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Common Questions

What is the focus in simulation education?

The DSc emphasize gaining simulation-based education skills, giving you the knowledge to both teach clinical and teamwork skills in a controlled environment.

If I really want to earn the PhD but I am interested in the track of simulation courses, can I also take those?

Yes, the simulation courses can be used to meet the elective requirements in the PhD program.

Why the focus on interprofessionalism in this degree?

Learning with, from and about other health professionals is the foundation of interprofessionalism (IP) in healthcare and health professions education.  It is the building blocks of this program upon which we work with students to facilitate development of a strong research foundation and exposure to a variety of IP content related by subject matter experts. Learning with, from and about other health professionals is the foundation of interprofessionalism in healthcare and health professions education. 

Is the program structured so that one must begin in the fall and continue in sequence?

The program is delivered in a cohort model. A new cohort starts in the Fall of every other year in even years.  Students must select either the regular schedule of 6 credits per quarter in order to be eligible for financial aid and to complete the program in three academic years, or the limited schedule of 2 to 4 credits per quarter (with the exception of the first quarter which is 5 credits) in order to complete the program in five and one-half academic years. Students must progress with their cohort or take a leave of absence (LOA) until the next time the course is offered.  Students must complete the program within seven years from matriculation.

Are there any course work, GPA or prior degree prerequisites?

Students must submit a transcript that shows a grade of B or higher in a graduate level statistics course. Students also must have earned a Master’s degree or clinical doctorate in a healthcare related field such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, physician assistant studies, nursing, clinical laboratory sciences or others from an accredited college or university. A minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the master’s degree or professional doctorate is required.

Does the program require previous experience in healthcare?

Yes, applicants must be a licensed, registered, certified or otherwise credentialed healthcare professional in the United States with at least two years of experience in their professional discipline

Do I need to have previous experience in taking online courses?

Our students have told us that while it is not required, it does help. We will provide you with an online orientation opportunity which will introduce you to our learning management platform call D2L by Brightspace.  If you are used to using the internet to find information on webpages, and have ever watched a video online, sent an email, or post a message on a bulletin board (think Facebook), you will probably transition into the online platform fairly easily.

How are courses structured/what is the degree of flexibility?

Courses are structured so there is ongoing interaction among participants.  There are typically weekly discussions, projects, etc. that are due by a specific date. There is flexibility within the courses because you do not have to be online at a specific time/day of the week as long as you meet the assignment deadline. Discussions are asynchronous so you can respond to others at your convenience unless you are working on a team project and your team agrees to have a synchronous meeting utilizing technology such as Google Hangout. There will be due dates and times that must be met each week for specific assignments.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Students must select either the regular schedule of 6 credits per quarter in order to be eligible for financial aid and to complete the program in three academic years, or the limited schedule of 2 to 4 credits per quarter (with the exception of the first quarter which is 5 credits) in order to complete the program in five and one-half academic years.

Can I work full time while I am enrolled in the program?

The majority of our students do. The experience of our students working in healthcare or health professions education bring much to the table enhances the learning of all students during discussion. It requires being self-motivated and self-directed to be successful in both, but many students find that developing a schedule that includes time for work, time for study, and time for family life is a good way to fit things in.  Some of our young parents have told us that they do most of their work at night after the kids have gone to been or early in the morning before they get up. Others get on their computer during the lunch break and get a head start for that day’s assignments.

Are there specific times one must be available for interactive content?

Occasionally a course may offer a real-time webinar format for students to participate in live discussions. Those are typically informative and are recorded for viewing at a later date by participants who are unable to attend.  

Are there weekly assignments, or is it flexible (within the confines of the quarter)?

There are weekly assignments with specific due dates and they  must be completed within the confines of published schedule for each quarter.

I'm interested in more information about the scholarly project or dissertation.

Students in the DSc track have the option to complete either a traditional dissertation under the supervision of a dissertation committee or a high quality scholarly project under the supervision of a project committee that is suitable for dissemination or publication in a peer reviewed environment.  Students must publically present and defend their work as a requirement for program completion.

What is Qualifying?

Qualifying is undertaken by the student after they have completed a prescribed sequence of courses that provides instruction in research foundations and Interprofessional content. Students develop and present a portfolio on a permanent website that they are required to build which provides evidence and explanation of how they have grown as a scholar and met the competencies of the program.  A committee of department faculty attend the presentation and determine if the student is ready to start their dissertation research.

Where do dissertation research or scholarly projects take place?

Students are responsible for discovering their own research sites. Students are encouraged to consider using their place of employment or other connections they may have if the project is appropriate for the site and the employer or site manager is willing.

Who supervises students when they are involved in dissertation research or scholarly projects?

Students are supervised by a three person committee which consists of an on-campus Chair, an on-campus faculty member and an outside faculty member to be identified by the student. The outside member must have appropriate credentials to support doctoral student research and projects. Final approval of the committee is the authority of the program chair, department chair and dean of the College of Health Professions.