Choose Your Own Education Adventure: How to Get Started

    Written by: Tracey Abell /
    Nov 27, 2018 6:35:02 PM
    ACHS Graduates at the 2018 Graduation Ceremony

    It’s the time of year that most of us start to take stock of what we achieved this year and our goals for 2019. If you're like me, health and wellness usually top the list for my new years’ resolutions in one form or another! Is learning more about integrative health, aromatherapy, or herbal medicine on your list for 2019? If so, you might be wondering how to take the first step.

    Here are some tips to help you get started on choosing your own education adventure:

    Get your feet wet - start with a single course:

    Classes like the American College of Healthcare Sciences' CAM 100 Principles and Practices of Integrative Health and NAT 500 Introduction to Integrative Health Sciences allow you to explore the principles of aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, herbal medicine, and other wellness modalities over 7.5 or 15 weeks, respectively. Taking a single course is a great way to discover an overview of holistic health and wellness and get hands-on experience in several different areas. 

    Or, if you already know there is a specific area you’re interested in like aromatherapy or herbal medicine, try an introductory class in those areas. You might be surprised what piques your interest when you dive in!

    What if you already have some knowledge and want to go deeper?

    Essential oils, lemon, ginger, garlic

    Maybe you already have some prior knowledge under your belt or know what areas you want to focus on, or maybe you have a specific goal for when you want to complete your education. Starting with a specialized Certificate or Diploma program like a Certificate in Aromatherapy or Diploma in Holistic Health Practice is a perfect intermediate step to building your knowledge and earning recognized credentials with industry organizations. These programs will also help you get a leg up with the organizations you'll want to be networking with like National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, Alliance of International Aromatherapists, National Association of Nutrition Professionals, and American Herbalists Guild, just to name a few ;)

    Start small...dream big!

    When looking at programs, be sure to ask about stackable credentials – what programs will give you the most flexibility in your studies and the ability to continue to advanced training so you never have to backtrack with your education. For instance, after completing specialized Certificates at ACHS, you may be eligible to transfer credits to earn a Bachelors degree like the new ACHS degrees: Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition or Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Sciences. Combined with credits you may have from previous college or an Associates degree, you could be closer to your Bachelors degree than you think. Even if you’re just getting started, dream big - think about where you want to be five years from now, not just next year…

    If you’ve already achieved these steps or already have your bachelor’s degree, you might be wondering, what’s next for you? Even if your degree isn’t in the health and wellness industry, there are several opportunities for you to continue with graduate study. Achieving graduate-level education in health and wellness can set you apart in the industry. For instance, you could be among the few aromatherapists in the country to earn an accredited Master of Science in Aromatherapy. The health and wellness industry continues to grow along with demand for trained professionals, so take the leap and explore your passion!


    What's next?

    Long story short...there are a ton of pathways to getting started. Don't be afraid to take the plunge and get started with a step that feels right to you, whether that's committing to learn more in a single class over 7.5 weeks or diving into your Masters degree! 

    What's your next step? Share with us in the comments!


    Authored by Tracey Abell

    Tracey has always had a passion for natural health and joined American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2002. Tracey has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Western Governors University and a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Leadership in Higher Education from Capella University. She also studied massage therapy at East West College of Healing Arts and aromatherapy at ACHS. Tracey is a former board member of the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. She is also a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) and both the Oregon and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Tracey also serves as an accreditation standards evaluator for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, specializing in Business Standards and Title IV requirements. Tracey enjoys travel and has spent time throughout Europe and in Thailand, Australia, and India. She loves spending time in her garden and exploring the beautiful Pacific NW.

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