POCA Tech offers a three-year, Master’s-level, accredited program designed to educate the next generation of community acupuncturists. A POCA Tech Master’s-level certificate qualifies graduates for acupuncture licensure in Oregon and most other US states. As of February 2023, POCA Tech graduates have been granted acupuncture licenses in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
POCA Tech approaches acupuncture from a collective, cooperative perspective. Our goal is to train acupuncturists who are prepared to serve their communities after graduation. The school provides an immersive opportunity for students to learn about small business through helping to take care of a small business — the school itself. Our program offers ongoing practical skill development for running and maintaining a community acupuncture clinic.
Some of the most marginalized people in the healthcare system are people dealing with chronic conditions and particularly chronic/persistent pain. Community acupuncture clinics are designed with their needs in mind and so POCA Tech puts a lot of focus on preparing students to treat those patients, along with patients who are facing complex bio-psycho-social challenges. POCA Tech’s curriculum includes topics like the social determinants of health and the effects of structural violence because we believe students need a basic grasp of those issues in order to do a good job of treating the wide range of people who walk through the door of a community acupuncture clinic.
The student clinic experience is at the center of POCA Tech’s program and most students graduate having provided over 500 acupuncture treatments during their clinical internship. As one graduate reported, “POCA Tech did a great job of teaching me to handle many different kinds of situations. You cannot teach someone how to think on their feet, they just have to experience it for themselves, and POCA Tech did a great job of offering us excellent clinic settings. I have drawn off of every clinical experience I ever had while working in the student clinic.”