History of American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University is among the nation’s first solely online institutions and has continually forged new ground as a pioneer in distance education.

In the late 1990s, Rick Oliver, American Sentinel’s CEO, along with the recently retired chancellor of Vanderbilt University and several others founded the American Graduate School of Management. The institution owes much of its early success to support received from Vanderbilt University, where Dr. Oliver had been a professor in the Owen Graduate School of Management.

In 2004, the school moved to Denver, Colorado, where in 2005, Dr. Oliver and Mary Adams, its president, founded Sentinel University, an online nursing school. The school also acquired the American College for Computer Information Sciences in Birmingham, Alabama. In February 2006, these institutions combined to form American Sentinel University, with a mission to provide high-quality, innovative degree and certificate programs that enable students to enhance their professional and civic lives.

American Sentinel University has adopted philosophical statements of Mission, Vision, Principles, Values, and Service, as well as a Student Manifesto, in order to make sure that our stakeholders inside and outside the institution maintain a clear picture of what we seek to achieve.

Today, American Sentinel offers 12 degrees — from associate to doctoral — in four areas: nursing/health care, informatics, management and technology.

Among American Sentinel’s milestones are:

2006 – Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

2007 – Approved as a Title IV-eligible nonparticipating institution, giving students in-school loan deferments, and also approved to accept students funded by various GI Bill programs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

2009 – Bachelor’s and master’s degree nursing programs accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2010 – Reaccredited by the DETC, approved to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership and approved to offer Title IV funding to eligible students.

2012 – Approved by the DETC to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice Educational Leadership.

Among the more nearly three-dozen academic affiliations, American Sentinel is a member or partner in nearly three-dozen academic affiliations, including the following:

  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices (AACRAO)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • American Association of Nurse Executives (AANEX)
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)
  • Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE)
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • Society for Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA)

View the full list of American Sentinel’s academic affiliations.