The Master of Healthcare Administration at the David Eccles School of Business is the first program at a Utah school to be CAHME certified. Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education is highly sought after says Director Debra Scammon. “It’s the beginning of a process to ensure we are always offering students the best education possible.”

Since receiving accreditation in mid-November, the applications to the MHA program have increased and the quality of students has also been on the upward climb. Scammon says this recognition provides our students the opportunity to apply for “administrative fellowships, which only accept students from accredited schools.” She adds, “These fellowships provide students with a fast track into higher administration by exposing them to key decision makers and access to key players that entry level employees don’t generally have.” This also means that graduates have the opportunity to more than double their salaries within a few years of graduation and, more importantly, reach their career goals quicker.

The CAHME accreditation helps validate the already strong program. The MHA program exposes graduates to curriculum that is relevant to current issues in the healthcare industry and helps them stay competitive as they enter the job market with classes taught by faculty comprised of former hospital and healthcare CEOs, senior management and research directors. This faculty is also connected with the nation’s top-ranked hospitals and healthcare systems and work closely with the school.

MHA dual degrees, which include MBA, PMBA, MPH, and MPA, are also offered paring business, public health or public administration programs with the healthcare industry. Scammon says this offers students “a wide variety of opportunities after graduation.” Anything from long-term care, medical technology, consulting, public policy, and program management, to operations positions within a hospital setting are available depending on each individual’s desired path. The wide variety of possibilities also makes the program attractive to people who might be considering a career pivot move from marketing or finance over to the healthcare industry.

The impactful curriculum is matched with extra-curricular activities to provide a well-rounded and hands-on approach to a graduate’s college experience. Through their involvement with the Future Healthcare Leaders of America, students can enrich their understanding of the healthcare industry through site visits, guest speakers, and panel discussions. They are also eligible for membership into the American College of Healthcare Executives, which gives them the chance to network and access to job announcements. Graduates are also invited to participate in the Bench to Bedside Medical Device Concept and Design Competition, which provides them the chance to interact across campus with engineering and business students to develop novel improvements of current medical devices.

In addition to the strong curriculum and extra-curricular activities, students are guided through the program with the help of academic and career advising. Stormy Sweitzer (MBA ’07) has joined the MHA team and brings years of industry experience. Having a dual role allows her to assist students in finding the right classes and companies in order for them to reach their career aspirations. Graduates can participate in mock interviews, review their resumes and get connected with employers. Sweitzer says sometimes it’s not only the education, but helping students find themselves. She adds, “Seeing them find the confidence to succeed makes it all worth it.”

Faculty and staff invested a significant amount of time and energy into making the CAHME accreditation come to fruition, even before the application was put into place there was an impressive curriculum. Because of this established program, the accreditation was accelerated by a year. They aren’t done though; the re-accreditation process is already under way, as well as looking at adding new courses and potential new dual degrees such as one with pharmacy practice, which has increasing interest.

To find out where you might fit into the healthcare industry or to explore more options, call 801-581-7785.

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