ACHS Hires Paul Ventura as Associate Academic Dean

Paul Ventura to Lead New Prior Learning Assessment Initiatives and Support Curriculum and Program Development

Portland, OR—August 23, 2016—American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) announces that Paul Ventura, MS, has joined their team as Associate Academic Dean. ACHS, administratively based in Portland, Oregon, is an accredited college specializing in undergraduate- and graduate-level integrative health and wellness degrees and certificate programs, including holistic nutrition and wellness coaching.

“I’m attracted to ACHS’s mission ‘Learn Well. Live Well’ as it’s embodied throughout the organization,” says Ventura. “I see it in the college’s academically rigorous curriculum, its highly-motivated students, its skilled and caring faculty, and its dedicated, spirited staff. We’re on the cutting edge of holistic wellness, as an innovator in online learning technology and in becoming a sustainable enterprise. I’m honored to be a member of the ACHS community.”

As Associate Academic Dean, Ventura will direct prior learning assessment (PLA) initiatives including establishing policies and practices for the assessment of prior experiential learning; coordinating challenge exam requirements; overseeing waiver of program prerequisites; and ensuring that ACHS PLA practices align with accreditation standards and policies at comparable institutions.

Ventura will also oversee international student services and support the Academic Dean, ACHS’s Chief Academic Officer, and the Chief Strategy Officer, to ensure the highest standards of academic integrity, innovative curriculum development, and student retention.

Ventura holds a Masters in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and has more than 30 years’ experience teaching and managing international training programs, primarily for the SIT Graduate Institute. He has taught internationally—including Brazil, Ecuador, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka—and previously served as Acting Dean and Director, Associate Professor, and Chair for online degrees in Sustainable Business at the Marylhurst University School of Business.

Paul is very excited to help ACHS extend its global reach and reputation in his new position with the college.

“We first met Paul at a Sustainability Conference and then again as part of our Canvas LMS migration—so we’ve got some very closely aligned goals— and he is already proving to be an outstanding asset to our team,” says Erika Yigzaw, ACHS Chief Strategy Officer. “As a long-time instructor and administrator with many years of international experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge to our academic team here at ACHS. With our push forward into new program development, like our new holistic spa management courses, Paul will not only help our global student population but he also excels at working with online faculty to integrate innovative learning tools that enrich the value of students’ academic experience. He’s already an active member of our sustainability committee—including working on our latest Eco-Challenge.”

For more information about this press release or to schedule an interview with Associate Academic Dean Paul Ventura, call 800.487.8839 or email Learn more about current ACHS health and wellness programs at

About ACHS

American College of Healthcare Sciences has been educating industry leading integrative health professionals since 1978 (view our Alumni in Action online at and is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ACHS is one of the only accredited integrative health colleges offering fully online graduate and undergraduate degrees, diplomas, career-training certificates, and continuing education courses in integrative medicine fields, such as aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, and health and wellness coaching. For more information about ACHS programs visit

PRESS CONTACT: Lauren Shapiro, Communications Manager,