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ASU Clinical Research Management program first in country to earn prestigious accreditation

Accreditation represents a big step in recognizing clinical research as an academic discipline

Stock image connecting clinical research stages
October 25, 2018

From Band-Aid’s to medical devices and aspirin to prescription drugs — before any of these items make it to your local convenience store or hospital, they all first must go through clinical trials.

At Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation, students are prepared at a high level to oversee all stages of clinical trials for health and medical products through the master's in clinical research management program.

“We know that we’ve developed a quality program that prepares students to do their job and lead at their organizations,” said JoAnn Pfeiffer, the director of clinical research management programs at the college.

Now, there’s national recognition affirming what the program’s creators and graduates have been saying since it began a decade ago.

This fall, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs voted unanimously to fully accredit the clinical research management program, making it the first in the country to receive this distinction.

CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field.

“This is the gold standard for academic excellence, and being chosen as the first and only program in the country to receive this accreditation is a testament to the tireless efforts of our program director and faculty who have created programs that not only meet industry needs but propel graduates into decision-making and problem-solving roles,” said Judith Karshmer, nursing and health innovation dean.

Clinical research management is considered a newer field; it has only been around for the last 10 to 15 years. In fact, this is the first time that national competencies have been developed to measure academic programs for this discipline, and ASU was first in line to apply.

With a robust curriculum, Pfeiffer was confident throughout the application process. When she found out about the accreditation, she shared the good news with graduates and current students, none of whom were surprised.

“I have been looking for the right master’s program for a while before I committed to the clinical research management, regulatory science program and this news not only confirms that I chose the right degree, but also makes me feel like I am in the right place at the right time. Even after just completing one class, I can already see the growth and value, and I am excited to be part of such a thriving department and program,” student Simona Janisch said.

In total, there were three programs 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.

All of these courses are online and specifically designed for professionals.

“It requires six months experience to be eligible, so all of our students are out there working in the field,” Pfeiffer said. “What they're after is getting more leadership and management experience, building their skill base and their knowledge base to move into higher-level positions.”

The next session begins in January 2019, and enrollment is now open.

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