Parker University Drives Natural Health Movement
by Sheila Julson
Dr. Jayne Moschella is a chiropractor that has worked in career education for most of her adult life. As executive vice president and provost of Parker University, she and the faculty prepare students for certification and licensure through the Doctor of Chiropractic program. Parker’s Health Science program, which explores disciplines from massage therapy to functional nutrition, was added in 2007 and has experienced exponential growth.
Through therapeutic exercise and activities designed to retrain muscle and joint coordination, chiropractors manually restore and reactivate joint mobility and function without the use of medicine. To serve growing interest in chiropractic, Dr. James William Parker founded the school in 1982. In 2011, Parker College of Chiropractic became Parker University to reflect new health care degree programs designed to expand students’ scope of knowledge and provide more opportunities for graduates to practice in integrative care. The school added programs in functional nutrition, strength and human performance, integrative health and more. All courses are designed to ultimately allow patients to heal themselves.
Because the holistic health care realm is broad, with regulation and licensing varying by state, Moschella believes that obtaining degrees and certifications from reputable schools in disciplines such as functional nutrition or massage therapy helps drive the natural health movement forward. “We very much believe in credibility, and that credibility is supported through evidence-based results and collaboration among other health care professionals,” she says. “Reputable schools will provide paths to degrees, state licensure and certification, as well as training experiences and learning opportunities. We’re focused on the future expansion of holistic care that complements mainstream health care.”
Because working in health care requires compassion and drive, as well as a comprehensive education, Parker University readies students for impactful careers through innovative classroom experiences. “Our health science programs help prepare future chiropractors, among other student programs, to work independently or in a collaborative health care environment,” Moschella explains. “We really try to think of the patient and how to work in multidisciplinary practices, using different modalities to care for that patient in their specific needs.”
Moschella notes that from an academic standpoint, Parker’s functional nutrition, strength and human performance, and psychology programs have a similar curriculum to state universities, because the programs are developed with certain requirements and standards determined by specialty. “Our functional nutrition and strength and human performance programs were created to adhere to industry standards that allow graduates to apply for licensure and to be accepted into advanced degree programs,” she says. “Many of our programs are online, so students from anywhere in the U.S. and abroad can earn their degrees. It allows flexibility for working adults.”
Students have the option of completing one course at a time rather than adhering to the traditional academic schedule that requires students to take four or more classes over a 16-week period. “At Parker, students can concentrate and focus on one course at a time, one mid-term at a time and one final at a time. In the master’s degree program, students complete one or two courses at a time, but they are seven weeks long and allow for more breadth for research and mastery,” she adds. The chiropractic program uses a trimester approach so students can study year-round and obtain their Doctor of Chiropractic degree sooner.
Parker University’s Office of Career Services provides placement assistance to students and alumni. “You never outgrow our ability to place you. If you have graduated from Parker, you can utilize our placement office,” Moschella affirms. “We have career assistance such as online career management tools so students can use databases, services and communication. We help students with practical applications like developing resumés and honing interview skills. We sponsor career preparation workshops. We do a lot of career fairs that work with alumni and potential employers.”
Parker University is located at 2540 Walnut Hill Ln., Dallas. For more information, call 1-800-637-8337 or 214-902-2429, or visit Parker.edu.