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Moving Forward, Even While Apart


 

Like most institutions throughout the world, the Ameritech College community had to make significant adjustments to safely navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For the faculty, staff, and administration, the goal was clear: ensure that students can safely move forward with their education without sacrificing academic quality.

Achieving this goal required faculty to examine how every aspect of Ameritech’s courses is delivered and how virtual instruction can enhance student learning.

“It’s not about trying to fit on-campus classes into an online format. This process has been about looking at how to redesign curriculum delivery in a way where it’s actually enhanced by being virtual,” says Dr. Larry Banks, Provost of Ameritech College of Healthcare.

Online vs. Virtual

For classes that had traditionally been delivered on-campus, one way Ameritech faculty approached the transition was by opting for synchronous virtual instruction versus asynchronous online classes. The difference seems subtle, but it makes a big difference in the classroom experience.

With synchronous virtual instruction, faculty and students participate in live lectures and discussion. This enables valuable dialogue, feedback, and engagement between faculty and students, which is essential, especially when covering highly technical concepts.

“It’s nice that as our instructors are instructing, we can still see the PowerPoints. We’re not really missing anything than what was in the classroom. We are still face-to-face with our instructor. We’re still able to ask questions while they’re lecturing, so that’s nice,” says Laura Stone, a student in Ameritech’s nursing program.

Hands On, Even at a Distance

Of course, healthcare programs are composed of more than lectures, which meant the college had to implement virtual resources to supplement labs and simulations. For example, Ameritech’s Anatomy and Physiology classes utilize state-of-the-industry synthetic cadavers during labs to help students understand bones, muscles, tissues, and organs. While virtual, the college relied on tools such as Complete Anatomy, which is regarded as one of the most advanced 3D anatomy platforms in the world.  Understanding that the pandemic may involve a serious of waves which may impact when students can come to campus for labs and simulation, every component of Ameritech’s hands-on curriculum delivery has an established distance option to ensure our students can learn the skills needed for their profession regardless of where they sit.

Most hospitals and healthcare organizations view nursing students as an important part of the patient care strategy, which means that Ameritech students have assisted in a variety of ways as part of Utah’s response to COVID-19. This includes working directly with the Utah Medical Reserve Corp administering COVID-19 tests.

“As an institution, we are preparing people to serve in times like what we are facing today,” says Sherry Jones, President of Ameritech College of Healthcare. “The Ameritech community has risen to the challenge and responded in a way that has been truly exceptional. We are very proud of our students.”

No one is certain about the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and what the short and long-term impact will be. What is certain is that the Ameritech community is moving forward and leaning in to advance healthcare education and serve with a spirit of safety and excellence.

If you are interested in joining our robust and active student community, check out our programs and schedule an appointment to speak with an Admissions Advisor.