Austin Community College District (ACC) is recognized with a new Quality Matters (QM) certification. The college's Medical Terminology course (HPRS 1206) was awarded the national distinction earlier this month.
"It's an honor to receive QM certification because it's a recognition straight from our peers," says Dr. Erasmus Addae, ACC associate vice president of Distance Education. "This is the fourth course at ACC — and third in the Allied Health Sciences Department — to earn such an honor."
QM is a faculty-centered, peer review process that certifies the quality of online courses. There are fewer than 700 QM-certified courses currently listed in the national database.
"Quality is more than just a claim, it's a commitment, and the QM Certification Mark proves it," states the QM Program. "With Quality Matters Certification, learners, parents, and stakeholders can be confident in the quality of courses and programs that meet these nationally and internationally recognized standards."
ACC's Medical Terminology course is a two-credit-hour course geared for students who are transitioning into college rigor and/or those who need more time with the course material learning medical terminology. It's offered both online and in the traditional setting. The distance education model includes regular and timely participation in discussion boards. Courses either run synchronous with a specific class time, or asynchronous with no class meetings.
"By being QM nationally certified, which was the goal of the Allied Health Science Department prior to Covid, means we met the General Standards and Specific Review Standards through benchmarks for evaluating the design of our online and blended courses. Research-evidence-based, grounded in best-teaching practices, and fully annotated, these standards are the keys to achieving the goals of ensuring equity and quality for our learners," says Dr. Richard R. Espinosa, ACC Allied Health Sciences department chair and professor. "This process allows us to create a culture of continuous improvement so faculty members can deliver excellence semester after semester during these challenging times."
Other ACC courses recently awarded QM national certification include HPRS 2300 — Pharmacology for Health Professionals November of 2019, and HPRS 1106 — Medical Terminology-1 credit hour. Philosophy 1300 was the first ACC course to receive national certification in fall 2019.