American Sentinel University CEO Dr. Richard Oliver Named DEAC’s 2016 Innovation Award Winner

– Dr. Oliver’s Vision and Guidance Key to Launch of University’s Technological Innovations Geared to Helping Students Succeed in Their Coursework –

AURORA, Colo. – April 27, 2016 – American Sentinel University today announced that Dr. Richard Oliver, CEO of the University has been named the first Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 2016 Innovation Award Winner. The award recognizes his vision and guidance to introduce several key technological advances geared to assisting students to complete their coursework at the University.

The DEAC Innovation Award recognizes Dr. Oliver’s outstanding achievement in creating and successfully implementing the university’s novel technological approach to improving the student experience at American Sentinel.

“Dr. Oliver’s passion and a keen sense of technological innovation have been critical to the development of programs designed to enhance the student’s academic experience in a distance education environment,” says Leah K. Matthews, Executive Director at DEAC.  “His vision, guidance, and support for innovation projects were crucial to the successful launch of these initiatives with more improvements and new projects to follow. Dr. Oliver is truly worthy of the DEAC Innovation Award.”

Dr. Oliver’s technological innovations, designed to have a positive effect on student academic experiences, include:

  • MAURA (My Anytime University Resource Aide)
    This intelligent virtual agent, commonly referred to as a chat bot, provides responses to frequently asked student questions 24/7. The resource has 500+ unique responses and can accommodate for 9000+ variations of questions.
  • Professor IQ
    A course specific chat bot that offers responses to course related questions 24/7. As of March 2016, this resource is used in four BSN courses that have multiple sections each term.
  • Sentinel City – A Community Health Simulation
    Students participate in a simulated community health practice experience commonly known as the “Windshield Survey.” They can board the virtual city bus and assess the cityscape using a guided community health practice assignment. Students observe and report on key health characteristics while being transported on the bus to diverse neighborhoods, evaluate ease of access to city amenities, perceived safety, availability of healthcare, access to transportation and various factors that support or detract from the residents’ overall health. Potential community health problems are identified and discussed through structured learning experiences.
  • Virtual Hospital Nursing Strategic Planning Simulation
    Students are given a 3D virtual hospital scene and can select from five change project options. They can use a situation room with all the tools necessary to create a change plan for the hospital. There are plans to expand this project to include a fully interactive 3D virtual hospital environment.

Matthews says that none of these innovative projects would have been possible without Dr. Oliver’s vision and understanding of the unique needs of distance education students.

“These valuable student resources are continuously growing and provide feedback to serve the needs of the growing student population,” says Matthews.  

University representatives say that student and faculty feedback on all of these projects has been very positive, and assessment analysis indicates they are having a positive impact on student achievement and satisfaction.

“Dr. Oliver’s fine work exemplifies innovation in distance education. He is constantly thinking ahead to keep in step with the changing needs of today’s students to provide the best experience possible and help them succeed in education, work, and life,” Matthews adds.

About The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1926 that operates as a national accreditor of distance education institutions. Accreditation by DEAC covers all distance education activities within an institution and it provides a single source of nationally recognized accreditation from the secondary school level through professional doctoral degree-granting institutions.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online nursing degree programs in nursing, informatics, MBA Health Care, DNP Executive Leadership and DNP Educational Leadership. Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Accrediting Commission of DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.