Pacific College: New Name, Expanded Vision, Same Values!

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Pacific College’s degree offerings have expanded from a few certificates in 1986 to include doctorates and master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, a bachelor’s degree in holistic nursing, associate degrees in massage therapy, a holistic nursing certificate, and an advanced certificate in Chinese herbology for licensed acupuncturists.

More recently, Pacific was approved by the prestigious WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to offer the Master of Science (Health and Human Performance), as well as a medical cannabis certificate. They begin to usher in the next stage in the college’s evolution, yet continue the college’s mission of improving lives by educating and inspiring compassionate, skilled leaders of traditional medicine and integrative health sciences.

Chinese medicine remains at Pacific’s heart and core.

The college’s goal is to create opportunities for acupuncturists and Chinese medicine to have the maximum impact in today’s culture. One strategy is to increase other healthcare providers’ familiarity and appreciation for Chinese medicine. Pacific’s transitional doctoral program requires students to create professional relationships with healthcare providers, observe in their clinics or hospitals, and discuss cases together.

Another strategy is to offer nursing programs that require an understanding of the principles, uses, and benefits of Chinese medicine. Anyone who has been in a hospital knows the influence nurses have on patients, as well as the hospital environment in general. When nurses understand and experience the benefits of Chinese medicine, opportunities increase for acupuncturists in a wider variety of healthcare settings.  

Integrative Approach to Healthcare

There are so many promising developments across the entire spectrum of health and science that can be embraced by institutions of Chinese medicine to create a rich exchange of knowledge between professions. For example, in its newest program, the MS in Health and Human Performance (MSHHP), students apply an integrative coaching model that combines Chinese medicine principles and modern coaching methods. Students also explore the latest developments in the physiology and psychology of performance, whole food nutrition, as well as dietary supplementation strategies. Both MSHHP students and Pacific’s nursing students study Chinese medicine principles to deepen their knowledge of personal, social, and environmental influences on human behavior, though neither group is trained to perform acupuncture or related therapies.

These degrees outside of Chinese medicine create an expanded professional network that includes nurses, coaches, acupuncturists and massage therapists, along with a variety of science and medical faculty used to deliver the courses. Expansion into these new areas widens Pacific College’s alumni network and affiliations with healthcare organizations, allied healthcare providers, and faculty to the benefit of all.

Rationale Behind the New Name: Pacific College of Health and Science

Acupuncturists’ websites reveal an exhilarating diversity of subjects, skills, and therapies. Their interests clearly extend well beyond the borders of Chinese medicine alone. The Pacific College community decided it was time to adopt a name that embraces that diversity, and which meets the needs of future generations, as well as today’s nursing, acupuncture, massage, and health science students. The college sought input from students and faculty at each campus over the last two years. They contributed many creative and thoughtful suggestions. The administration considered them all during innumerable meetings. Finally, the Board of Trustees decided that Pacific College of Health and Science best meets the needs of the present and foreseeable future.

Why Pacific College of Health and Science?

  1. It embraces the most fundamental concept in Pacific College’s long history: Health.
  2. It reflects respect for the method of science, by which health and other professions develop and advance.
  3. It minimizes the use of the term “Oriental” which has found disfavor.
  4. It is more appropriate than Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for nursing and coaching students.
  5. And, while not currently anticipated, it allows for expansion beyond the health sciences into other sciences. Imagine if Harvard or Yale had remained divinity colleges.

Pacific’s College of Oriental Medicine will not go away. Pacific College of Health and Science will be a structure layered above it, as it will also sit above its school of nursing, the school of body therapy, the school of human performance, and other departments or schools that may develop over the years.

While the college’s mission has evolved through the years, some things don’t change. All Pacific College employees, alumni and students strive to improve lives exponentially by supporting health and well-being through their daily actions. The ownership, administration, academic leadership, and faculty all remain unchanged. Pacific College will continue to sponsor its world-famous Pacific Symposium.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine extends its appreciation to the entire Chinese medicine and holistic community for 33 years of support. While it will have a different name and expanded vision, its values remain the same: integrity, mindfulness, compassion, critical thinking, collaboration, and education. Values it shares with you.

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