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  • queencityjewel

    There are a few specialized accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in the field of alternative health. They include the modalities of massage therapy, acupuncture, oriental medicine, nurse-midwifery, chiropractics, and naturopathic medicine. The main reasons people seek accredited institutions is for financial aid and academic accountability.

    Clayton College of Natural Health is not accredited by any of the above agencies. It must be stated, however, that fact alone is not necessarily an indication of poor quality, as there are many excellent schools offering alternative health programs that are not accredited either. Clayton has recently been awarded the Quality Standards Certification by the United States Distance Learning Association. The criteria for this certification is based primarily in three areas:

    a. Operating in a non-discriminatory manner, practicing the principles of equality, tolerance, respect, and equal justice. This precludes favoritism on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, disability, or national origin.
    b. Respecting intellectual property rights including those of vendors, content providers, faculty, and staff.
    c. Respecting privacy rights. The school must clearly display its policy concerning the collection and use of personal data. The institution shall safeguard the privacy and integrity of personal data.

    You will notice that this gives no indication about their educational standards.

    If you investigate Clayton College’s reputation, you will find that their credibility is very often questioned. One highly outspoken critic, Dr. Stephen Barrett of "Quackwatch" leads the charge in what Clayton considers a "witchhunt" and counters that Dr. Barrett is critical of all natural and holistic health practices. (Which in their defense, does appear to be true.)

    In my opinion, Clayton College has appeared by and large to be a diploma mill. Their professors are alumni and the majority of their "textbooks" are books authored by previous graduates that can be purchased in a bookstore. Until very recently, you could receive a bachelor’s degree from Clayton College with 60 credit hours, while a standard undergraduate degree requires 120. Their degree programs did not include any classes on anatomy or physiology–which is a huge red flag for a healthcare program. That being said, their requirements have changed and a bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours and in some master’s level programs you take limited physiology. This has led to speculation that they are pursuing some form of accreditation.

    If accreditation is important to you, the Australasian College of Health Sciences "is the only nationally accredited College offering online certificate, diploma, undergraduate and graduate degree programs in complementary alternative medicine" and is by all accounts, a top-notch school.

    If you are interested in herbalism, a wonderful resource is the American Herbalists Guild, which offers a designation of "Registered Herbalist, RH (AHG) upon acceptance for professional membership and has an extensive listing of herbal schools.

    One last note, please be advised that there are very strict laws regulating who can purport themselves to be naturopathic doctors and if you are interested in that as a career, please do your research!

  • One naturopath I saw graduated from clayton college. I was very disappointed in him for a number of reasons. In general, I have not heard good things about clayton. It is a correspondence school for health that does not have much accreditation. Unfortunately, there are not many advanced schools for people who want to study alternative health.

    Also, there are so many areas in alternative medicine. Your best bet might be to figure out what area you are interested in and then start to look online for possibilities.

    You can google "naturopathy schools" or "alternative health schools." You might get some help from the following link.
    http://www.naturopathicschools.com/