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Chiropractic Degrees: Doctorate, Training & Online Course Info

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Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) at a Glance

Chiropractors are primary healthcare providers who work with patients with ailments of the musculoskeletal system. They treat people through manipulation of the bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Specifically, they manipulate the spine and perform related work to relieve pain in the neck and back.

Because chiropractors are considered primary healthcare providers, no referral is generally necessary for those in managed health plans to go to a chiropractor. Becoming a chiropractor requires completion of a 4-year professional degree in an accredited chiropractic program, an internship, and professional licensing at the state level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that during the years 2010-2020, chiropractor jobs will increase 28% (www.bls.gov ).

Doctor of Chiropractic

Who is this degree for?

Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs offer professional degrees that prepare people to work as healthcare providers who use non-invasive musculoskeletal manipulations to improve health and relieve symptoms of pain

Chiropractors looking to specialize in certain areas may choose to attend formal residency programs for further training beyond the D.C.

Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary)

– Chiropractors ($66,000)* May specialize in a number of areas of treatment:
– Sport chiropractor
– Wellness chiropractor
– Pediatric chiropractor

Residency may be available for certain specialties, such as:
– Diagnostic imaging
– Family practice
– Chiropractic research

Time to Completion

4 years full-time

2-3 years full time

Common Graduation Requirements

– Varies depending on institution type; can be roughly 80-90 graduate-level courses or about 4,000-5,000 clock hours
– Generally includes clinical course-hours

– Completion of the program coursework and practice-hours
– Completion of additional coursework that may be required for required concurrent master’s degree programs

Generally a minimum of 90 credits of undergraduate classes
Increasingly, completion of a bachelor’s degree

Completion of a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program

Online options are available only for continuing education credits

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Doctor of Chiropractic

A Doctor of Chiropractic degree program is the basic professional degree for licensed chiropractors. These programs generally take four years to complete and prepare the chiropractor for both licensing requirements and opening and maintaining their own practices.

Pros and Cons Subsection

Pros

  • Many chiropractors run their own practices. As small-business owners, they set their own hours.
  • A successful chiropractor has significant income potential.
  • Good chiropractors will gain the benefit of the satisfaction from helping people.

Cons

  • Committing to the years of schooling as an out-of-pocket expense is a serious hurdle to those interested in the field.
  • Chiropractors lack the social standing of medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy.
  • Earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree is no guarantee of a successful practice.

Courses and Training Requirements

The training requirements for completing a D.C. degree program are extensive. Students take a broad range of courses, studying topics such as anatomy and physiology, pathology, biochemistry, public health, pharmacology and herbology, and chiropractic physical manipulation techniques, as well as courses that prepare chiropractors to run their own businesses, such as marketing, finance, and ethics. Because chiropractors can act as the first contact point for the medical system, they’re trained to have some understanding of pathology so that they will be able to refer those who need it to other doctors or specialists. Additionally, students are required to perform clinical hours, during which lessons are solidified and put into practice.

Online Degree Options

At this time, there are no accredited Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs available online. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic programs, it seems unlikely that such programs will develop. In these programs, students study both anatomy and therapeutic manipulation techniques requiring demonstration and practice in intensive programs throughout their training. Advanced students are required to attend clinic hours as part of their coursework.

As part of continued licensing, chiropractors in some states are required to earn a number of continuing education credits. These credits can be earned online through some schools.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

If you’re looking to excel as a professional chiropractor, you can take a number of steps during and after your program. Developing relationships with mentors and colleagues who teach in your school can create opportunities for growth beyond coursework, practice, and clinical hours. Finding positions working in the chiropractic field, whether before enrolling or during the program, can provide valuable experience and skills, even if the positions are entry-level. Success as a chiropractor is a combination of professional ability and business skills, and these early formative experiences can create a sound understanding of what is needed not only to help people, but also how to run a successful practice. Developing these skills before opening your own practice means not making learning mistakes during the critical period when you’re developing your practice and professional reputation.

Chiropractic Residency

If you’re interested in going beyond the standard Doctor of Chiropractic degree, there are some programs that allow for a residency of several years after completion of the initial program. These residency programs are designed to develop students in a number of subspecialties. Programs are generally full-time, and they can take from two to three years to complete. Specialties include sports medicine, diagnostic imaging, family practice, and research. Some of these programs require concurrent enrollment in an appropriate master’s degree program, as dictated by the school.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Chiropractors develop a subspecialty as well as deeper clinical experience early in their careers.
  • Compared to general practice chiropractors who might choose to specialize in certain areas of the profession, these specialists have more extensive formal training.
  • Completing a residency in chiropractic exposes students to more advanced techniques, and it may allow for careers outside of private practice, in areas such as research.

Cons

  • As chiropractors in general must pay for their own professional educations, delaying opening a practice by several years for further training extends the period of debt.
  • Additional years of training out-of-pocket may or may not pay off financially.
  • As with the basic chiropractic degree, completion is no guarantee of financial success in the long-run.

Common Courses and Requirements

The course requirements for residency programs will vary greatly by specialty. Nonetheless, students should expect to take courses both in chiropractic and in associated fields. A degree in chiropractic research, for instance, may require public health courses, while a radiology program would require more advanced physics as well as specific anatomy courses. The concurrent master’s degree program may, as with many master’s degree programs, require specific research or projects as part of completion requirements.

Online Degree Options

There are no online residency programs available in chiropractic. Post-graduate residency programs in chiropractic, unlike some other medical fields, aren’t required for licensing except in the field of diagnostic imaging. Even non-online programs are thus fairly rare.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

The Doctor of Chiropractic is a professional degree with only one outcome: become a chiropractor. Developing a successful chiropractic practice is a combination of effective training and careful management. In order to successfully compete in the chiropractic market, you should be able to pull three sets of skills should together. The first, of course, is chiropractic proficiency. In order to prepare yourself for opening a practice, getting hands-on clinical experience beyond what is required by the program can be helpful. Second, business skills are necessary for succeeding as an independent business owner. Some business or practice management coursework will be available in chiropractic programs, but any other experience you can gain will be to your benefit. Third, skills in interacting with people, including but not limited to excellent listening skills, will benefit the chiropractor. In developing a new practice, networking with both colleagues and potential clients may be beneficial to your chances of success.

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Undergraduate Prospectus (PDF, 4MB, 138 pages)

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Qualification options

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Subjects

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Major subjects

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Course codes

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Semesters

The year is divided into three semesters the first from March to July, the second from July to October and the summer semester from November to February. A course usually takes one semester to complete.

Further study

Successfully completing an undergraduate degree will allow you to continue on to a wide range of graduate and postgraduate qualifications such as:

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Counter Terrorism Studies

Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts in Counter Terrorism Studies explores the origins and motivations for terrorism, and terrorist strategy and tactics. Terrorism presents real challenges to government and national security communities due to the many different domestic and international terrorist groups, each with their own leadership, motivations, political objectives, and tactics. The fact that these groups continue to evolve and mature in their capability means even greater challenges lay ahead for the U.S. military and government agencies involved in combating terrorism and in ensuring national security.

This online associate degree program offers you a greater understanding of the complexities of this field as you prepare to enter or advance within public safety organizations. Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or other intelligence organizations.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online associate degree is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Psychology and behavior of terrorists
  • Chemical, biological, and radiological hazards
  • Counter terrorism operations and policies of the U.S. government
  • Private sector homeland security companies and their roles
  • Border and coastal security
  • Port security issues, threats, and defenses
  • The influence of intelligence on homeland security decisions
  • Terrorism and counter terrorism

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Explore the theory and history of terrorism and political violence.
  • Identify different domestic and international terrorist groups, their leadership, and their tactics.
  • Recognize the motivations of terrorist leaders and their followers.
  • Determine the evolving nature of domestic and international terrorism.
  • Define government agencies involved in combating terrorism and in ensuring homeland security.
  • Describe countermeasures available to U.S. agencies fighting terrorism.

Degree at a Glance

  • Number of Credits 61
  • Max Transfer Credits 46
  • Tuition Per Credit $270 | $250 with military grant
  • Program Length 2 years full time
  • Program Format Online | Monthly course starts
  • Program Director Kelli Frakes
  • View all courses
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Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • You may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment before registering for courses. Learn more .
  • If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
  • Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application. View steps to apply.

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Study Accounting: Diploma, Associate’s & Online Degrees

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Accounting Diplomas and Associate’s Degrees: Programs at a Glance

A diploma or associate’s degree in accounting can teach you about basic accounting subjects, software and laws that you’ll need to know in order to enter the world of finance. Even if you don’t plan on becoming an accountant or auditor, these programs can help you begin a career in the business or finance sectors.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a diploma or associate’s degree can qualify you for a position as an accounting clerk or a bookkeeper. Most employers require accountants and auditors to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, but you may be able to become a junior accountant with an associate’s degree plus experience. The BLS projected that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks would see a 14% increase in job opportunities from 2010-2020, which was about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Who is this degree for?

People who are seeking entry-level positions in the financial field

Individuals who wish to pursue entry-level jobs in accounting or finance

Common Career Paths (with approximate median salary)

– Accounting clerk ($32,000)*
– Accounts payable clerk ($34,000)*

– Accounts payable supervisor ($50,000)*
– Bookkeeper ($38,000)*
– Junior accountant (salary unavailable )

Time to Completion

1-2 years, full-time

2 years, full-time

Common Graduation Requirements

– Roughly 12-15 courses in accounting and related subjects

– About 12-15 courses in accounting
– General education courses
– Capstone project

– High school diploma or GED

– High school diploma or GED

Source: *Salary.com figures (as of July 2012).

Diploma in Accounting

Most accounting diploma programs are designed to teach core accounting principles to students who have no previous postsecondary education. Upon completion of a diploma program, you could be prepared for entry-level positions that require knowledge of accounting principles. Diploma programs take less time to complete than degree programs and generally only focus on concepts directly related to accounting. You may have to complete a couple of general education courses in a diploma program, but this requirement varies between schools.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • May take less time than an associate’s program
  • Teaches you the same concepts as an associate’s program without significant general education requirements
  • Credits can transfer to an associate’s program if you wish to get a degree

Cons

  • A diploma does not qualify you to become an accountant
  • Rarely a hard requirement for the positions you’ll qualify for
  • Coursework covers general accounting concepts and does not allow for much specialization

Courses and Requirements

Coursework in an accounting diploma program will cover accounting, finance, business and technology subjects. Diploma programs typically do not require you to complete general education subjects, and internship or work experience courses are often optional. Some of the courses you might take include:

  • Financial accounting
  • Financial statements
  • Managerial accounting
  • Accounting software
  • Tax accounting
  • Speadsheets
  • Cost accounting

Online Information

Online accounting diploma programs are relatively common and nearly identical to on-campus programs. You’ll typically have the same course options as you would in an on-campus program, and the length of the program is equivalent. Schools may offer hybrid programs as well, which means you’d do some of your coursework away from campus and travel to campus for special meetings or labs. Although you can find many different online accounting diploma programs, you’ll want to make sure the school you choose is accredited by an agency approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.

Stand Out with this Degree

Since internships are rarely required in a diploma program, pursuing one while you’re in school can help you stand out when you graduate. If your school doesn’t have an internship opportunity, find a part-time job that can get you experience in accounting. Since most entry-level positions don’t require a diploma, you can start working before you’re taking classes. Not just any job offers relevant experience; you’ll want a job that gives you the responsibility of keeping track of business transactions, helping accountants with their work or something similar.

Associate’s Degree in Accounting

Accounting associate’s degree programs consist of similar core courses as a diploma program, but you’ll also gain an understanding of some general education subjects. An associate’s degree in accounting may qualify you for a position as a bookkeeper or a junior accountant upon completion of the program. You’ll generally have more specialization options with an associate’s program, either from the structure of the program (where each student selects an area of emphasis) or the elective options offered at the school. Most programs prepare you to become a Certified Bookkeeper after graduation, which is a designation awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can lead to junior accountant positions
  • Employers may prefer degree holders to those who only have a high school diploma
  • Credits may transfer to a bachelor’s degree program if you wish to continue your education later on

Cons

  • Employers require accountants to have a bachelor’s degree
  • An associate’s degree program is not enough to qualify you for the CPA exam
  • An associate’s degree is rarely a hard requirement for the jobs you’d be qualified for

Courses and Requirements

Associate’s degree programs in accounting cover similar subjects to diploma programs, but general education courses are required as well. You could have the opportunity to take advanced accounting courses and tailor your learning through your selection of electives. A few programs offer specialty electives that allow you to learn about a specific type of accounting, such as payroll tax accounting, federal income tax accounting or cost accounting. Depending on your school, you may be required to complete a capstone project as well. Here are a few examples of courses you might be able to take:

  • Intermediate accounting
  • Internal auditing
  • Business law
  • Tax law
  • Finance principles
  • Macroeconomics

Online Information

Online associate’s degree programs and hybrid programs in accounting are commonly available. Online accounting courses are similar to those in on-campus programs. Since you’ll rarely find on-campus programs that offer hands-on learning opportunities, you usually won’t miss out on internship opportunities by taking an online program. Online programs can prepare you for bookkeeping certifications as well.

Stand Out with this Degree

Pursuing an internship related to accounting can give you a boost after you graduate, especially since internships are rarely required in an accounting associate’s program. You can qualify for entry-level positions as an accounting clerk without a degree, so you can work while you go to school if you choose.

Another step you can take to get an edge is to obtain a certification. Although you’re not qualified to become a Certified Public Accountant, you can still become a Certified Bookkeeper after you graduate. You’ll need to pass a 4-part exam and sign a code of ethics before the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers will award you this designation.

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Online and Continuing Education Degrees, Minors & Certificates

Online Undergraduate Degrees Available Nationwide

Since 1975, Linfield College Online and Continuing Education has been assisting students with earning undergraduate degrees and certificates in a variety of subjects. Linfield is one of the oldest private colleges located on the West Coast and we began offering online courses over ten years ago. Our reputation for rigorous academics, dedicated faculty and an engaging approach to learning have made us a smart investment for decades of students, whether they are on-campus or online.

Degrees

With full accreditation, students have a wide range of degree programs from which to choose. Programs include accounting, business, management, marketing, and nursing.

Minors

Several minors are also available to coordinate with other courses of study. Students can explore minors in health administration, global health, creative writing, and environmental studies.

Certificates

A wide range of certificate programs can assist students with many different career paths. For example, people with interests in health might pursue a program in yoga instruction, coaching, health administration, or global health. Technological programs include cyber security, database administration, software engineering, and web application development. Other programs designed to enhance professional and industry skills include wine management, wine marketing, human resource management, marketing, and post-baccalaureate accounting.

Why Choose Linfield?

Fitting education in with other responsibilities can be challenging. Linfield s 100 percent online course program is convenient for students of any age and for people with other professional and personal responsibilities. This accredited degree program ensures the highest academic standards, with an exceptional faculty and staff ready to assist students with every step of the educational process. Every student receives a personal faculty advisor who provides personalized assistance and guidance with educational needs and career services.

How to Get More Information

Interested students are encouraged to fill out the Request Information form or call 503-883-2213 to connect with an admission counselor.

Apply now for admission if you are ready to begin the rewarding educational path that will help you achieve your career goals.