Newswise — Bethesda, Md. - The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) recently established a new College of Allied Health Sciences for both graduate and undergraduate education programs.

“We are excited to bring this new opportunity, through the University’s College of Allied Health Sciences, to address the needs of our students and the military Services,” said Dr. Richard W. Thomas, president of USU. “This is consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act directive and represents a tremendous opportunity for enabling superb graduate education for our officers across the Military Health System and ensuring high quality undergraduate education opportunities for our enlisted medics, corpsmen, and technicians.”

The College, which is headquartered on Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, will partner with existing graduate programs as determined by each of the military Services, as well as with the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) for undergraduate programs. METC is aligned under the Defense Health Agency and is initially interested in USU assessing academic portfolios for students in four of their programs -- surgical technologist, medical laboratory technologist, nuclear medicine technician, and neuro-diagnostic technician. Students’ qualifications, as well as the training received at METC, will be properly documented and transferred to recognized, transcripted college credits with the opportunity to complete a degree awarded from USU. Approximately 1,100 students are anticipated to be phased over the next several years.

“All of these accredited programs yield civilian-sector health care credentials and reduce the initial cost of training to the Department of Defense. This also increases the longer-term value of the military education benefit as funds can now be applied to complete an associate, bachelor or master’s degree. Not only are we training better for the mission, we’re educating for a lifetime of service to the military and, ultimately, to the communities we call home,” said Dr. Mitchell Seal, founding dean of USU’s College of Allied Health Sciences.

Seal was selected as dean following a nationwide search. He has more than 30 years’ experience in higher education. Seal served in the Navy for 25 years, first as a drummer in the U.S. Navy Band, and later as a Nurse Corps officer. Among his assignments, Seal served as a medical-surgical staff and charge nurse at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, S.C.; head of the Nursing Staff Development Division and Staff Education and Training department at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam and at the Naval Hospital in Lemoore, Calif.; as head of the Education Support Services department at the Naval School of Health Sciences in San Diego, Calif.; and as the Director of Strategic Planning and Partnerships at METC.

He retired from the Navy in July 2015 at the rank of Commander. Following retirement, he served as the Dean of the School of Online Learning at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

Seal earned an Associate of Science degree from Trident Technical College, North Charleston, South Carolina, summa cum laude, in 1994, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, summa cum laude, in 1996. In 2004, he earned a Master of Education and Instructional Technology, with honors, from the University of West Florida, and a Doctor of Educational Administration, in 2009, from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.

He began his duties as dean Feb. 1, 2017. As dean, he will advise the President of USU on a variety of issues related to non-privileged graduate and undergraduate health science technical and professional education, research, and workforce development.

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About the Uniformed Services University of the Health SciencesThe Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, founded by an act of Congress in 1972, is the nation’s federal health sciences university and the academic heart of the Military Health System. USU students are primarily active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service who receive specialized education in tropical and infectious diseases, TBI and PTSD, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, global health, and acute trauma care. A large percentage of the university’s more than 5,500 physician and 1,000 advanced practice nursing alumni are supporting operations around the world, offering their leadership and expertise. USU also has graduate programs in biomedical sciences and public health committed to excellence in research, and in oral biology. The University’s research program covers a wide range of clinical and other topics important to both the military and public health. For more information about USU and its programs, visit