ASU clinical research management program is first ever certified

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs voted unanimously to accredit three of the programs

This September, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs voted unanimously to award ASU's clinical research management program with a full accreditation, making the school the first in the country to carry the title. 

This is the first time that national standards have been developed for clinical research management academic programs, and ASU was the first university to apply for the accreditation. Clinical research is a branch of healthcare science that determines if medicines are safe and effective before making them available to the public.

Three of ASU's programs were accredited: the master’s in clinical research management, master’s in clinical research management with regulatory science concentration and the certificate program in clinical research management.

JoAnn Pfeiffer, the director of the Clinical Research Management Program, said the accreditation will demonstrate to students, applicants and employers that their program will create leaders.

“As ASU has the only accredited programs, this is a feather in (the students') cap,” Pfeiffer said. “Not only can we claim that we are a high quality program, but have demonstrated this through the accreditation process. We have shown through a careful, extensive and long review of our programs that our courses successfully prepare our students for the challenges and the ever-changing landscape of clinical trial management.”

Clinical professor and senior director of Health-Related Programs, Cris Wells, said faculty had been observing  ASU's clinical research management program for the last five years.

“It’s a really complex process where you do a self study and look at retention and all of the education standards that are involved,” she said. “We started looking at that and found that our program was far ahead.”

Wells said that requirements for students admission to the program at ASU are more extensive because unlike other schools, students are required to have six months of experience in clinical research. 

“Our program really aligns with our peer institutions who came together and created these standards,” she said. “This is an emerging profession so we’re laying the groundwork to make this a very dynamic profession that has standards to it."

Amanda Goodman, a media relations officer for the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, said it's wonderful to see the hard work and dedication of the faculty pay off in the form of the accreditation. 

"This accreditation also helps amplify the second half of our college name, ‘health innovation.’ Sometimes that aspect can get lost in the mix," she said. "This is a lovely way to recognize the innovative options students have when considering a degree at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.”

Benjamin Jones, a graduate student in the masters of science in clinical research management program at ASU, said that after researching potential graduate schools, he chose ASU because the programs appeared to be the most intuitive, allowing him to retain the information, and learn quickly and efficiently. 

“What I’m hoping to do is enhance my understanding of the different functions within our industry," he said. "This course has given me the opportunity to not just do that, but to also meet various people involved in the industry from an educational standpoint.”

Jones said he believes the new accreditation of these programs will carry over into future employment for himself and other students. 

“Attending a school in this emerging field that has the accreditation it does really proves that we are doing something that should help us become successful long term,” he said. “And when others recognize the value and the importance of a degree it proves the point that we’ve made it to this place in our careers, and we’ve made a good decision.”

Clinical research management is a relatively new profession, and the accreditation is one of the first steps in recognizing it as an academic discipline. 

“When you take this accreditation and add it to the work that we’ve been doing for years now at ASU, it speaks to the reasons why a lot of us decided to do this,” Jones said. “It’s great to see the hard work of the schools faculty and staff come to a place where it’s been validated by external parties. I’m proud of that.” 

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