Boston College’s new Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program is about to complete its first two terms and already the online, competency-based program is earning rave reviews from students who applaud its peer collaboration, convenience, and lessons that help with everyday decisions in the workplace.
“The curriculum has already taught me to view and amend aspects of my current strategies around workplace communication, motivation, and leadership,” said MHA student Corey Deixler, who is Senior Vice President of Physician Services for the Bon Secours Charity Health System, Inc. “And the class discussions based on topics endemic to healthcare, coupled with theories supported by peer-reviewed research, have helped many of my initiatives in the workplace.”
Rebecca Cyr, Operations Coordinator at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, says she enjoys combining the MHA program with her professional life activities “because it not only allows me to make well-informed contributions, but also allows me to educate my supervisors and colleagues about the healthcare system. The more time I spend in the BC MHA Program, the more confident I become making decisions in my professional life.”
Aligned with the needs of healthcare employers, the MHA’s live, online peer collaboration enhances learning and professional development to help students take on significant challenges faced by healthcare professionals today. Students not only learn from accomplished faculty, they also learn from each other.
“Our students benefit from bringing all of their healthcare experience to the program,” says MHA Faculty Dr. Steve Bowman. “Students with clinical backgrounds learn from students with management backgrounds, and vice versa. This inter-professional education from diverse backgrounds creates a rich, vibrant atmosphere in which to learn.”
“The Master of Healthcare Administration program at Boston College provides insights into subject matter and dynamic professors that bring the curriculum to life,” says student and Mount Auburn Hospital surgical nurse Rebecca Hayes, who adds that the program fosters coherence among class members through weekly live sessions.
The launch of the MHA program, offered through the University’s Woods College of Advancing Studies, coincides with a growing demand for competitive healthcare leaders in a field that is rapidly evolving.
“After graduating from Boston College with a degree in nursing, I have watched the field of healthcare change first hand,” says Hayes. Adds Cyr, “I was drawn to getting my MHA credential as soon as I started my first job in healthcare. The system is extremely complex.”
A distinct feature of the program is the integration of Jesuit values consistent with Boston College’s mission to educate leaders who will make a difference in the world—from concern for the poor and marginalized to responsible action on moral and ethical issues. In addition, the competency-based program allows students to leverage what they have already learned on the job and focus on the skills and knowledge that they need to develop the most.
“Employers are demanding competent managers and leaders who have the skills and training to help their organizations succeed,” says Bowman. “Our students report that having MHA program competencies aligned with industry expectations is incredibly valuable and is already helping them in their current positions and in their future career plans.”
Students also appreciate the flexibility that comes with an online program, which allows working professionals to find balance between their work, family, and educational commitments.
“As a full-time administrator at a Catholic healthcare system and parent of three children, I felt the Boston College program was set up in a manner that would both fulfill my academic expectations and logistical needs,” says Deixler.
“The online medium allows me to bring the Boston College experience wherever I go and complete my education around my busy workload, both in my career and at home with my young family,” adds Hayes.
For some, the online approach allows as much, if not more, learning and participation than a traditional classroom setting.
“I am able to visually see my instructor and classmates and I’m able to use either the computer or phone as audio,” says Cyr. “In a traditional classroom, a lot of my thoughts were overpowered by the professor’s lecture or by other students, but in the online classroom, with a small class size and a chat box to add questions or comments, my voice is heard.”
For more information about the Boston College Master of Healthcare Administration program, visit: http://onlinemha.bc.edu/. The program is now accepting applications for the January 17th start.