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ASU Online health program sets alum up for success


Richard Borden smiles at the camera. He's wearing a white collared shirt with a tie.

Richard Borden found the exact program he was looking for at ASU's Edson College to help him advance his career.

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June 02, 2022

The traditional on-ground college experience didn’t bring out the best learner in Richard Borden. In fact, he says that during his last degree program he “scooted by.”  

Understandably, Borden’s expectations were measured when he decided to return to college to advance his career. This time he intentionally sought out online programs to accommodate his full-time job and family life.  

“I work in a hospital setting, in a pseudo-compliance capacity. I saw that ASU had this very specific degree which was right up my alley and exactly what I want to go into as I have a desire to become a compliance officer eventually,” said Borden. 

That degree was the health care compliance and regulations, BS from Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. He enrolled via ASU Online and started taking classes right away. Not only was the program exactly what he was looking for in terms of content, but the flexibility the online format provided helped him excel. 

“Being able to work at my own pace — and quite honestly my pace is pretty accelerated when I can determine when I work  I was able to immerse myself in the textbooks to really understand the material, and usually that time was between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. That window typically doesn’t work well for traditional on-campus classes,” Borden said. 

In December 2021, he graduated summa cum laude. But even before he finished the program, Borden was applying what he was learning in real time to his job.

For example, he took the knowledge gained from a course that covered OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and was able to share that information with his superiors.

“We actually use a form that I created for one of my courses as a template. I was able to draw from the different courses and was able to produce this robust document, and it's actually a form that we’re using now for all investigations,” he said. 

The learning didn’t stop for Borden after graduation.  

Part of the reason he chose ASU’s program was that it’s accredited by the Health Care Compliance Association. A big part of the focus of the health care compliance and regulations degree is preparing students to take the Certification in Health Care Compliance exam to become certified. It’s a credential that helps compliance professionals stand out, alerting the industry to their skills and abilities. The exam requires serious preparation, and Borden knew exactly where to turn for guidance.

“I actually connected with one of my previous professors to navigate the process. Not only did she help make sure I was enrolled in the right prep course, but I was able to schedule some office hours with her on Zoom to go over topics and the best strategies to study for it,” he said. 

With that help and a commitment to studying, Borden was able to pass the exam on his first try, a major accomplishment.

Now he’s working toward another goal, earning a master’s degreeBorden is pursuing ASU Law's Master's of Legal Studies with an emphasis on corporate and health care compliance. He's on track to graduate this December. at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU and continuing to put himself in a position to take on a compliance role in the future. He credits ASU and the faculty for setting him up for success and offered this takeaway about what he says is an often-overlooked asset available to students:  

“Leaning on professors and using them as a resource is super important, and a lot of students don’t think about that and may hesitate to reach out to them, which is such a missed opportunity.”

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