Curriculum that Reflects the Changing Landscape of Health Care
Krista: Ohio University’s MHA Online Program Webinar. We appreciate you taking some time out to join us this evening. I think you’re going to find it very informative. The theme for tonight is Curriculum that Reflects the Changing Landscape of Health Care.
For the agenda this evening, we’re just going to do some brief introductions. We’ll go over the Ohio University academic profile, program overview. The main focus will be the MHA Curriculum then we do have a student panelist who’s going to share some of his insights into the program. Then at the end, we will take some of your questions. There is a chat feature where you will be able to type in some of your questions and we’ll be able to hopefully provide you with some answers.
First, we want to introduce you to your enrollment advisors.
Page: Hi. I’m Page Thall-Donovan.
Krista: I’m Krista Force. I’m the voice you’re hearing quite often here.
Chad: I’m Chad Vamos. It’s nice to see some familiar names out there this evening.
Krista: Our student panelist for this evening is Brad Kuch. First, we want to say congratulations to him. He is a very recent graduate of our program. Brad, congratulations to you and we appreciate your time as well on being with us this evening. Can you tell us just real briefly a little bit about your background, what do you for a living, just some real basic information?
Brad: Yep. I’m recently the director of the Transport Team and Respiratory Care Services in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I actually, over the course of the program, picked up another department in that time. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to use the things I’ve learned during the program to help build those departments.
My background is a respiratory therapist. I have some research experience. Now, I’m heading in the administrator role.
Krista: Perfect, thank you. Dr. RuthAnn Althaus you’re pretty much our main speaker for this evening. Would you mind giving us a little bit about your background?
RuthAnn: Sure. Welcome everybody. We’re happy to have you exploring the Ohio University MHA Program. You can read all that stuff about me. I’ve been the director of this program since it’s in section as an online program in 2009. I’ve been involved in all the course development and running the program since then.
Chad: In the United States. As we’re going through the slides, pay close attention because it will give you a good feel for what campus does look like. Ohio University is originally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In terms of rankings, Ohio University is continuously regarded for their superior academic quality by U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges and Peterson’s Guide to Competitive Colleges.
Krista: Thank you, Chad. RuthAnn, we’re going to pass it over to you at this point.
RuthAnn: Good, thank you. Welcome again to everyone who has taken time to come and find out about our program. We designed the MHA Program specifically for mid-career health professionals from a variety of health care professions, health care organizations and even geographies. We’re committed to building on the knowledge and the skills these accomplished and talented professionals like you bring to the program.
The curriculum is designed to move you from where you are to where you want to be in your leadership career, recognizing that the health care system is in constant flux and knowledge keeps changing, our MHA courses are revised with each offering. I oversee that revision each term. They focus on the skills to find, evaluate and consolidate the information you need for leadership functions.
The program is not designed to train financial managers or epidemiologists or quality experts, but rather to give you tools to communicate productively with professionals in those various disciplines and in others. Emphasis also plays on identifying and communicating appropriately with organizational stakeholders, developing and working in teams and viewing problems and solutions from a system’s perspective.
Every course focuses on applying precepts of a discipline, like finance for example, to the health care industry, bringing in lessons from other industries when it’s appropriate. This approach is different from MBA programs because the MBA programs tend to look at business in general, with only occasional application to health care. We’re all about health care.
We realize, in fact, we’ve designed the program to acknowledge that each student brings a deep background in one or more areas of the curriculum. Care delivery professionals know a lot about clinical issues and epidemiology. Those in the business side of health care may bring human resources or financial expertise or marketing knowledge.
The Ohio University MHA Program is focused on making all these silos of information accessible to the leader who must make hard decisions using all the information available. Even though you are expert in one area, you will gain perspective by being in class with others who may have quite different views and as you have no doubt experience, making the decision is just a first step. Often, gaining full cooperation and buy in is a matter of recognizing valuable stakeholders and communicating the decision and its underlying reasoning. In short, we focus on leadership functions for now and for the future.
If we look at the MHA Program in terms of just why this program, why an MHA then, we designed the program originally to serve the needs of mid-career health professionals who clearly could not take time away from their career to work out on a graduate degree and who needed the flexibility of a non-traditional program. We started online and we’ve been perfecting that model over the years. You can complete this program in two years, taking two non-overlapping seven-week courses each semester, for six semesters.
At the outset, you’re assigned a student services professional who will get to know you, help you with registration and other administrative issues and assist you if you run into difficulties. We like this approach because it allows you to focus on the academic side and not have to worry about the administrative side of going to school.
You will quickly see how the course design helps you fit graduate school into your life with a combination of flexibility and a little discipline to keep you on track. Finally, you’ll have remarkable access to you instructors by a variety of means. They are all experienced health care professionals and teachers and you will be able to learn a lot from their input.
The MHA Program applies to teaching philosophy that students learn best when they gain knowledge through exploration and active learning. In the Ohio University Program, you will often learn by sorting out the necessary knowledge rather than having it all given to you. Later on, when the industry changes and you’re not in graduate school, you’ll have the ability and the resources and the skills to find the information you need to keep up.
Program learning activities encourage you to think carefully, explain your reasoning, compare it to other findings and apply it in problem solving rather than remembering and reciting isolated facts. The courses are designed to encourage analysis and interpretation and to facilitate dialog and social negotiation.
The Ohio University MHA Program does not rely on examinations and academic term papers. Instead, we ask you to demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills through more realistic projects, such as memos to the board or through your staff, white papers, recommendations to the CEO and other applied activities that more closely stimulate life in the real world. Acknowledging that health care is very much bound to the culture from which it arises, learning activities have you engage in collaborative problem solving, replicating the kind of social and iterative learning that occurs in organizations.
This is a list of the courses in the program. They’re carefully linked together so that they complement and supplement each other. They fall roughly into three categories; those that deal with the context of the health care system, those that consider the data need for leadership decisions and those that focus on developing leadership skills. I’ll use these three categories to touch briefly on the program courses to give you an idea of what you can expect to encounter.
The first course in the MHA Program: Introduction to the U.S. Health care Delivery System, sets the stage for understanding the U.S. system. The ability to lead in health care requires acknowledgment of how cultural beliefs and values about health and about health care in our society impact how the system structure and financing have developed and how they can change. Examining the cultural beliefs underlying how the system works leads to many “uh-huh moments” even or seasoned health care professionals. In every succeeding course, you revisit these insights to explore solutions for sorting health care problems.
The Health Policy Course looks at the impact on health care leadership of both public and organizational policy. The course examines how such policy evolves, how you can not only stay abreast to policy development but also be involved in shaping it. You will practice policy analysis, looking at how policy impact organizations, strategies for implementation and compliance and translation of policy to stakeholders.
The Health Care Ethics Course examines how moral considerations affect leadership decision making. It explores dominant ethical theories and principles relevant to every aspect of health care leadership, looking at clinical and organizational ethics, as well as communication and stakeholder strategies.
Before talking about these courses, I want to reiterate that the goal, especially in these courses, is not to train people to be experts in each of these fields. Rather, we’re dedicated to helping your would-be consumers of the varied information you will need to lead. We figured that true leadership, as opposed to just management, involves collecting reliable information from reputable sources, including expert professionals, then analyzing and pulling the sometimes contradictory data that you get.
Health care and financial management is clearly front and center in the role of a health care administrator, since everything seems to revolve around money. Our course addresses essential financial administration tools and concepts to increase your ability to understand and discuss them with financial professionals, things like financial statement and cost analysis, budgeting, asset pricing models, and valuation methods, among others, are considered as they apply in the unique world of health care.
Learning activities have you practice the complexities of making leadership decisions while considering and weighing financial information along with data from many other disciplines. We also attend to the health administrator’s needs to translate financial information to other stakeholders, whose functions are affected and whose cooperation is needed.
In the OU Health Law Course, we examine the need to balance the roles and legal rights of patients, providers, administrators, governing boards, local state and federal government, third party pairs in the community and probably others.
Course activities focus on knowing how and when to communicate with legal experts and how to use relevant legal precepts. The course also deals with assisting legal counsel with communication of legal concepts to relevant stakeholders.
The Health Information Systems course prepares administrators to communicate productively with information technology and clinical professionals. We explore the technology policy, quality, legal and financial mandates that impacts selection and implementation of information systems. Leadership consideration of getting stakeholders’ collaboration with IT projects are also addressed.
The last three courses here are interrelated to provide background and finding, assessing and utilizing information that essential to many leadership functions. The Research course focuses you on developing skills to be good consumers of research information. We acknowledge that most health administrators won’t be designing and running research projects but they must be able to communicate with researchers in a variety of disciplines.
As an administrator, you must be able to recognize proper research protocols and select findings that can compliment data from other disciplines as you make decisions. In addition to financial, legal and information technology duties, health care administrators are also responsible for protecting health.
The OU MHA course and epidemiology enhances your skills to process epidemiological data in setting priorities allocating skills, health care resources and preventing disease. This course sits at the intersection of a clinical and business walls of most health care organizations.
The MHA quality improvement course focuses on strategies to measure and improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and quality. In it you consider various quality standards and protocols that will help you gather, assess and act on data from many sources. You will address getting stakeholders on board to develop a safety and quality culture and to achieve organizational goals. Finally the specific skills of leadership are addressed in several MHA courses commentating in the strategy course.
The OU MHA Leadership course in the OU MHA Leadership course, we examine organizational development concepts as they apply specifically in health care. We include topics of just managing change, info organizational communication, high level decision making among others. The course focuses on building skills to sort through and make sense of the peripheral of information required to make judgment calls.
Focusing on leadership, the course builds well beyond management hoping you recognize and build on and enhance your own skills and increase your adaptability. The Human Resource course deals specifically with the practical aspects of human resource leadership in various kinds of health care settings. Health care is a labor intensive industry, no doubt about it and it’s not likely to change in the near future.
Leadership of this human capital is uniquely challenging because of the diversity of both the workforce and the customer base and because of the life and death nature of our work. The Ohio University HR course focuses on the leader’s role and working with unscrew the human resources department to aligning HR strategy with organizational strategy to sure well being of employees and to secure competitive position.
The final course in the MHA program strategic planning, puts it all together or maybe pulls it all together. In this course you bring to bear all that you have learned from your own experience and from the MHA program. In performing the strategic analysis of a health care organization in transition, you focus on key processes in planning and delivering health care to the community such as needs assessment, feasibility studies, strategic marketing design and implementation and evaluation strategies and methods.
Participation in the course as you stimulate activities health care administrators engage in daily. You’ll pull information from various sources and recombine it for decision making. You’ll practice balancing the competing demands of stakeholders while working toward organizational mission. The course is an interesting exciting and formative and most of all practical combination for the MHA program.
Our intent is that the program should enable mid career experienced mature professionals to progress from where they are to where they’d like to be as I said before. Everyone comes in with a different background and a different destination. This creates a rich learning environment for sharing your incredible things of insight while filling in each person’s knowledge and skill gaps.
I know Brad can give you insights into the curriculum from the student perspective that I can’t even begin to address. I’ll pass the webinar back to Krista so that you hear from Brad. Thank you.
Krista: Thank you Dr. Althaus. Yeah, Brad is a good opportunity for you to share a little bit about your experiences in the program as a recent graduate. Dr. Althaus has done a great job giving us the overview of the curriculum, what the program entails. Out of curiosity was there a particular course or set of courses that you would say were your favorite and if so why did you enjoy those?
Brad: I have to say that one of the things that was really exciting about the program was the way each one of the modules led into the next in a very effective way. However, the class that I enjoyed the most was finance. I had a little bit of apprehension regarding my background because I did have a lot of financial background. I’m a clinician and research guy from training. It was a lot of work. I learned an immense amount of information that was helpful both at my current role at that time and as I transitioned into a higher leadership role.
The way the class was presented it was real life. The text was fantastic, I n fact I still have the text in my office right now and I use it during budget times. It was just very helpful. In addition, I thought the HR courses very good as well just gave you a different perspective and I think it’s really important to understand that it didn’t teach you how to manage a group of people, it taught you how to be a leader. I think that was probably the largest [inaudible 00:19:33] acquired for me.
Krista: That’s great. Thank you. I know that with some of the courses, I’m sure you felt challenged in different ways and Dr. Althaus mentioned that for some students even with years of experience have still encountered a “uh-huh moment” where maybe they realized something or gain some new knowledge that they’ve never had before. Do you recall or did you experience any “uh-huh” type moments throughout the program.
Brad: Absolutely. I think when you don’t have necessarily a background in leadership, you are kind of or lack in better terms brought up within the system so you started with a small group and then became a leader of a larger group and then taking the next step. This program hit me strongly as I was sitting in a leadership, it was actually an executive leadership meeting and the president of our hospital was speaking about access to health care.
It was just a coincidence that the module that I was in at the time was looking at the decrease of access for both world over the population and pediatrics. I just thought it was absolutely amazing when this individual was up there talking about the strategic plan and it was … almost forbid him when I was being taught my course. That was my “uh-huh” moment where I basically thought to myself, “I’m at the exactly right spot and where I need to be.”
I think I had shared that story with my immediate report and that president multiple times just because I think it’s really important to understand that this program is building you for a higher level leadership role.
Krista: That’s great; we hear that from other students as well, so it’s great to hear you reiterate that. The curriculum is applicable today. You can apply it right away to the situations you are experiencing at work. You can take the thing that you are at work and apply it to the program. It’s great to hear you express that as well.
Now, I know at one point you mentioned, and you’ve moved in to some different positions throughout your career but even while you were in the program, is that correct, you moved in some different positions?
Brad: That’s absolutely correct. My first contact with the program was with Chad and we had some really excellent discussions and he gave me a nice lead into things and helped me understand because at that point I had a couple decisions to make with directions I wanted to go. It was very impressive with the program at that time. At that time in the same month I started a program and became the director of a transport program which was responsible for about 17 people.
About a year and I’d say just about a year. I was about 13 months into that program. I was given another department that was 83 FTs. It put me up over 100. During my classes, I had not only achieved getting the masters but I was also able to grow professionally. Yes, it was work but I used those things I learned coming into each one of those roles to put … I don’t know how to put it. I used those skills that I was learning at the time to help me make that transition if that makes sense.
For me it was really great. One of the … we had a strategic initiative looking at some different thing and I got to use some of the things I learned from the class and putting together presentations. I mean there is just so many different things that I could add that I used from that class. For a real life experience, I don’t think the timing could be any better for me given the curriculum in where my career has taken me.
Krista: Good. That’s great. I’m going to transition just a little bit and shift more to how you’ve all experienced with the program. I guess one question I have, why did you choose Ohio University specifically?
Brad: I actually chose it because I felt that the curriculum was robust and I like the fact that it was 100% online. I was very impressed with the access to instructors, the willingness to accept the input that we had and make those changes. I thought the curriculum giving all the changes in health care today was exactly what I was looking for.
That’s what worked for me. It was big change because I was a clinical individual that was becoming a leader. I needed a curriculum that was going to prepare me for that and I don’t know if I knew exactly what I was looking at but looking at how robust the things that were important in terms of ethics and HR and finance was the whole package of what I would expect to gain here.
Krista: Got you. Now, like most of our students Brad, you don’t just have a job that you are responsible for. You have a family; you have other things that can easily take up your time. I know one of the biggest concerns for everyone really is just how can fit this into my life? It’s going to take away from my kids and their activity. Can you tells us how did you balance this with your life, your career, everything you have going on every day?
Brad: It was a mindset for me because this is what I wanted. It was a commitment that came for me that was I wasn’t going to let it slow me down. I was going to find a way to make it work and it was totally doable. It starts with a little bit of time management and it was actually pretty simple and I could give you one of my tactics. I would go to the gym around 8:30, 9:00 o’clock at night and I would take my text book or the article that we needed to read and I would actually ride the bike or run and read.
It was actually kind of good. It did not take away from any of my time during the weekend. Most of my work was done in the evenings where everybody was slowing down and doing their own thing. I actually was lucky enough to go to Disney. During my class I took some books. It really did not tamper like a lot of people said it was very stressful. For me I did not witness it, it was a state of mind for me and the fact that is one more responsibility that us as health care professionals leaders, we realize that that’s what we do.
We take on one war piece of the puzzle and we just get it done. It didn’t slow me down at all, it just enriched my experience I think.
Krista: Good. We are going to move on here in as second. Some questions from some of our attendees that you just want to wrap up some of the things you said and just give us your overall perspective of just what you feel about the program. We’ll probably ask you more questions later but wrap this up.
Brad: I’ll begin with my graduation. I recently have the wonderful honor and privilege to graduate at Ohio University in Athens. I don’t know if there is more uplifting experience. It was absolutely great. I would recommend this program highly to anyone and I do. In fact there is some future leaders coming up through our organization that I recommend to look in at the programs and consider Ohio University just because I thought the curriculum prepared me.
I feel very strongly that way. There is a lot of these different degrees that are popping up right now and I feel that if you want to take that next step in your professional career, I feel that this is a great program to do that. I feel that the time commitment is doable, we can all do it. It’s a mindset. It’s been a little more organized but you can apply the things you learn in that class, the day you learn it, the day you can apply it. It’s absolutely the truth.
I feel that I am a better leader and a better health care professional not only clinically but as a leader from this program. I feel if you are considering I think you should definitely take a hard look at it and ask plenty of questions. You get great answers and it was a wonderful experience for me.
Krista: Great. Thank you so much Brad.
Chad: We are going to get into some questions here in a moment. You can see you have the ability to type in some questions, whether it be for the advisors or Dr. Althaus or for Brad. Feel free to type you questions in there and we’ll get you with many of those as we can. You can see on the screen the contact information. You probably received an email or a phone call from your advisor. That’s our contact information. Our job is really to be here to help you answer your questions and help you make a good decision for yourselves.
That’s why we are there for. We are there as a resource for you. Feel free to send us an email. Give us a call, we’d be happy to answer any questions as you make this decision for yourself. We’ll let a couple of questions get in here and I will go over those.
We have one question here about the accreditation. This is probably a good one for you Dr. Althaus. Can you tell a little bit about the accreditation of the MHA program and is it a program which would be recognized across the country?
RuthAnn: Yes, of course. The Ohio University MHA program is accredited through the north central accrediting body, the higher learning commission. The program itself is not accredited by the organization that accredits individual program because that organization requires an on campus residency. We have as I mentioned earlier from the beginning felt that there are just too many people out there who can’t leave their jobs to be able to go to an on-campus residency even if it’s a short one.
We have chosen to have 100% online program which means that we have not applied for accreditation. We will however if that criteria never changes. In the meantime, it doesn’t seem to make very much difference whether a program like this is accredited in other aspects of medicine of course like medical school and nursing school. Accreditation is really important, it just doesn’t seem to be as important on the business side.
Chad: Great. Thank you very much. We have one quick question here. Is the GRE score required? It is not required. Dr. Althaus, would you like to expand up on that a little bit more of what …
RuthAnn: Yeah. I hate to keep sounding like a broken record but because the program is oriented to make career professionals, we do not feel that any kind of test that is designed to be taken to be taken as soon as you get out of undergraduate school when you still remember all that stuff is going to be any kind of indication of whether you can do graduate work. We are much more interested in your career and what you’ve done with yourself since you got out of school than your performance on a test. We don’t require them.
Krista: Perfect. Another question, this is a real quick one too for you Dr. Althaus is how are grades administered? I’m goosing they want to know how the grade structure is for the program.
RuthAnn: I don’t think I understand the question. I mean there are As through X although we hardly ever see those lower grades.
Krista: I guess maybe another question on that would be, what are the grades based on because we don’t really test in the programs?
RuthAnn: Well, the program is designed with program objectives and then course objectives and then the courses are broken down into lessons and activities and we are very careful to make sure that what we say we think you should be getting, you are getting. We have a lot of assessment opportunities. In a variety ways I think I mentioned when I was talking before that we have learning activities that allow you to demonstrate that you understand the material of the course but not our test because chances are you are never going to have to take a test at work.
You might be asked by your boss to write a memo explaining something or give a speech explaining something or give a PowerPoint presentation explaining something or write a white paper that is a position on a particular issue. We ask you to do it that way instead of writing academic terms papers or using exams. It’s not [inaudible 00:34:01], it’s always an applied exercise.
Chad: Great. Thank you very much. I think this question could be directed towards Brad. How would you feel Brad, I mean you’ve been through every course, you studied on every assignment. How would you feel that someone who is enrolled in the program might not be in a leadership position? How do you think the program would affect them is they are not currently in a management but a leadership position but they are trying to move that way?
Brad:I believe it prepares, it give a perspective of what the new health care leader is going to face and what their expectation is if they want to go into that direction. It’s your goal is to be the director of your program. It can be in business, it can be hospital division, it can be Academia. I feel that the fundamentals that you are taught and the new answers of each of one of those areas prepares for that step. It allows you to understand and speak the language. It helps you understand the theory behind it instead of being told from your supervisor, “This is what we are doing.”
It gives you the background to understand why. It gives you the correct theory behind the business approach to health care. I think we are all a little bit becoming more aware of how much that we have to all contribute to make a health care, a better business model to make it safe and effective and have quality across the health care continuum. I think this gives you the foundation. It doesn’t matter if you are in a nurse lead role hoping to be a director someday.
The principles that you are learning here will most definitely prepare you for that.
Chad: Great. Thank you very much. That was perfect. Dr. Althaus I’m going to direct this one towards you. I know we’ve had an opportunity to hear from Brad. In addition to Brad being the director of a department, can you give us an insight into some other examples of roles and positions held by other graduates or students of the program? What is our student base? What other roles do you see in our program?
RuthAnn: Okay. That’s great because I can also add a little bit to what Brad was talking about at least from a design point of view. Our students represent years of experience from the minimum of two to I don’t know how many has been the most but maybe 45 years of experience. We have a huge range of experience just in terms of time spent in healthcare that we have an equally enormous range of roles that people hold.
From people who have been in a job for two years, maybe a new nurse, a new respiratory therapist, a ward secretary then you all the way up to CEOs, CFOs, CIOs… There is an enormous range of job titles and a range of organizations and even outside health care delivery on the payer side and so forth. You’ve got this huge diversity and I think one of the really nice things about the program and one of the things that we always try to capitalize on is this diversity.
As you go through the program, you have an opportunity to talk to people to pick people’s brains who are in job titles you never heard of before and in organizations you didn’t know existed and in corners of the organization that you didn’t know existed and it’s all in a non-threatening environment. These aren’t people that you are competing with for resources. They are not people in the competing hospital down the street. They are people across the United
States who are dealing with all the same issues and problems that everybody is dealing with.
The opportunity to do that is pretty amazing and the conversations and the insights that are shared are equally amazing.
Brad: I’m sorry to interrupt. Can I add to that a little bit?
RuthAnn: Of course.
Brad: One of my worry moment was we were working on a project in our HR class and the person I was working with was a director of nursing at a small critical access hospital in Alaska. We are working together and able to talk about these things. Here I come from university based pediatric academic center that does this transplant that does all these things and I get to listen to her experiences and what she is doing being in a critical access hospital in Alaska and it was just extreme value.
It was a different perspective. It was a great insight into the challenges that they deal with. Meanwhile I’m sitting on the back-end because on that receiving hospitals that make sense. It was just really fascinating and interesting to hear those kind of things.
Chad: Great. Thank you. I think that shows too, Brad, people of different backgrounds that you are able to learn a lot from their experience and likewise they are able to learn a lot from your experience. There is a lot of learning from each other throughout the entire program and I think that answers a couple of other questions we had surrounding, do you need to be in a leadership role and I think those answer that question for those people.
I guess this is a good one for you Dr. Althaus. We can start with, can you expand a little bit on … I know the program focuses a lot on leadership role. Can you expand on the difference and expertise of leadership rather than just management in a health care setting?
RuthAnn: Our conception of leadership is that these are people who survey an entire situation and we could be talking about leading a department or leading an institution or leading a system. It’s always the same that this is the person who has to gather the information, make the hard decisions and then mobilize to make those decisions work. I think that in a management setting there often is not as much judgment involved and the scope of the impact of the decision and the judgment is not as broad.
We try to look at things from the systems perspective to see how everything fits together and how making a decision in one direction affects all the other kinds of decisions that will have to be made and all the other departments that are going to be affected instead of just managing within a set of rules that have been set up by some leader.
Chad: Great. That was perfect. Thank you. One simple question here, how do I apply? Basically if you are ready to move forward or you have additional questions, your enrollment advisor, that’s really what we are here for. Send us an email, give us a call. We can go over step by step and really be there with you throughout the entire application process. We’ll let you know what documents are required and really be with you each step of the way there.
First step is just to reach out whether it could be a phone call or an email. I would be happy to help you through that entire process. We do have one question here about somebody who was already a year of another MHA program. I guess the question would revolve around transferring of credits into the program. The simple answer is, we do not allow transfer credits. RuthAnn do you want to speak just to the reason why we don’t accept transfer credits.
RuthAnn: Sure. I always hate that negative way of saying it but the bottom line is that the program is kind of a package deal in the sense that the courses all are interlocked, it’s kind of like a big jigsaw and if you bring in courses from another institution, we don’t know whether you’ve had what we thought you should have had and what we count on or haven’t had to move forward and since you are so intimately involved with other students, it’s a disadvantage for them as well. We like to assure that our students are all on the same page. They are coming from the same academic point of view and have the same course to work and the same attitude and they know how the program runs. The same expectations.
It works that way. It’s also that there is the issue of the experience. We want people to have experience because we depend so heavily on that to enrich the courses.
Chad: Perfect. One question here and Dr. Althaus just to keep going here. Do we require any mentoring or shadowing time with health care executives in the program?
RuthAnn: No. It’s a short answer. Most of our students have experienced that is beyond what that would really provide for them. We used to have a practical application course and we found that the majority of our students really didn’t need it between what they got in the program and what they were doing at their place of employment, they just didn’t need it. Which isn’t to say that you couldn’t certainly do that on your own and you also do get some contact with your administrators because some of the course work requires you to tap into organizational resources.
Chad: Great. I guess Brad just going through this program has almost made you a mentor to some of your employees because I know you discussed a little bit upon how some employees knowing that MHA and were going for that work were seeking out advice as to should they further their education? Would Ohio University be a good fit? Do you have any comments on that?
Brad: I do. It’s ironic. With one of the departments, the larger department that I run. We have individuals that are looking to better themselves and first thing I asked, what are their goals? When they talk about it, there is a couple ohms you can go. You can go down that clinical ohm and say, “Hey, I want to be a clinical research person,” or “I’d like to be an educator.” All those are just wonderful programs that are out there.
Those individuals that come to me and say, “Hey, I want to be a leader. I want to help lead the organization to a better spot.” I tell them immediately that, “You should consider an MHA as a degree,” and I explained to them how happy I am with the program that I had and the opportunities they provided me and the contacts that are made. I can just give you an example in a personal level. I was a flight guy that did a lot of research and kept me in that area of researching that clinical realm.
Shortly before and definitely right after I started looking at potential jobs that require MHAs. It opened so many doors that I can’t even mention from quality type positions in pharmaceutical companies. Its strategic plan and positions in health care equipment company. Its directors of health care centers. There is just a huge amount of opportunity out there and if you feel that maybe it’s not as great as you would like, jut go into a website such as MD or any of these kind of jobs searches and just put in MHA jobs and see what comes up.
It’s impressive, all inspiring. They are from around the country so if you want to … I always tell people when I grow up I want to go to North Carolina. You look in North Carolina there is jobs. Anywhere that you would like to go there is MHA high level, MHA programs. It’s definitely opened doors to say the least.
Chad: That’s great. Thanks for expanding a little bit upon that there. I know we are coming up here almost at our hour mark so if we didn’t get your questions or if you just have questions that you haven’t been able to ask, reach out to your advisor. That’s what we are here for. We have one question that was talking about how do you finish the program in two years? Do you take two classes each semester? How it is designed? We have a spring semester, we have a summer semester and we have a fall semester so over the course of two years you’ll take six semesters.
Each semester like Dr. Althaus mentioned, you would take two seven week courses and each course is going to be done by itself. You’ll take one course at a time. There is not any overlapping. You’ll have your seven week course and then a seven week course. Looks like a majority of the questions for here, we’ll start off Dr. Althaus, did you have any closing thoughts or anything you’d like to add to the presentation for today?
RuthAnn: No. I would just encourage everybody to think carefully about what you want to do and talk to the enrolment advisors. They are fabulous and they will be able to answer your questions and when they can’t answer them they ask me but I don’t get very many questions because they are just very good at it. They know what they are talking about and I would be delighted to see you in the program and we’ll look forward to that.
Chad: Great. Thank you. Then, Brad, did you have any closing comments as a very recent graduate of the MHA program that any advice you can give to anybody out there that is contemplating, “Is it time for me to further my education?”
Brad: I think the key comes down as a … and I mentioned before, it’s a mindset. You have to make that decision and you have to go after it and say this is what I’m going to do and I’m going to put the time into it. I will tell you if you decide to do that, the payoff is immense. It will be work. The two years go quick and it will definitely payoff. I was extremely happy with the choices I had made with Ohio University. I don’t feel like I’d be at the point that I am in my career right now without everybody that was involved with the program. That means my peers. It means from those late night going back and forth post to listen to everybody’s inputs, they are fantastic.
Use the internet. Go out there and look up MHA. Go look at the opportunities that are out there and what you can do. I think you’ll keep finding yourself coming back to Ohio University and I look to build on the principles I learned from Ohio University. I look to further my career with some additional, maybe another degree, maybe something along some certificates, things like that. It’s just been a really eye opening wonderful experience for me.
Krista: Great. Thank you so much Brad. I do want to thank you again for your time. Taking time out of your schedule to speak with us and want to say congratulations again on graduating from the MHA program. Dr. Althaus we want to thank you as well for just taking the time to go into further detail about the curriculum and just painting a little bit of a clear picture of what it’s all about.
If you have additional questions, you can see the enrollment, advisors contact information up there. We are here to help you. Anyway that we can, we want to offer assistance to you and do the best we can to answer any questions and just give you some guidance. Never hesitate to call or email us. We’ll leave our contact information up there for a few minutes but thank you everyone for joining us this evening and we hope you have a great night.