Health Administration Program Draws Students to UC
Though itís just several months old, one of the newest programs at the College of Allied Health Sciences is gaining students from UC and across the country.
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program started in June as a distance learning degree program created to train professionals for administrative and managerial roles in health care settings. The two and a half year program will include instruction from professors in the colleges of allied health sciences, medicine and business, as well as outside experts.
With an inaugural class of 16 students, program director Joan Murdock, PhD, says "the program has grown to a total of 43 students in the fall quarter, and we expect to double the enrollment within a year.Ē
Steve Graham is one of those students. A vice president of marketing for a talk radio network based in Houston, Graham said he looked at many different online MHA programs, but specifically sought one connected to a large research institution with a strong reputation.
After spending many years in broadcast and communications, he says transitioning from broadcast media to health care wasnít "an overnight epiphany."
"Iíve had a lot of health care centers as clients,Ē he says. "And, being someone who had a congenital heart defect as a child, Iíve always felt a connection to the medical fieldís mission and drive. I wanted a position with a service-oriented approach.Ē
Graham hopes to transition into academic medicine after completing the program, either as an administrator or in physician relations.
For local student Kelly Lyle, the degree complements her current position as program director for the Gardner Center for Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders at the UC Neuroscience Institute. Lyle already has a certificate in nonprofit management, but wanted to gain more experience tailored to her current focus in health care.
"Iím trying to expand where I am right now at UC and this goes right along with my position,Ē she says. "Itís great. The fact that itís online is perfect and it fits my schedule with my three boys and work. I mainly do the work in the evenings and on the weekend, working around the schedule I have with my kids.Ē
Being on campus gives Lyle a slightly different experience from other studentsófor example, she was able to visit a professor during office hours for her first big assignment.
Sheíll spend more time on campus during the programís required academic residencies, each one an intensive week with lectures, discussions, case studies and projects led by MHA faculty and additional guest faculty. Students will also be able to network professionally and socially with each other during their time on campus.
Though heís completed his MBA and MEd degrees in online-only programs and even teaches online business management courses, Graham said heíll willingly travel to Cincinnati for the residency.
"I really believe a program at this level needs to have some face-to-face time, where youíre getting some time on campus,Ē he says.