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ASU's health care compliance and regulations degree the first undergrad program in nation to earn prestigious accreditation

Amanda Goodman

Already a groundbreaking program, the Bachelor of Science in health care compliance and regulations offered through Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation has achieved a major milestone.

This fall the health care compliance and regulations degree became the first, and only, undergraduate program in the nation to earn accreditation from the Compliance Certification Board. The board sets the standards that individuals must meet to receive and hold certification in compliance. 

“I’m so thrilled that this program, which was the first of its kind to be offered as a bachelor’s degree, has achieved another first, earning accreditation through the CCB. It’s a testament to the dedicated faculty and staff who modeled the curriculum after the core requirements of this prestigious accreditation body,” said Edson College Dean Judith Karshmer

Launched in fall 2016, it became the first baccalaureate degree program in the U.S. dedicated to the education and training of compliance specialists specifically in the health care environment. 

In the program, students gain the skills and leadership insight to ensure patient safety, manage compliance training and advocate for proper ethical and legal decisions.   

“In health care, providers, regulators and insurers need skilled staff who can root out fraud and abuse, which we know can create inefficiencies, increase costs and, most seriously, endanger patients' lives,” said Mary Smalle, Health Care Compliance and Regulations program director. “Our program prepares students to help their organizations comply with the safety regulations and health care laws to protect patients, staff and government programs from harm.”

While the program is relatively new, graduating its first students in 2018, the demand for qualified compliance specialists in health care settings is on the rise.

Specific roles for graduates include compliance analyst, health care auditor, hospital quality assurance compliance associate, and legal and compliance analyst for insurance companies, to name a few. 

By earning accreditation the program’s reputation is bolstered even further. It also ensures that students are learning exactly what they need in order to be successful in this field.

“Whether the student is applying for a job, applying to graduate school, or opening a private practice as a consultant, coming from an externally accredited program provides evidence of a baseline of rigor in their training,” Smalle said.  

Additionally, students who graduate from this program are now eligible to sit for a number of certification exams through CCB that can make them more marketable and help advance their careers. 

“For over 20 years, the Compliance Certification Board has developed the criteria to determine competency in compliance. CCB accreditation will give the students a point of pride when describing their program. Students will also be assured that our program is one that has and will continue to look to industry experts to ensure our program continues to evolve in a relevant way to meet the needs of the industry,” said Smalle. 

Having the Compliance Certification Board's oversight and guidance will be an integral part of the program’s success going forward. It’s a partnership that will be advantageous to everyone involved.