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University of Sioux Falls Healthcare MBA Program Now Available Online

Dec 28, 2016 01:30PM ● By MED Magazine
By MED Staff

In the twelve years since the University of Sioux Falls introduced its Healthcare-focused MBA program, an estimated 150 students, most of whom were already working in healthcare in the region, have completed the coursework.

“For people in the healthcare industry who have found themselves responsible for managing others, managing a budget, etc., the Healthcare MBA gives that confidence and formal training in leadership, management, teamwork, and how the organization needs to work as a whole,” says Steve Horan, MBA, CPA, CGMA, who directs USF’s MBA program.

Program graduates include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, marketing professionals, healthcare managers, those who hope to be managers, and others. But, although every cohort to complete the program has been different, every participant up to now has had two things in common: They all had to carve out one night a week to attend class for 21 months and they all had to live within driving distance of the Sioux Falls campus.

“What we have found is that both of these factors have been limiting for some people, especially healthcare professionals,” says Horan. “In healthcare, you may have lengthy hours, shifts that change, or night shifts. Some people have told us that they just cannot commit to one night every week.”

In order to accommodate these limitations, respond to student feedback, be on par with competing schools, and open their program to a broader market, USF is now offering an online version of the Healthcare MBA program. Taught by the same professors and offered over the same 21-month period, the 12-class online program does away with the need to come to campus for a weekly class.

“We’re trying to make it as achievable as possible,.” says Horan. “We want to meet students where they are. They are telling us that that one night a week commitment is too difficult because of work or family commitments. This way, they have the flexibility and freedom to get things done according to a schedule that works for them.”

The new online option could even make the program more doable for students who choose the on-campus option, but run into time problems part way through.

“We are offering all of our students the ability to mix and match,” says Horan. “Any class can be done either online or on campus. If an online student knew that they were going to have a slower time of year and could make it to a night class, then they are welcome to attend that class.”

The fact that the professors, assignments, and timelines are the same online and on campus will make the “mix and match” option seamless for students who need extra flexibility.

“The hope is that this is going to expand the Healthcare MBA program,” says Horan. “Now our geographic reach is really unlimited. This allows us to offer the option to anyone who is interested in a degree.”

The new online program is offered via the Webex platform, which uses technology to simulate the kind of collaboration students would normally get by meeting in person. “Depending on the class, there may still be group work to do,” says Horan. “So, even as an online student, you still have the opportunity to meet people and to work together. You are just not physically together every week.”

The length of the program and cost is the same with the online and on-campus versions of USF’s Healthcare MBA program. More information is available on the school’s website.