The Internet has allowed for alternatives to traditional college to become more viable than ever. One of the best online-only schools is Huntington College of Health Sciences.
While it did not start as an online-only university, it has adapted to the digital era and now prepares students for careers in healthcare, nutrition, and dietary expertise.
Huntington was once known as the American Academy of Nutrition. It’s located in Knoxville Tennessee and focuses on providing programs and degree options for careers in nutritional and health science. Although it was founded in 1985, Huntington focuses on distance-learning and remote education opportunities. This allows students to pursue higher education at their own pace and still receive an accredited degree with classes offered by experienced faculty.
Like most major universities, Huntington requires that an applicant have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for admission for study. To enter a bachelor’s program, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent or an associate’s degree.
All students must pay a $75 nonrefundable admission fee, along with high school transcripts or college transcripts if they want to transfer their credits over and continue their progress from another school. There is a phone interview that must be completed before a student is accepted into the university.
In addition, any applicants must submit a photocopy of a government issued photo ID, as well as complete a student orientation course to ensure that the online learning format will be a good fit for them personally.
Doctoral admissions require further transcripts, as well as letters of recommendation, a resume, and any prerequisites required by their particular graduate program.
Huntington does not discriminate between applicants on any basis such as age, race, color, sex, religion, and similar attributes.
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Tuition at Huntington is generally affordable when compared to similar universities, even online. Tuition varies depending on what degree you will be pursuing and what types of courses you end up taking. Undergraduate tuition is $265 per credit hour, graduate tuition is $400 per credit hour and doctoral tuition is $450 per credit hour.
Since 61 credit hours are required for an associate’s degree, about $16,000 are required to attain one of these. Bachelor’s degrees cost around $34,000. Master’s degrees cost a further $15,000 on top of previous education fees.
Huntington also offers doctoral degrees. These require an additional 61 or 62 credit hours on top of your bachelor’s credits. This works out to nearly $28,000 for further tuition fees.
Books and other learning supplies must generally be purchased by each student individually. Books are usually purchased either from a centralized bookstore, in which books are sent to each student’s residence. Alternatively, students may often purchase or rent digital copies of textbooks and read them on an e-reader device or their phone.
Any supply costs incurred by a class must be covered by the student themselves.
Due to the fact that Huntington relies on distance-learning, there are no differences or in-state for out-of-state student tuition. This helps Huntington be affordable for all students. While not necessarily cheaper than competing universities, Huntington certainly offers tuition rates at national standards.
As an accredited school, Huntington students are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This includes the Pell grant, which is not alone and is instead an award that can be used for the purpose of educational expenses. The Pell grant may be applied for every year so long as a student has not yet earned a bachelors or professional degree.
Students may also take advantage of the Direct Stafford loan, which is a Federal direct loan program. There are subsidized and unsubsidized loans available to allow students to cover the majority or all of their tuition expenses while they are still in school.
Application to both of these financial aid benefits can be completed by filling out a FAFSA each academic year. Acceptance into the programs is dictated by economic situation and prior commitment to educational programs, as well as other factors that will be decided upon by FAFSA reviewers.
Huntington focuses on two major areas of science for its degree programs. These areas are nutrition and health science. Nutrition focuses exclusively on the effect of nourishment of the human body and prepares potential students for careers in healthcare or the food industry. There are further specializations, such as sports nutrition, that allow for a further focusing of one’s education in preparation for a specific career.
The other path, health science, has several degrees available with a broader scope and a focus on overall scientific concepts pertaining to human health. This can prepare students for careers in medical oriented fields or teaching careers. In particular, healthcare careers are well-suited for students who have a degree in health science.
Huntington also offers “short courses” as alternatives to traditional college class credit. These short courses are condensed and allow students to catch up for credit hour requirements in order to graduate by a specific deadline. These short courses also often contain certificates that allow the student to prove that they are well-versed in a particular field, such as nutrition.
Huntington is fully accredited for online learning and a degree from this school is just as valid as one from a traditional, brick-and-mortar institution. This accreditation allows students to apply for federal financial aid.
Huntington possesses a full staff list with nearly 20 teachers and many other advisors and support staff. Classes at Huntington are performed entirely online and follow strict schedules that are organized according to each teacher.
During the course of the semester, students will complete assignments for a given class based on the requirements posted by their teacher. Classes are usually organized on a central hub that can be accessed from the school’s website. From there, assignments may be accessed and message boards may be used to facilitate communication and advisory functions.
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Once again, Huntington is an online-only school. This means that there are no extracurricular programs or social events that take place as a result of the school’s collective community. Instead, Huntington’s classes will often have students collaborate via Internet chat services or message boards in order to complete assignments together.
Many courses will also allow for one-on-one discussions between students and faculty or students and advisers. This creates a college experience that is relatively unlike most traditional schools. Much of the time, students can complete all of the requirements for a degree without having to be as social as they might have to be at an in-person school.
Huntington’s online format allows for control over the level of socialization desired by any given student. While some collaboration will most likely be required at some point, there is far less interpersonal communication while attending Huntington compared to other schools or in-person classrooms.
Huntington has received positive reviews for its flexible and personal style of education. Since it allows people to obtain degrees without having to adhere to a strict schedule, it’s an ideal choice for students that must work a job at the same time or who have other priorities to be balanced at the same time.
On Huntington’s testimonial page, some students have explained that the classes are generally very challenging, especially when compared to classes offered at other health-focused schools. However, challenging classes can be a blessing since it prepares students for the real working world much better than easy classes.
In addition, students have explained that help from faculty is a lot easier to receive compared to traditional schools since there are generally fewer working distractions for each individual teacher. Getting a hold of an instructor is a simple as sending an email or scheduling a chat session depending on the particular class.
Other students have revelled in the fact that they can do their class work on their own time instead of having to make time to go to class. One can easily do homework in the morning or nights depending on their schedule and still receive the benefits of a full education.
Overall, while Huntington is clearly challenging for many people, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. In addition to a full education in the fields of health science and nutrition, students can expect to hone their interpersonal communication skills, writing skills, and time management skills, as all three are needed to successfully complete an education based on entirely online coursework.
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