportunity? According to the Department of Labor’s O*Net Occupational Information Network, Standard Occupational Code 11-1021.00 General and Operations Managers provides the closest alignment with the MBA definition and is described this way: Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services. Usually manage through subordinate supervisors. Excludes First-Line Supervisors.

Job titles in this category include:

  • Business Manager
  • General Manager (GM)
  • Operations Director
  • Operations Manager
  • Plant Superintendent
  • Store Manager. 

With respect to growth, the site places this segment in the “Faster than average (5% to 7%)” category with 204,400 projected openings between 2019-2029. We can automate a lot of areas, and will still need managers capable of meeting performance goals and identifying ways to stay innovative! (Be sure to explore salary levels in your area using the look-up instrument towards the bottom of the O*Net page.)

The site also maintains a list of “Bright Outlook Occupations” for which growth projections are in the 5-7% range. You will find a large number of managerial, health, and health-related categories on this list, along with Sustainability Specialist where the focus is to “[a]ddress organizational sustainability issues, such as waste stream management, green building practices, and green procurement plans.” Another sustainability-related role is that of Chief Sustainability Officer whose duties are to “[c]ommunicate and coordinate with management, shareholders, customers, and employees to address sustainability issues. Enact or oversee a corporate sustainability strategy.” 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Healthcare sector is expected to grow at an even higher rate: “Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.” If you are drawn to making a difference in this industry sector, having an MBA from a school with “Healthcare Sciences” in its name can’t hurt!

Program design in support of career and professional goals

We designed our program with versatility in mind. The degree is not specifically named an “MBA in Sustainability,” it is simply an MBA. This means that depending on the career or entrepreneurial path you take, certain aspects of your MBA work can be emphasized and highlighted in your resumé, cover letter, and in conversations with potential employers. For example, if you select electives from the Integrated Health and Wellness Pathway, you’ll likely want to draw attention to that. If you are seeking advancement or initial employment in a specific organization, you will highlight aspects of your MBA program that align with the particular position and organizational goals you discover through your networking and research. Moreover, you will have “MBA” after your name, and how you frame and highlight your specific skills and competencies will depend on your goals. Our Alumni and Career Services pros and your instructors are here to assist. You have a team of supporters in this with you!

Organizational priorities in the 21st century

Every organization is concerned about performance. And for many, principles of sustainability are becoming increasingly important, especially as consumers express preferences for aligning spending habits with their values. At the same time, there are often differing levels of commitment, even within the same organization. That is where a deep understanding of how sustainability is directly and positively connected to managing risk comes in. And you will have plenty of practice with this, applying the readings and other resources through assignments, always in a context that is relevant to you. 

Organizations are also increasingly interested in employee health and wellness. Our program brings these topics together, providing the opportunity to develop expertise that represents high value for public, private, and nonprofit organizations in all sectors.

The bottom line is this: you will be successful in the job you set your sights on and have a passion for. Through the ACHS MBA program, you’ve trained for it! Your confidence and competence will become part of who you are. You will have a portfolio of examples, in actual context, that help show who you are and what you are capable of bringing to an organization. An MBA program, especially one with a focus on sustainability and wellness, will prepare you to stand out from the crowd with a perspective that guides the way to measurable results for enterprises of all sizes and types. More questions? Contact me anytime at susanmarcus@achs.edu. I would love to discuss how the ACHS MBA can help you reach your personal and professional goals!

If you’re ready to apply to an online MBA program with ACHS, you can start your application here. If you’re interested in starting out with a single business course, start your single course application here.

Still wondering what to expect during the application process? An admissions advisor is happy to speak to you at a time that works for you. Schedule an appointment with an admissions advisor here.

Speak to an ACHS Advisor

Apply to ACHS

Request Information

Watch for our next blog in this series entitled, Who are the instructors teaching in the ACHS MBA program?

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get With An MBA from ACHS? appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/05/27/what-jobs-can-i-get-with-an-mba/
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Does an MBA make sense in my situation? Why an MBA, online, from ACHS?

Written by ACHS Dean of Business Dr. Susan Marcus

Let’s face it: pursuing an MBA takes a commitment of both time and money. Is it worth it? What if I plan to open my own business — does an MBA really help someone like me? How does an online program work? Each of these questions are important and if you have not considered them, now is a very good time!

What an MBA is and what it isn’t

Fundamentally, an MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a management degree. Students learn how all of the various business functions operate in service to an organization’s mission and objectives. This premise applies whether the organization is publicly traded, privately owned, a public or government entity, or a nonprofit enterprise. Regardless of the location or industry sector, size or ownership structure, pre-launch phase or mature enterprise, certain general principles related to the internal and external environment apply. Even in our role as a consumer, it is helpful to understand the business dynamics that affect us all.

It is also important to have realistic expectations! For example, at the end of your MBA studies it is unlikely you’ll be prepared to sit for the bar exam, but you will develop an understanding of business law topics such as contracts, intellectual property, and risk management. You may not be prepared to work as a statistician, but you’ll have experience developing dashboards that help organizations track and achieve key performance goals. And although you’ll need further study to be ready for the CPA exam, you will know how to read, prepare, and present financial information that helps inform important decisions. It may take additional focused coursework to become a website administrator, but you will develop and demonstrate a marketing mindset that places solving a problem or filling a gap for a customer segment at the center of the organization’s efforts. In sum, you will learn the language and develop a strong sense of how business works, and also when to call in an expert in one area or another. You will also develop confidence and a network — a community really — you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.

Photo 155564094 © One Photo | Dreamstime.com

The pros and cons of an MBA degree 

Conventional wisdom sometimes gets stuck in antiquated thinking. Here’s a breakdown of some of the pros and cons according to Investopedia, along with my thoughts in response:

Pros Cons
  • Graduating with an MBA can earn you a higher salary. Yes, provided you bring more than your degree to the table!
  • Having an MBA doesn’t necessarily make you an ideal hire. True, although the process builds skills and confidence!
  • You’ll have a leg up on your competition if you earn your MBA from a top-tier school. The employers most of us encounter are interested in practical skills and the ability to manage complex, real-world challenges. One of the best ways to show this is through a portfolio of examples like the one our MBA students develop! 
  • Going to an online or unknown school will not get you noticed. Again, the employers most of us encounter are not expecting to attract graduates from ivy-league schools. They want problem-solvers experienced in collaborating across distributed work teams. An online environment provides an ideal venue to hone these skills! 
  • An MBA gives you the skills and knowledge you need to advance in your field. Indeed it does! You will develop a solid understanding of business topics and resources through practice developing real-world tools such as risk management plans. You may not become an expert in every detailed aspect, but you’ll know when to call one in! 
  • Isn’t worth it if you don’t intend to work in a business or management-related field. Many MBA students have goals related to nonprofit work or starting their own enterprise. Settings of all kinds require a solid understanding of business topics. The broad skills developed in MBA coursework help students speak the language and understand the ways to best manage risk.

From Investopedia: When is an MBA worth it?

The ROI of an MBA depends on YOU

But the degree alone does not ensure a particular outcome. How do we calculate the ROI on an MBA? The return on investment is up to us! The example I like to use is this: let’s say we invest in some beautiful tailor-made suits. We specify the finest quality fabric and spend many thousands of dollars. They are gorgeous and we feel fantastic in them! That definitely helps, but more important will be where we go and what we do in them. In other words, who we are in those suits. The same can be said about your MBA. Who have you become through your studies and what do you bring to an organization? This is where confidence in your knowledge, insights, connections, and skills related to communication and collaboration all come into play. It is also what emerges during the course of acquiring an MBA degree, especially one with students, faculty, and administrators located across a wide geographic area. An added benefit is our emphasis on sustainability and wellness, competencies ACHS was founded on in 1978, and that in these times more than ever, position graduates to truly stand out from the rest.

Photo 91530963 / Roi © Ivelinr | Dreamstime.com

The benefits of an online environment

That said, it is easy to doubt ourselves, especially if we don’t have years of business experience or did not excel at certain subjects in school. This is where a learning environment that combines asynchronous learning with opportunities for simultaneous interactions makes a difference. In a classroom, it is often the extroverted, gregarious students commanding the most “air time,” potentially leaving little opportunity for the introverts to interact with the instructor and peers. Online interactions eliminate the competitive dynamic and provide equal access for all. Reflective learners have time to compose their thoughts. Our 20+ years of experience teaching online prepares us to offer a robust and interactive environment designed with multiple learning styles in mind. And our program is well-suited for students seeking a part-time experience while continuing their “day jobs” (which is the approach taken by most of our students).

When I decided to pursue my own MBA, there were times when I asked myself, Am I worthy? Do I belong here? Is an MBA for me? The answer was (and is for you!): If this credential opens doors and provides a path to my goal of making a positive difference in the world, then YES!

Photo 179606706 / Computer Work © Savenkomasha | Dreamstime.com

Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE exam?

We are committed to delivering a program that is both affordable and immediately adds value for students. As such, we take a holistic approach to admissions and choose not to require a GMAT or GRE score as part of the application process. Experience shows standardized tests are not accurate predictors of student success. Our main interest is in helping students achieve their goals through a rigorous and supportive learning experience. We view ourselves as partners toward that end.

What makes the ACHS MBA different

Our MBA program emerged from a realization that to fully actualize our values related to sustainability and wellness, we must provide current and future leaders with an opportunity to understand the need, and also the path forward through business decision making that holds financial, environmental, and social goals in equal stance. Our holistic approach to health and wellness, which entails getting at the root cause and appreciating the interconnectedness between humans, their livelihoods, and our Earth, must be scaled and applied in organizations of all types, across all industry sectors. This means going beyond corporate philanthropy to bring about meaningful change at the structural level. It involves our entire value chain of partners joining us in this endeavor. And increasingly, organizations of all sizes are seeing that a focus on environmental and social outcomes leads to better financial performance. Our graduates, in addition to developing the solid skills expected of those with “MBA” after their name, will be prepared to help lead the way. 

Photo 130555583 / Work © Milkos | Dreamstime.com

Some closing thoughts

Graduate school is often the path to career advancement. In some organizations, the acquisition of such a credential leads to an automatic raise and/or promotion, and tuition assistance might even be available. If you currently work in an organization be sure to inquire! There are also scholarships through various corporations and service groups. Our Admissions team can help identify some possibilities, including our own $10,000 ACHS MBA Changemakers Scholarship. Please contact me with questions at susanmarcus@achs.edu. I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re ready to apply to an online MBA program with ACHS, you can start your application here. If you’re interested in starting out with a single business course, start your single course application here.

Photo 122118393 © Shunga_Shanga | Dreamstime.com

Still wondering what to expect during the application process? An admissions advisor is happy to speak to you at a time that works for you. Schedule an appointment with an admissions advisor here.

Speak to an ACHS Advisor

Apply to ACHS

Request Information

Watch for our next blog in this series that addresses the question, What kinds of jobs can I get with an MBA from ACHS?

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post Does an MBA make sense in my situation? Why an MBA, online, from ACHS? appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/05/25/should-i-get-an-mba/
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Celebrating Sustainable Business with Dr. Susan Marcus

Written by Social Media & PR Specialist Gillian Turner

ACHS Dean of Business Dr. Susan Marcus brings a unique perspective to ACHS, and it’s about time she gets a feature on our blog! Keep reading to learn about her journey, from growing up in a family business to going back to school later in life and ultimately helping ACHS create the only MBA with sustainability and wellness at its core.

Growing up in the family business

As a child, Susan was inspired by the way that her family ran their restaurant supply and equipment business. What she saw in action as she grew up was an awareness that went beyond simply selling things and making a profit.

The family business taught Susan that it’s possible to have a thriving enterprise that is also environmentally and socially responsible. She estimates that her family’s business was one of the first companies to have a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products, in addition to restoring restaurant equipment for resale and reuse, helping keep these bulky items out of the landfill. The firm was also one of the few in the industry to offer a profit-sharing program available to all employees, regardless of where they worked in the organization. 

One act that stuck with Susan was seeing her father sponsor a young man in the community to go to college. “Dad didn’t want a lot of attention — he kind of quietly lived these values that demonstrated it wasn’t just about a business enterprise; it was about doing something that made a positive difference,” Susan says.

Susan points out that social and environmentally friendly practices in business are in line with financial performance. “Over time, when you’re doing things that lift the organization towards enacting its values around the environment and the society we’re helping build and sustain, those actions line up with financial performance. This has definitely accelerated over the years as younger generations are more particular about how and where they spend their money,” she says.

Pictured: Susan Marcus as a child behind the counter of her family’s business

Going back to school later in life

With a family business to run, Susan says that it was assumed she wouldn’t need college. As it happened, Susan left school in the 10th grade and the business changed hands. Armed with a GED credential, Susan eventually found a career in the U.S. Postal Service. “I took the postal exam and got a job in mail processing. By then, I was a young, single parent raising a daughter, and the USPS provided financial stability for our household along with some wonderful career opportunities I never imagined for myself,” Susan says. As her daughter reached college age, Susan decided it was time to break free of what she refers to as the “USPS golden handcuffs” and see what else was out there. 

She took the leap and resigned from the Postal Service, soon discovering that without higher education, many doors were closed to her. “The thing that was so frustrating was that I was deemed ineligible to even apply for jobs I knew I could do,” she says. So, while working as a financial project manager in the development of income-restricted housing by day, Susan decided to give school another try and pursue a degree.

She worked with a counselor to map a path to an undergraduate degree and attended graduate school at Portland State University during the same time her daughter was getting her Master’s degree. “Claire was the first in our family to go into higher education; she blazed the trail for me all the way through her doctoral studies. Still today, she inspires me through her student services leadership as a community college executive, and more recently as the mother of my grandson!” Susan says.

Pictured: Susan Marcus (right) with her daughter Claire

Gaining the confidence to apply for an MBA

Just as Susan was finishing her Master of Science in Education Policy, Foundations, and Administration, a program centered on post-secondary, adult, and continuing education (or as Susan puts it, “how adults learn”) a classmate explained that if she applied for a second degree before her program was complete, she could carry over the electives. With a day job working in finance, an MBA seemed the likely choice.

As a high school dropout, Susan recalls having some doubts: “When you have that kind of journey, you don’t always have the highest level of confidence about your academic abilities.” She had seen MBA students around campus and was intimidated that they always seemed to be working away on their laptops. When she walked by and noticed one day that they were just playing games on the screen, she was less intimidated and decided to apply.

Susan took the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) that was required for admission, got a high score, and entered the MBA program. While in the program, and through the encouragement of several key influencers, Susan began to develop a sense of belonging in a community of learners. “Toward the end of my MBA studies I was given an opportunity to go to the Russian Far East and teach, and luckily for me, mastery of the Russian language was not required! What I discovered was how much I loved the classroom environment and interaction with students,” she says.

Love of teaching and earning a Ph.D.

After teaching in Russia (and despite her husband’s “More school, really…?” Although his support was unwavering, it was a valid question!), Susan determined she needed a Ph.D. in order to pursue teaching opportunities. Portland State University had a doctoral degree in Systems Science and Business Administration that was perfect for her. As Susan puts it, “Systems Science focuses on interconnectedness, which is also the basis for principles of sustainability” which by then had become a term to describe the approach to business Susan saw enacted as a child.

Susan completed her Ph.D. in 2004 and in the passing years, noted that an emphasis on sustainable business had definitely increased. “Not because it’s a fad or trendy — but because it’s financially lucrative,” she says. “It really does make better financial sense to base decisions on sustainable practices. Some use the word ‘stewardship’ which simply means taking care of our resources, in this instance both environmental and human. When viewed pragmatically, it becomes a matter of risk management.”

In her doctoral dissertation, Susan looked at five companies in different sectors and studied how strategic-level decisions were made in organizations that valued social, environmental, and financial sustainability. Her dissertation research showed that it is financially viable to uphold goals in all three categories simultaneously in support of socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable business. “It’s not a layer we add on only during economic boom times, it’s literally what keeps us economically stable,” she says. “That to me was an indisputable data point that said ‘this is absolutely what business needs to be moving toward’. My Ph.D. was another punctuation mark on my educational journey that fostered my commitment to help move the business sector toward practices that are more sustainable.”

Pictured: Susan Marcus after her first Master’s degree

What makes an MBA program valuable to students?

Before joining ACHS as the Dean of Business, Susan chaired an MBA program overseeing 50 instructors and over 80 courses, and helped develop an MBA in Sustainable Business and an MBA in Healthcare Management. With this background and network of professionals, she was integral to the development of an MBA reflective of our values here at ACHS.

Susan says that her own educational experience showed her the importance of having a curriculum based on real world application. Besides the general benefits that come through networking, learning to speak and present in the language of business, and the development of analytical skills, traditional business education often relies on the use of case studies rather than application in a setting specifically relevant to students. When it came to designing the curriculum for the ACHS MBA, Susan followed this motto: “Keep it real, keep it relevant, and help students create a body of work they can immediately use in their professional journey.”

Pictured: Sustainability illustration

Why an MBA with an emphasis on sustainability and wellness?

Many MBA programs exist. What makes this program unique is an explicit focus on sustainability and wellness.

Why is sustainability important as a fundamental aspect of business? Susan explains: “We can have everyone talking about environmental justice and social responsibility, but if we don’t have it woven into how decisions are made in businesses and organizations of all kinds, we are not going to have the kind of broad-based progress needed in the 21st century.”

Susan says that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for social sustainability in business. “If we don’t have an ethic related to resilience and risk mitigation in place already, with fully developed contingency plans, we are setting ourselves up for unnecessary exposure. That’s where a student that’s worked through an MBA experience emphasizing social and environmental sustainability will stand apart from graduates of a traditional MBA program.”

Susan explains that while the ACHS MBA contains all of the same content areas as a traditional MBA, the difference is that students view the material through the lens of how decisions will affect people and the environment. “If we don’t incorporate that awareness, we are not doing our part to manage and eliminate risk for the organization, for its people, and for our planet.” That is both our mandate and our challenge as current and future leaders.

Pictured: ACHS Portland campus

If you have questions about our MBA program or are wondering if an MBA would be right for you, you’re in luck! Next week Susan will begin a series of blog posts that answer all of your questions, such as:

  • Why an MBA, online, from ACHS? Does an MBA make sense in my situation? 
  • What kinds of jobs can I get with an MBA from ACHS?
  • Who are the instructors teaching in the ACHS MBA program?
  • What is an MBA Capstone and how do I produce one?

 

Earn an Accredited Online Degree. Click here to learn more.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

 

The post Celebrating Sustainable Business with Dr. Susan Marcus appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/05/21/sustainable-mba-dr-susan-marcus/
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Dive into Aromatherapy with ACHS President Dorene Petersen & Dr. Bianca Beldini

The Wellness Collective is a podcast created by Dr. Bianca Beldini, a graduate of the ACHS Greece Study abroad program in 2008. Dr. Beldini is an Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Dry Needle Expert, Triathlon Coach, and wellness influencer who has amassed a following on Instagram where she shares valuable information about holistic wellness.

Dr. Beldini recently invited ACHS Founder and President Dorene Petersen to be a guest speaker on an episode of the Wellness Collective on Instagram Live. They took a deep dive into the basics of aromatherapy, and we are sharing an abridged version of the discussion here in case you missed it. You can also watch the full Instagram Live video here.

Background in Aromatherapy

Pictured: Dorene harvesting vetiver in Java, ACHS 2013 Study Abroad

Bianca: Dorene, please let me and everyone else know your back story and how you got into wanting to learn and study (and eventually become a teacher and leader) in plant medicine/aromatherapy?

Dorene: I started out really falling in love with plants as a child. I grew up in a family that was very plant-oriented. As I got into my teenage years, I was really interested in ethnobotany and traditional cultures and how they used plants for medicine. I studied ethnobotany and archaeology at Otago University in New Zealand.

When I graduated, I ended up working as a medical social worker, which was a real eye-opener for me. I was primarily focused on disadvantaged elderly populations and it became clear to me that a lot of the issues I was seeing were degenerative diseases as a result of a lifestyle that just hadn’t been focused on wellness.

I felt that I really had to delve more into that arena. So I went back to college and did a 4-year naturopathic program. In my last year of that program, I was asked to start the herbal medicine program for that college. I then also began my clinic. I was very involved in clinical work one-on-one with clients and part-time running this department for the college I graduated from.

Then they decided to close that department. They said “You’ve started it, it’s yours, you’re welcome to take it.” I was more concerned about the students we had. There weren’t many but I felt like I was responsible for those students and their success so I wanted to keep it going. That’s really how I started with the college. I got more and more into developing the program. And here we are, 40 something years later.

What are essential oils, really?

Bianca: The word AROMATHERAPY is everywhere. From beauty creams to shampoos to plug-ins. For all of the people that really don’t know, Can you tell us what exactly IS an essential oil? Is it really oil and why is it essential?

Dorene: An essential oil is the volatile (and that means that it evaporates) constituents that are found within some plants. They can be in the flowers, they can be in the leaves, they can be in the roots. The moment it is exposed to oxygen it will start to disperse into the atmosphere. If you take the lid off a bottle of lavender essential oil and leave it on the counter you’re going to be smelling lavender because those constituents that are volatile will start rising up into the atmosphere. 

The most incredible thing to me about aromatherapy is it’s the only wellness modality that impacts both the psychological and the physiological body at the same time. The other interesting thing about aromatherapy is that each individual is unique. How you relate to lavender might not be the way that I relate to lavender. It may even have a different physiological reaction. When you inhale an aroma, this whole cascade of events occurs. It’s a very powerful modality.

Real versus Synthetic essential oils

Bianca: How can one know the difference between that which is real vs synthetic even if it says “natural”?

Dorene: A lot of that does come with experience and just smelling a lot of different oils. Rather than just smelling an oil, what I would really recommend is to focus on using all of your organoleptic senses. So you want to actually feel the oil. If an oil is a true essential oil, the majority of oils are going to feel light, are going to evaporate quickly and you won’t have a greasy slick feeling on your fingers.

The other thing is that you really just have to trust your supplier. [At the ACHS Apothecary Shoppe] We focus particularly on certified organic and pesticide-free essential oils because of the focus of using essential oils as a wellness medicine. You should also buy by the Latin name, that’s important.

Therapeutic uses

Bianca: Besides using Aromatherapy for perfumed scents (which the general public associates it with “smells nice”) what are some therapeutic usages one can utilize of a plant’s essence? Are there specific reasons one would use an essential oil?

Dorene: Essential oils, depending on the plant, have a wide range of therapeutic implications. I think one of the most common applications is definitely for inflammation and mild infections. There’s a lot of research out there to show the efficacy of using essential oils to combat pretty common bacteria and even some viruses.

They can also be used all around your house. Essential oils are great in the laundry to add to a wet cloth in your dryer instead of an artificially scented dryer sheet. You can even put essential oils into your washer, just a few drops. And you can use essential oils for cleaning. What I think is really exciting is now a lot of products are using real essential oils. There are a lot of cleaning products out there that are really well made.

I take at least 3 or 4 essential oil baths a week. I also use essential oils in the shower. When I shower in the morning, I’ll have a variety of essential oils that I choose from and usually choose something stimulating. For me, that’s something like peppermint, rosemary, or sage. I just sprinkle a little bit on the floor. Really, the therapeutic applications are extensive.

Note: At the 2021 IFEAT conference, Dorene spoke about research highlighting the clinical aromatherapeutic and biological potential of unique Australasian (Australia and New Zealand) essential oils to assist in the management of antimicrobial multi-drug resistance. You can review her video presentation and summaries of the research that she spoke about here: https://achs.edu/publications/ifeat-2021/

Distillation process

Retro apparatus for distillation of lavender oil in Provence, France.

Bianca: Can you take us through the course of HOW an essential oil comes to fruition? (Harvesting, distilling, etc)

Dorene: Most essential oils are steam distilled using a distillation unit. What you’re basically doing is breaking down those cells that contain the essential oils, and you want that to release into the steam. It doesn’t dissolve in the steam, the steam kind of captures and holds it and as it comes up out of the still and through what’s called the condenser where it cools down, it turns back into water and essential oil. Then it’s just a matter of getting the essential oil out of the water, and that’s usually done with a separator. 

There are a variety of ways, complete steam distillation, water distillation, but of course with plants like most things, you can never just generalize. Some plants do not relinquish their essential oils to steam. When you think about something like jasmine, or honeysuckle, these are plants that have to be extracted using a solvent. The skill of the distiller is knowing how each plant is really going to perform as far as extraction goes.

Diffusers

Bianca: Diffusers are sold everywhere now, is there a special way to diffuse an oil? What other ways can an essential oil be used? (Ingested? Topical application?…) IS there a way that they should NOT be used?

Dorene: I think diffusing is a wonderful way to administer essential oils because as you inhale an oil, papers have shown that inhalation is the fastest route for an essential oil to enter your bloodstream. You don’t need to put it on your body, you don’t need to take oils orally, you just need to inhale them and they’re going to end up in your bloodstream pretty quickly. Plus they’re going to have the added benefit of impacting your hypothalamus and have a psychological response as well.

I do think it’s important to not use direct heat because heat is going to impact the constituents in a negative way. It’s better to use a water-based diffuser. When you are in an enclosed room, it’s always ideal to have a window open if you’re diffusing. Even with a window open when you’re inhaling, after about 20 minutes you have reached maximum absorption so really you don’t want to be diffusing for hours on end and inhaling essential oils for hours on end. It’s also really important to not diffuse excessively around kids and animals. Like anything, you’ve got to be careful. 

You can download our free 30 page eBook on Essential Oil Safety Guidelines here.

Essential oils for travel

Bianca: Are there a set of oils that you never travel without? 

Dorene: When I travel I like to take peppermint, lavender, and cinnamon. You can inhale it and apply it topically. I usually travel with about 5 to 6 oils. Sometimes I’ll just take a bag of something to give away. I like giving away oils when I travel. When people ask me about essential oils, I always like to have something to give away and I can teach them at the same time how to use it. 

Closing thoughts

Dorene: From the time an essential oil comes from the harvest to the actual still to the bottle, it is a long journey and long supply chain. The majority of essential oil plants are harvested by women in very difficult and arduous conditions. I’ve traveled all over the world primarily with the focus of going to where these oils are grown and harvested.

What I really want viewers to appreciate is that behind every bottle of oil is a tremendous amount of hard work. Physical labor, farmers who don’t get paid much, harvesters. I open a bottle of oil and I’m always in awe and try and have a lot of presence of mind when I’m working with essential oils, just really thanking the plant and thanking the people who got it to us. It’s an amazing product.

Watch the full unabridged interview here. If this article has you eager to learn more about essential oils, you may be interested in our Certified Aromatherapy Safety Professional™ program. Learn more about it here.

Earn an Accredited Online Degree in Aromatherapy. Click here to learn more.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.

The post Dive into Aromatherapy with ACHS President Dorene Petersen & Dr. Bianca Beldini appeared first on American College of Healthcare Sciences.

from American College of Healthcare Sciences https://achs.edu/blog/2021/05/14/basics-of-aromatherapy-interview/
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