Funding a Holistic Health Degree with Employer Tuition Assistance

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I became interested in complementary medicine when I was struggling with fibromyalgia. I used various complementary treatment modalities including acupuncture, energy medicine and guided imagery and found that I had less anxiety, more energy and less pain. I received training in these areas because I wanted to bring this experience to others to help them on their “healing journey”.

As I learned more about complementary medicine, I realized that I wanted to find an accredited college that offered courses, and preferably a post graduate degree, in Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM). I searched extensively on the internet, and the only fully online, accredited college I could find offering this type of course work was the American College of Healthcare Sciences. As I reviewed their course descriptions and requirements for a post graduate degree, I became impressed with the breadth of the content of the courses. As a nurse, I know the importance of evidence-based medicine, and that is the approach that is supported to complete their degrees.

I have an Associate’s degree in nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Human Relations and Business, so I decided I was ready to pursue a Master’s degree in Complementary Alternative Medicine.

The company I work for, Humana, has a wonderful tuition reimbursement policy. My company will only provide tuition reimbursement for college or university classes taught at a school that is accredited by the US Department of Education (or regional accrediting bodies). ACHS met that criteria. The rest is history! I worked on my MS in CAM for six years, while working full time. I completed my degree in August of 2018. Humana paid for all of my tuition and fees – approximately $20,000.

As I became immersed in my degree program, I was very impressed by the caliber and knowledge of the instructors, as well as the content of the courses. The work was not easy, but it was interesting and achievable. I am very blessed to have found ACHS, and to have the tuition reimbursement benefit from my employer. I encourage anyone reading this who has a tuition reimbursement benefit to consider pursuing a degree program. This is a very rich benefit! Please don’t let it go to waste!

My next step is to continue developing my brand and form an online presence through my website and Facebook business page. I have had a logo created for my holistic health business, Hypnosis by Heart, and am in the development process for hypnosisbyheart.com, where I will offer the holistic healing modalities of guided meditation, Healing Touch, Accudetox, aromatherapy and herbal medicine practices. I have had business cards and a trifold flyer created that I will be handing out to chiropractors, massage therapists and other health experts in my area who might like to partner with me.

I wish you all the best in pursuing your dreams!

Marian Culpepper, RN, MS CAM, BS, ADN, CHt

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