University of Bridgeport or A.T. Still university for DHSc

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Todd Pope, Jun 29, 2020.

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  1. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    Good morning,
    I will be completing my MBA in Healthcare Management in July with Western Governors University, and have been accepted into both A.T. Still and the University of Bridgeport's Doctor of Health Science programs. A.T. still had been my top choice due to its reputation and the way that they walk you through it's Applied Research project (rather than a dissertation). Through further study, I found that ATSU's program is a post professional doctorate, while UB's program is a terminal academic doctorate with a dissertation. (I prefer the terminal academic research doctorate). I also really like the scientific emphasis of the UB curriculum which focuses more on health science, while the ATSU program focuses a bit more on administration. The only problem I see is that UB seems to not have a great reputation. At one point it was ranked "worst college in america" on site, though it is considered to be a tier 2 national university, and has multiple top ranking programs. Most negative reviews that I have seen tend to talk much more about the area where the school is located though, and because the DHSc is a hybrid program, I would only need to spend one week in Bridgeport to complete the residency requirements, so this is not much of an issue for me. Does anybody have any experience with either of these schools/ programs? Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    ATSU has the DAu, DDM, DPT, DO, DTO, etc. On-Campus. I could not see that level of professional doctorates at Bridgeport and that alone is enough to push me towards ATSU without knowing much else.
     
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    There are several things you need to consider before making this life-impacting decision.
    1. What is your "why"? i.e., what is the reason for pursuing the doctorate?
    2. If your pursuit is career-related - will a dissertation better help you to reach your career goals than an applied research project? Is a scientific curriculum preferred to an applied curriculum?
    3. If your pursuit is for mere personal accomplishment, you should consider which curriculum you will enjoy more (applied versus scientific, course offerings, etc.).
    4. Which program ranks better in health sciences?

    It might also be helpful to look at the faculty of both programs (qualifications, research interests, etc.). I wouldn't pay too much attention to the school's overall ranking. Some schools may have a good overall reputation but have a poorly ranked business school, law school, etc. No school ranks well in every area (to the best of my knowledge). Care to share those top-ranking programs at UB? I couldn't find them.
     
    JoshD likes this.
  4. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    There are a handful of schools that rank well in every area but none in which offers affordable distance learning degrees.

    Other than that, I do agree with Chris. There are a lot of questions to ask yourself and research to be done on your end. Reach out to faculty and staff but more importantly, fine alums via LinkedIn and get their experience with their programs. That'll tell you a lot.
     
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  5. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    I intend to earn the doctorate for both career and personal reasons. I hope to work in an administrative position, but I feel it is important for administrators to have a strong scientific background in health sciences as well as management. The curriculum offered at Bridgeport catches my interest much more, because I do not have any clinical background, and my undergraduate degree is in international business and Spanish. I feel that it would fill in any gaps of knowledge about healthcare and public health. I certainly dont want to be clueless while working with well trained doctors and nurses. I also have a lot of interest in Global Health, and hope to form a non-profit to provide healthcare in underserved areas of the world.
    That being said, having the knowledge will not help me if people look down on the school where I obtained the degree.
    The dissertation is not a big requirement, but I do feel like it would help if I ever decided I wanted to use my job to teach.
    I have only found one site that specifically ranks DHSc degrees https://www.onlinecollegeplan.com/rankings/best-online-doctor-of-health-science-degrees/
    They rank Bridgeport at number 2 and do not rank ATSU. But they aren't really well known for their rankings.
    The toughest part is deciding whether a more interesting curriculum is worth going to a school with some reputation problems. ATSU seems squeaky clean, whereas Bridgeport has a bit of interesting history.
     
  6. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    I know nothing of health science, but it seems like your biggest concern is the reputation. Not sure where you're getting the idea that Bridgeport has a bad reputation. In my opinion Bridgeport has a better reputation that AT Still. This is coming from someone on the outside. Josh made a good point about AT Still offering more medical and health programs which might give it a better reputation within the field itself.
     
    JoshD likes this.
  7. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    @AIK11 You are correct. I feel a bit more excited about the curriculum at Bridgeport. My concern is weather their rocky history in the 80s-90's and their perceived influence from the Unification church (which was a temporary financial affiliation only) is enough to cause a liability, especially since Bridgeport will likely cost up to $6,000 more.
     
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    My great aunt went to AT Still in the 1920s and became, thereby, a fairly early woman physician and surgeon. Aunt Myrtle was always spoken as a pioneer deserving respect. So probably I'm a bit biased. Bridgeport offers chiropractic and naturopathic practitioner programs which, to me, raises a bit of a red flag all by itself. Osteopathy has long embraced scientific medicine to the point that there's not very much difference between the MD and the DO. Not so these two "alternative" professions. Frankly, that would bother me.
     
    JoshD likes this.
  9. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    @nosborne48 those are some small concerns I have as well. While many say the same about OD, I think they mostly merged with allopathic doctors a long time ago. Making sure that the courses taught in the DHSc program did not contain pseudoscience was a priority, and after reviewing their curriculum, I feel comfortable with the evidence-based program they offer. But the affiliation with the naturopathic school is a concern. They do, on the other hand, offer the states first BSN program, and their PA and dental schools seem to be well regarded.
     
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, if you do choose Brideport, you are obviously doing so with your goals in mind and your eyes open. Good luck with whatever you do.
     
  11. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    If you feel Bridgeport will help you achieve your goals, and you like their curriculum more, then go for it. I am just looking at the fact that ATSU has several professional doctorate programs and that, in my opinion, gives it a boost above Bridgeport. I agree with others that the pseudoscience degrees from Bridgeport kill it for me.
     
  12. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    Interestingly, I received this email from Bridgeport this morning, potentially changing the dynamics of the entire school...

     
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    While Osteopathy has more or less mainstreamed itself into the contemporary medical landscape, let's not pretend like everything about it is pure science. Still's vision of medicine was the basically cut drugs out of the equation and rely on things like magnets to heal the body. He was also a strong proponent of musculoskeletal manipulation fixing many more things than an aching back. Osteopathy faces the same criticisms as chiropractic in many areas. Notably the claim that manipulation can be used to treat asthma.

    So you're playing with a healthy dose of pseudoscience either way. Throw a chiropractic college into the mix for good measure and you're dealing with an equal playing field of snake oil. The only difference is that a DO graduate can actually go mainstream if they throttle some of the pseudoscience. Still, there is a large number of them with some very odd views. The dual residency system in place (there are still DO specific residencies even though DOs now qualify for MD residencies) gives cover to the crazies.

    One shouldn't just look at how others will view an institution but whether that institution's philosophy and values align with their own especially for a prominent degree, in my opinion. You can veer away from an undergrad alma mater with age and wisdom. Trying to walk back your choice of where you earned a doctorate is harder.
     
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That letter has a somewhat Dilbertesque feel to it. I wonder what's going on?
     
  15. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Soooo...these schools are going to co-locate on the current Bridgeport campus? Well, pure speculation on MY part but my first thought is that they're all in serious financial straits. I wish them luck.
     
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Things are rough in higher education these days.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    You might also consider Eastern Virginia Medical School if they are still offering the DHsc. That program is almost entirely administrative-focused. The program seems like it could be finished in less than 3 years but they won't allow it, probably because people would frown on the shorter timetable without considering that it's the work within a timeframe not the timeframe itself that counts for everything, but hey, what can you do?
     
  19. felderga

    felderga Member

  20. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    I have a pending application with EVMS right now. I wish their program included more health science though. From what I'm reading about this "merger" is that UB will likely be eaten by sacred heart and goodwin. I would accept a degree from Sacred Heart, religious aspects aside, but Goodwin isn't ranked and I don't know which school would take over the DHSc program. Bit of a risk. Maybe I'll hear back soon from EVMS, otherwise I may go forward with ATSU. I applied with Campbell University and Bay Path as well, but haven't heard anything. Not even a confirmation email. *shrug*.
     

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