AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine

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AOMA helps students prepare…

09/07/2010

AOMA helps students prepare for success

95 percent licensed within a year, 0% loan default rate

AUSTIN — While proprietary colleges nationwide are being scrutinized by some lawmakers for not delivering on their promises, the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA) has an excellent track record of preparing its students for success, and the alumni default rate is currently 0%, based on two years of data.

In August, the federal Department of Education (DOE) released loan repayment data on all colleges participating in the federal student loan program. The data for AOMA shows that not a single alumnus failed to make required loan payments in the last four years. AOMA is approximately in the middle of the loan repayment ratios of all U.S. medical schools included in the DOE numbers (42 have a lower loan repayment ratio and 40 have a higher loan repayment ratio). AOMA’s repayment rate is higher than that of notable medical schools including Harvard and Tulane.

The DOE statistics don’t paint a complete picture of student achievement, according to AOMA President William Morris. “These data are only one component of the calculation, and don’t take into account that it can take up to a year for a graduate to pass boards, achieve licensure and launch their practice,” Morris said. “The data also don’t take into account students who have opted to consolidate loans, which is actually encouraged by the DOE, until 100 percent of that consolidated loan has been paid off,” Morris said. In other words, students coming to AOMA with loans from undergraduate or other schools, who consolidate their loan payments, won’t be considered to be in repayment until they have paid earlier loans in full. The data do not consider students who have elected the DOE’s program to have their loans matched to their income.

While AOMA is a privately held institution, it is not in the same category as the colleges under fire from lawmakers. “Our focus is on providing graduate, professional, medical education,” says President William Morris. “AOMA’s program is regionally accredited, and it qualifies students to apply for licensure.”

AOMA alumni are successful economically, socially and personally. More than 95 percent of AOMA graduates receive licensure within one year of graduation. See more AOMA alumni statistics here.

Another advantage for AOMA graduates is that they’re entering a burgeoning field. As the use of acupuncture grows, career opportunities in the field have increased, including within existing practices such as chiropractic and Western medical offices.

Acupuncture is identified by Bureau of Labor Statistics as an occupation with a “Bright Outlook,” defined as occupations that are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations. The Bureau’s statistics include the following:

Median Wages (2009) $31.36 hourly, $65220 annual
Employment (2008) 49,000 employees
Projected growth (2008-2018)   Average (7% to 13%)
Projected job openings (2008-2018)   15,300


Source: http://online.onetcenter.org/help/bright/29-1199.01

Preparing students for future careers is an important part of AOMA’s curriculum: a series of courses on practice management focuses on the critical information and skills required to successfully establish and manage an Oriental medicine practice. The courses are taught in collaboration with community experts in marketing, tax planning, billing and insurance, and well as Oriental medical professionals with experience in a variety of clinical settings.  Students take away very practical skills from the series, including how to select a practice location based on demographic research and licensure scope of practice; how to develop a business plan including capital and operating expense budgets; how to conduct marketing and strategic analysis; and how to create marketing tools including websites, presentation materials, and a curriculum vitae. AOMA also provides assistance with job-searching, including a weekly email for alumni that lists current career opportunities. More than 325 jobs have been posted in the first six months of 2010.

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About AOMA
The Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin is one of the leading graduate schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the nation. AOMA offers a 3.5-year master’s level graduate program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, preparing its students to be skilled, professional practitioners. With an internationally renowned faculty, strong leadership, new regional accreditation, demonstrated student success, and a new campus opening in the spring of 2011, AOMA’s reputation as a national leader in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine education, health care and policy-making continues to grow. AOMA also conducts more than 20,000 patient visits annually in its student and professional clinics, collaborates with Western healthcare institutions including the Seton Healthcare Network, and gives back to the community through partnerships with nonprofits such as People’s Community Clinic. AOMA is located at 2700 West Anderson Lane, and also serves patients and retail customers at its new location, 4701 West Gate Blvd.  For more information see www.aoma.edu or call 512-492-3051.



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