The 2017 Spring Quarter brought about the highly anticipated renovation of the oldest building on the Life University (LIFE) campus, transforming what was formerly known as the Administration building to what is now the William M. Harris Center for Clinical Education. This new facility will be a teaching and skill-development chiropractic center that physically incorporates the existing Campus Center for Health and Optimum Performance (CC-HOP), Funded by Foot Levelers, on campus and provides expanded facilities for improved learning.
The late chiropractic icon William M. Harris, D.C. was widely recognized in the profession as a philanthropist who made many significant donations to chiropractic colleges and professional organizations. His gifts to Life University helped pull the institution out of financial struggles, and his subsequent work on the LIFE Board of Trustees was instrumental to the success that LIFE has garnered in the years since.
By retrofitting the oldest campus building, LIFE captured additional academic space of 30,000 square feet to house the Harris Center in a cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable way. The Harris Center includes the following new areas:
Mastery (Computer-Based) Testing Center:
The Mastery Testing Center is comprised more than 70 computer stations that will be used for testing purposes for all academic departments within the University. Students will be able to go into that area to take a lecture exam, an exam utilizing digital x-rays, or any knowledge-based formative or summative assessment that could be administered on a computer.
“Our plan is to set the Mastery Testing Center up where a faculty member can tell his or her students that their exam will be available during a particular date range and time period, giving that student the flexibility to sign up for a date and time for on-demand computer-based testing,” explains College of Chiropractic Dean Leslie King, D.C., M.Ed.
There will always be a faculty monitor in the Mastery Testing Center with keys to all assessments being offered during those time periods. There are also cameras in that area that show all cubicles for monitoring purposes and to eliminate cheating threats.
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) is also looking at creating on-demand testing for our chiropractic students so that they can take the National Boards when they are ready in this testing center. When this comes into fruition, it will allow students to have more control over when they go in to take their test.
Diagnostic Imaging and Alignment (DIA):
The Diagnostic Imaging and Alignment area is used to teach students diagnostic imaging by using digital and plain film images as part of their educational curriculum. Each rooms in this area contains two, state-of-the-art Epson Projectors so that students have an opportunity to see a normal and abnormal x-ray side-by-side, which helps increase their knowledge of the differences between the two.
The Epson Projectors create a Smart Board environment where faculty can write, highlight and even capture images on the screen to save and email to each student in their class. “That makes it so much easier and efficient from a teaching standpoint, and also students can have information that they can go back and review based on what they’ve seen on the projectors,” notes Dr. King.
Perhaps the most prominent section of the Harris Center is the 23-room, Assessment Center designed to create simulated patient encounters for LIFE’s students. The Assessment Center is the largest one of its kind in the Southeast. In comparison, Atlanta’s Emory University’s assessment center has 16 rooms.
The Assessment Center has state-of-the-art LearningSpace Technology that allows for video and audio capture. “Students can go into the assessment rooms and perform a skill. That skill would be captured by video and audio and sent to their instructors by email. Additionally, instructors could choose to watch in real time from their own computer,” says Dr. King.
LIFE plans to have standardized patients, actors who have been trained to portray patient scenarios during encounters. For instance, an actor may come in and simulate having arthritis and follow a written script from the course instructor. When the student would come in, they would get the real world experience of taking a case history, doing a physical exam and giving a lay lecture, as if they were in their own practice.
“The Harris Center will propel us way ahead of the educational curve, and is a wonderful resource for our students and faculty,” says Dr. King. “Having this technology available will only benefit our educational impact in that we can provide remediation, retesting, immediate feedback and self-assessments, all of which add depth and engagement to the learning experience.’
The William M. Harris Center for Clinical Education is a critical addition to chiropractic education at Life University. LIFE is capable of expanding its clinic system and remolding its academic curriculum in order to graduate more highly skilled, principled chiropractors that will be transformational leaders in the future healthcare system; meet demands of the consumer market seeking total wellness care; and be equipped philosophically and technically to spread Chiropractic worldwide.