A Next Step for Health Care Careers

The Career Crusaders talks to The Chicago School.

Posted May 04, 2017

Courtesy of The Chicago School
Source: Courtesy of The Chicago School

For those who work in health services and seek a career boost (and possibly a future post as an administrator or a consultant), The Chicago School offers a route forward. Its online Master of Health Services Administration Program (MHSA) covers a spectrum of practical skills and knowledge and culminates in a fieldwork-based capstone, explains Marianne Jankowski, Ph.D., Department Chair of the MHSA.

What are the goals of a typical student choosing to study at your university?

Typical students look to gain the essential competencies to work in mid- to upper-level administrative positions at various health services organizations with a focus on leadership, knowledge, skills, high quality and cost-effective healthcare services, and ethics and social responsibility throughout our health systems. Many students are looking for job promotion, career change in areas such as clinics, private practices, hospitals, public health agencies, insurance companies, federal, state, and local health departments, and other health care businesses. Goals may also include personal growth. Other students may use this to reach a higher level of education and perhaps even transition into academia and, or, evidence-based research and practices.

Where do you draw students from?

Being that health services administration is a global career and our outreach program is online, students can come from anywhere in the world. A typical student does have a background in health service or health care; however, we do not have restrictions on what educational or professional background is required of students entering the program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Specific professions we draw students from includes respiratory therapists, physicians, nursing, nursing home administrators, pharmacists, radiology, physician assistants, rural-health professionals, managed care organizations, public health workers, educators, researchers, informatics specialists, home health care workers, finance managers, educators, and consultants.

How do you prepare students? What goes into their training?

The Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) at The Chicago School is a highly rigorous program composed of 45 credit hours and is fully online. The MHSA's curriculum includes a competency-based approach for best student outcomes. Within the curriculum, students take courses that address leadership and communication, evidence-based research and practices, finance, human resources, strategic planning and quality and process improvement, as well as business and technology and economics policy. To complete the curriculum, students are required to take an ethics and legal course and an access and payment course. The final two courses are a practical capstone taken over two terms (14 weeks) in which the students apply the didactic portion of their program to the real world.

What kind of experience does the capstone involve?

The practical capstone is a real-world opportunity for the student to demonstrate skills and concepts in health services administration and apply these through a planned and supervised practical experience. MHSA students participate in two practical capstone courses over the final two terms of their program, with each seminar course occurring over an eight-week term schedule. The first, two-credit seminar course requires a minimum of 80 hours of fieldwork; the second, one-credit seminar course requires a minimum of 20 hours of fieldwork. In each seminar, students conduct their fieldwork and also complete online course requirements related to fieldwork challenges and achievements, focusing specifically on the application of MHSA program principles to a health services-related work environment.

What kinds of jobs are available to graduates?

Jobs vary and depend on other factors in addition to the MHSA degree itself. Some potential jobs after obtaining the MHSA degree at The Chicago School include administrator of a hospital, physician group, hospice, long-term care facility, insurance company or managed care business, or durable medical equipment manufacturer. In addition to these careers, MHSA graduates can be employed as a public health administrator, clinic administrator, health information manager, consultant, educator, health care program director, social welfare or mental health care administrator, social and community service manager and management analyst. Others may choose to seek a career as a business operations specialist or network systems and data communications analyst.

For more information on this school, visit: thechicagoschool.edu

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Courtesy of The Chicago School
Source: Courtesy of The Chicago School