Associate Degrees at GC Sandy Springs

Brand New Associate of Applied Science Degrees at Gwinnett College's Sandy Springs-Atlanta Campus

They are finally here! In April 2015, the Sandy Springs-Atlanta campus of Gwinnett College received approval to begin offering Associate of Applied Science degrees in Massage and Natural Health and Medical Assisting. We couldn't be more excited. Our graduates have been asking for opportunities to continue their education beyond just diploma programs for some time and now that chance is here.


Click one of these links to learn more about these great new programs and see below for some of our FAQ's.


Associate of Applied Science in Massage and Natural Health
The Massage and Natural Health program is a comprehensive program that meets the requirements of the American Massage Therapy Association. This program gives the student theoretical and practical knowledge and the business skills necessary to practice in an entry-level position in the field of massage.  The student will learn various techniques such as NeuroMuscular Therapy, Chair Massage, and Oriental Medicine that are in demand in massage today.  The graduate will receive a certification in NeuroMuscular Therapy, a certificate in First Aid and CPR, and a Certificate of completion for the Carl Christie Chair Massage Program.  In addition to skills in massage, students will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of other elective courses designed to give them the opportunity to pursue employment in areas complementary to massage.  Graduates may also work in areas like reflexology, aromatherapy, personal and fitness training, yoga studios, chiropractic and medical offices, and wellness clinics. GE Disclosures


Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
This program prepares graduates for an entry-level position in the medical front or back office. In addition to clinical and basic laboratory procedures, students learn current medical technology, medical codes, and other skills necessary to excel in the healthcare industry. Upon completion, students will have taken a variety of courses related to the healthcare field. Courses include Anatomy and Principles of Management, Pharmacology, Phlebotomy, and other Medical Lab classes. To ensure a well-rounded healthcare employee, the Healthcare Administration program covers medical insurance and coding and medical bookkeeping as it relates to the medical office. Immediately upon graduation, the graduate is eligible to take a National Certification Exam to become a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant or Medical Office Assistant, Nationally Certified Phlebotomy Technician, or a Nationally Certified Electrocardiograph Technician. The graduate is also able to take the Certified Professional Coder exam (CPC) offered through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). GE Disclosures


Why do I need an associate degree? Let us start by saying that if you graduate from our diploma program in medical assisting, medical office administration, or massage therapy, you are still in great shape. You'll still be able to get hired.


In the medical programs, we've seen two advantages to having an associate degree. 1. Because an associate degree is a widely recognized credential, employers know that you've completed a two-year program. Employers familiar with our graduates know the quality of our education and this is not an issue for our diploma graduates. However, if you are submitting resumes to employers not familiar with our programs, this could prove helpful. Unfortunately, there are programs out there that are far too short in length and don't provide adequate training. These are also diploma programs. By having a degree, employers will know with certainty that you went to school for longer than 4-6 months. 2. Other graduates want to continue on beyond an associate's degree to pursue a bachelor's degree. By completing our associate's degree, you'll have the opportunity to take advantage of one of our articulation agreements or MOU's to transfer your credits into a bachelor's degree program at a university like Devry or University of Phoenix.


In the Associate of Applied Science degree in Massage and Natural Health, you'll see similar benefits and opportunities. In addition, you'll get training in a multitude of other modalities. Students in our AAS in Massage and Natural Health will have the opportunity to take coursework in aromatherapy, advanced reflexology, advanced neuromuscular therapy, medical billing and coding, personal and fitness training, nutrition, and more. Some graduates may even opt to take a certification exam to become a certified personal trainer.


How long will it take? Our diploma programs for full-time students take 9-12 months to complete. If you're coming back to complete the associate degree, it will take you another 9-12 monts to complete. If you are starting from scratch, it will take you 18-21 months to complete these programs.


What if my diploma isn't from Gwinnett College or Rising Spirit? Not to worry. We do accept transfer credit into our programs. The credits must have been completed at an institution accredited by an U.S. recognized accrediting body, must have been taken in the last 5 years, you must have received a "C" or better, and the credits must be substantially equal.


Can I fit this in with my busy schedule? This is an important question and something only you can answer. With that in mind, we do offer both day and evening classes for all of our programs and these programs run Monday through Thursday.


How can I afford it? There are several payment options for these programs. If you would like to pay out-of-pocket, that is certainly an option. As an alternative, you can also meet with our financial aid department to see if you qualify for Federal Student Aid. Just call the school to schedule a time to meet with admissions and financial aid to see what you might qualify for.


When can I start? Our next class start is just around the corner. We have class starts in January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November. Give our admissions department a call to set up a time to learn more.

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