Since its founding in 1956, the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) has built a strong base from which to look back 2,000 years, to the ancient roots of classical Chinese medicine. Now, NUNM looks to the future by launching the first-of-its-kind, first-year online naturopathic degree program.
Celebrating 65 Years
The history of NUNM starts in 1956 with its founding as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM). Back then, allopathic medicine assumed a primary role in the lives of Americans, supported by the increasing development of pharmaceutical medicine and innovations in healthcare technology. At the same time, the decline of the naturopathic medicine profession brought it teetering on the brink of extinction, as naturopathic medical schools closed their doors throughout the country. NCNM was the sole holdout.
Six and a half decades later, NUNM has graduated 3,379 alumni who practice in nearly every U.S. state and Canadian province, as well as in many foreign countries. Over 50% of the licensed naturopathic physicians practicing in the United States are graduates of NUNM.
To celebrate its 65th year, NUNM is ushering in a new era of naturopathic education with a focus on enhanced equity and increased access.
First-year Online ND Program Launches
Amidst a harrowing year when the world went virtual due to a global pandemic, NUNM responded by launching an innovative, first-of-its-kind program — an online Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine that offers prospective healthcare providers a more affordable, accessible first year of medical school.
Starting with the Fall 2021 term, the four-year track program will mix online, self-paced coursework and synchronous, scheduled tutorials with NUNM’s nationally recognized faculty. Incoming online students can expect the same intensive rigor of the on-site ND program, but from the comfort and convenience of their own study space.
“Traditionally, first-year students may travel or relocate to Portland to attend school. Not only does this present financial challenges, but it can be especially difficult during the pandemic,” says Program Dean Kelly Baltazar, ND, DC. “We listened and pivoted quickly to meet learners where they are.”
Investing in Equity & Access: Tuition Freeze, Anti-racism Training & Funding
Many students struggle to balance their coursework with everyday life, with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating the opportunity divide in higher education.
In response to these challenges, NUNM announced a tuition freeze for the coming school year and waived application fees for prospective students. NUNM believes a meaningful investment in education equity means prioritizing access over profit.
The tuition freeze is only one piece of NUNM’s commitment to equity and increased access. Over the past several months, faculty and staff members have participated in implicit bias trainings, while the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) has created safe spaces and programming to support our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members. This year, OEI will also launch a leadership development program and speaker series to support the continued growth and success of students and staff.
Travel Resumes for IPSL Grad Program
With the relaxing of international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NUNM has restarted the application process for its global learning graduate degree programs.
A partnership with the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership (IPSL), NUNM’s School of Graduate Studies offers two master’s degrees: a Master of Arts in International Development and Service, and a Master of Arts in Community Organizing and Social Activism. These yearlong programs are designed for students to study, volunteer and conduct advocacy research with organizations in Colombia, Guatemala, Greece, Peru, South Africa and Ireland.
Cultivating Calm at NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute
Titled “Cultivating Calm,” the study centers on trauma-informed yoga practice, which recognizes that traumatic experience can leave a lasting imprint on one’s physical, mental and emotional state. For this reason, trauma-informed yoga is intended to down-regulate the nervous system.