What is the best TCM School or Acupuncture School: Curriculum Considerations
Updated: Apr 22
John & Jenny Traditional Chinese Medicine College (JJTCMC), a private TCM and Acupuncture college located in Markham, Ontario, Canada, provides the following as a guide to what makes the best Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture school, college, or program. If you find yourself navigating a sea of dizzying options, it is our hope that what follows provides you with your direction.
In this series we will discuss in detail those considerations from which one may select their own list of criteria to judge a school, college, or program in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Acupuncture. Today's topic for discussion are clinical hours considerations in selecting the best TCM or Acupuncture school or program.
• Meets Regulatory College Requirements: An applicant’s academic program requirements should constitute a minimum program curriculum requirement; ensure that these are met by the program of choice.
• Breadth (optional): Though not necessary in terms of one’s eligibility to write a licensing examination, if one is particularly interested in a study topic which is not well represented in the program requirements put forward by a regulatory college, then the degree to which such a topic is covered in a given program’s curriculum should be assessed. Examples of such topics can include: Qi Gong and Tai Chi, TCM Diet and Nutrition, Business Management, TCM Classics. A word of caution here: one should consider how a program is including such extra topics into their curriculum. That is, are these offered via a dedicated course where, if hours of instruction are equal across programs being considered, other programs, who exclude these extra topics, allocate more time to the subjects pertinent one’s licensing examination(s); or, if hours of instruction are not equal across the programs being evaluated, perhaps these extra subjects cause an increase in overall instruction hours.
• Licensing Examination Preparation Courses: If you will be required to sit a licensing examination, it is prudent to ensure that your diploma program in TCM or Acupuncture includes intensive preparatory courses intended to better prepare one to sit licensing examination(s).
• Distinguished Faculty: The quality of faculty members should be assessed. Know that you should expect to encounter a certain Senior Professor to Junior Professor ratio in terms of the distribution of faculty members. Often, senior lecturers command many years of clinical experience and may also have a requirement of having a PhD in the subject that they instruct. Junior lecturers are often recently licensed professionals that excelled academically and performed extremely well on the licensing examination(s). The former is important for their breadth of knowledge and its application, the latter is important for focusing students on the information that it relevant to recent licensing examination questions. In this way, such a ratio is certainly justified, however, one should ascertain what the ratio is and one must confirm that the ratio they were provided indeed reflects the ratio that students are likely to encounter while progressing through a given program; that is, institutions may have many faculty members but a subset of these actually teach the majority of classes. In short, know the anticipated ratio and understand the qualifications that differentiate senior from junior lecturers per school.
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