University’s Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration Earns Prestigious Reaccreditation
The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) has granted full accreditation to the University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program for a 7-year term, the maximum amount of time for renewed accreditation.
January 11, 2022
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Jordan Schweidenback ’21 MHA likes to say he “grew up in healthcare,” as he began his work in the field as a patient transporter. He quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career in the field, serving patients with compassion.
“That is a big accomplishment, and it separates the University's program from others,” he explains. “I thought I was going to get a well-rounded, quality healthcare administration education, and I was right!”
The success of graduates such as Schweidenback played an important role in the Board of Directors of CAHME recently voting to grant full reaccreditation to the University’s MHA program for a 7-year term. Originally accredited in 2018, the program is ranked 9th out of all CAHME accredited programs in Modern Healthcare, a highly respected healthcare executive publication.
“Seven years is the maximum amount of time a program can be granted for renewed accreditation, making this achievement a true testament to the quality of healthcare management education delivered at the University,” said Karl Minges, Ph.D., MPH, interim dean of the University’s School of Health Sciences. “The MHA program is among an elite group of institutions committed to academic excellence, competency-based education, and continuous quality improvement in health administration education. Our program is also one of the largest in the country, offering a hybrid course delivery model.”
‘We desperately need good leadership in healthcare’
The only CAHME-accredited institution between New York City and Boston, the University’s accreditation ensures that students receive a quality, competency-based healthcare administration education focused on outcomes. It also offers students access to unique opportunities such as the ability to compete for national scholarships and post-graduate administrative fellowships that are only offered to students in CAHME-accredited programs.
The program prepares students to develop competency in 11 key areas of healthcare management, such as information technology, health law and policy, and leadership skills and behavior. The University now offers the MHA program completely online as well.
“We are very excited to see that CAHME has granted our program full accreditation for another seven years,” said Reena Kelly, Ph.D., MHA, an assistant professor of healthcare administration. “This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our entire department – faculty, staff, and leadership – who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we meet the requirements of CAHME and continue to provide quality education to our students through didactic and experiential learning.
“As the past nearly two years have shown us, we desperately need good leadership in healthcare,” she continued. “We, as a program, are committed to ensuring that our students are equipped with the necessary skills when they enter the healthcare industry.”
‘Immense personal and professional satisfaction’
The University’s CAHME accreditation was also important to Prateek Mansingh ’23 MHA when he was selecting a program. He says that as a Charger, he has already had myriad opportunities – both in and out of the classroom – to develop personally and professionally.
“The MHA program is an extremely well-structured and thoroughly planned program,” he said. “The professors are leaders in their areas of expertise, and it is evident from the way they plan the modules of their courses. They help us utilize the full potential of our minds and help us evolve as people.”
Mansingh has become an active member of the University community, building connections and skills through his assistantship with the Department of Health Policy and Administration, and as both director of operations for the University’s Society of Healthcare Administrators (SOHA) chapter and a senator for the Graduate Student Council.
“For the first time in my life, I feel that the efforts I put in personally and professionally are genuinely being rewarded,” he said. “This drives me to put more effort into everything I do and makes me want to give back a thousandfold to the program that is giving me immense personal and professional satisfaction. The mission and vision of the program align with my career goals.”
‘A change agent for the future of healthcare’
For Schweidenback, it was the camaraderie and sense of unity he experienced that he enjoyed the most about the program. He developed lasting relationships with his professors, and their connections enabled him to join the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and participate in its mentorship program. As part of his capstone project, Schweidenback and his classmates collaborated on a real-world project with Bristol Health, and it led to an administrative fellowship offer.
“The faculty have a passion for teaching and for helping their students,” he said. “They take in interest in you. I was able to form amazing mentoring relationships. I still meet with many of the professors regularly to talk through ideas, challenges, and future growth.”
“The MHA program prepared me with the competencies and tools I need to be successful as a DHSc student,” he said. “By understanding the complexity and intricacies of the healthcare system, I am well-rounded in my knowledge of the healthcare environment and its administration. I am able to apply the knowledge, skills, and training I gained from the MHA program in a deeper way, taking my skills to a higher level in order to be a change agent for the future of healthcare.”