What Kind of Accreditation Should My Degree Program Have?
Accreditation is also referred to as a stamp of approval by the accrediting agencies of the quality of education in a university.
This status means, as well, that the university or separate program or discipline matches to the standards and requirements set forth by the Department of Education.
Thus, your future employers will pay attention to the authority of educational institution you graduated from so that you need to choose meticulously.
What organizations have the right to give accreditation to colleges and universities?
They are accrediting agencies that were entitled by the Department of Education.
National and regional accrediting agencies both give accreditation to the universities, colleges or programs of study.
Therefore, only accredited colleges can get financial support from the Department of Education.
You also should know that there are two kinds of accreditation: institutional accreditation and program accreditation.
The first is a school-wide accreditation and is given to the university or college in general.
The second is the accreditation given to the specific degree program.
For you to get the sense, the institutional accrediting sector has two groups of agencies: regional and national accrediting agencies.
Typically, the approval of regional accrediting agencies is better for the university, as it confers credibility and merit.
There is a list of most well-known regional agencies for you to search colleges and universities with their approval:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- The Higher Learning Commission
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Healthcare Administration is a wide educational field that includes various areas of specialization and varying opportunities for professional development.
That’s why there is no universal programmatic accreditation, moreover, program accreditation in healthcare administration is not mandatory at all.
There are two well-known accrediting agencies which give program accreditations to courses and degree program, they are the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
If you want to know whether your university got the stamp of approval, contact the administration or look for information on the database on the website of the Department of Education.
What Kinds of Healthcare Administration Degrees Are There?
Associate in Healthcare Administration
What is an associate degree and what can it give to students?
The associate program is the entry-degree to the education in a field of Healthcare Administration.
The program usually takes two years to complete and requires 60 credits to get.
If you want to go to work in the shortest period of time, then you can complete the associate degree, which will help you to start your career.
During this course, you will learn disciplines like legal principles and ethical aspects of healthcare, basic knowledge of human pathology, computer work experience, and health statistics.
After you complete the program you will have an opportunity to work in mental health, nursing settings or hospitals.
While getting the associate degree you will course named underneath:
- Business Administration
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Medical Terminology
- Healthcare Management
- Introduction to Anatomy
Difference between an AA and an AS in Healthcare Administration
The AS or Associate of Science program in Healthcare is orientated on mathematical and scientific disciplines, while the Associate of Arts (AA) program combines disciplines related to humanities and liberal arts.
Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
Students who have completed a bachelor degree program are highly required in a field of healthcare.
The demand for workers in healthcare administration is provoked by the growth of high technological factor, which made organizational management with the use of computers more complicated.
The bachelor degree takes two years to complete and requires 120 credits to get.
During the studying of a course, you will get profound knowledge in medical accounting and records, public health regulations, healthcare management, and quality assurance.
Moreover, you can also consider jobs in emergency health systems, community health settings, home care, and long-term care, or other areas where your administrative knowledge and experience will be required.
After you complete a bachelor’s degree you will be able to find positions in clerical, departmental and advanced technical management.
While studying you will take all of the courses, listed below:
- Healthcare Administration
- Advanced Health Systems
- Employment and Medical Law
- Medical Accounting
- Human Resource Management
- Record Keeping and Information Systems
- Healthcare Marketing and Communication
- Medical Law and Ethics
Difference Between a BA and a BS in Healthcare Administration
The Bachelor of Arts or BA program is focused on disciplines in liberal arts and humanities.
While the Bachelor of Science or BS is orientated on doing researches, learning medical records and statistics, health IT and some other science-extensive disciplines.
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration
To become the absolute valuable employer for your employer within the executive management structure, you will need to get your master’s degree in healthcare administration.
As the master’s degree is considered to be an advanced degree, it will open you more advantages in searching the prospective position.
Master’s degree program takes two years to complete and requires from 32 to 60 credits to get.
However, there can be some specializations which can raise the length of your study to three or four years.
During studying the master’s degree program you will learn more about health systems, technologies, business leadership, and management.
That’s why earning the master’s degree will give you real opportunity to pretend for high positions in the administrative field.
This degree is mandatory in case you want to continue studying as a Ph.D. of healthcare administration.
Among the recommended courses which you will take during your studying will be:
- Business Research Analysis
- Healthcare Marketing and Communication
- Population Health
- Healthcare Process Management
- Financial Analysis and Management
- Healthcare Policy
- Healthcare Governance
- Strategic Planning
Ph.D. Degree in Healthcare Administration
If you are interested in researching and scientific activity, then you will probably decide to get the degree of Ph.D. in healthcare administration.
In case you desire to work in public policy, be a member of a scientific academical concentration, write scientific dissertations or periodicals when this degree is waiting for you.
Furthermore, completing a Ph.D. and getting the degree will allow you to work, for example, in any research institution, insurance firm, government body and a wide variety of related fields.
The Ph.D. course will also give you valuable experience, you will write your own dissertation and defend your opinion against the member’s scientific community.
What Kind of Licensing or Certification Do You Need?
What is the Difference Between Licensing and Certification?
A non-governmental body or professional organization usually award certification in different fields to the graduates with or without a degree.
On the contrary, licenses are awarded by governmental licensing agencies only.
Also, by having obtained a license in this or that field, you will be a legally authorized employee.
To compare, the companies do not necessarily require certification due to the fact that asking for a certificate is not legal actually.
At the same time, if you want to have a license, be ready to meet the requirements like getting a degree or passing a state exam.
These are the main differences according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Do You Need to Be a Licensed Healthcare Administration Worker?
According to BLS, the requirements for healthcare administration licenses vary from state to state.
Although, if you are going to work in nursing care sphere in any state in the U.S., the employers will require the license.
Also, some of the states ask for licenses from those working in the assisted-living facilities.
What is common for all the states where you are going to build your healthcare administration career, is that you must pass a training program approved by the state.
Apart from that, you should obtain a BA degree and pass specialized licensing or certification exams.
Popular Degree Programs
What Can You Do With This Degree?
In fact, healthcare administration is a quickly growing area of expertise.
Because of high technology progress and complexity of relations, there are numerous opportunities in the working sphere.
Below we named a list of top professions in the field of healthcare administration which you can apply for:
- EMTs and Paramedics
- Home Health/Personal Care Aids
- Cardiovascular/Vascular Technologists/Technicians
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Records/Health Information Tech
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
- Medical and Clinical Lab Tech
- Physician’s Attendant
- Psychiatric Aide/Technician
- Radiation Therapist
- Medical and Health Services Manager
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Nursing Aide/Attendant
- Radiologic Technologist
- Registered Nurse
How Much Can You Make With This Degree?
The well-known and reputable Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 20% growth of job positions in healthcare administration professional field.
Although, you will earn a good salary depending on your experience, gained skills and work obligations.
Below we give you a list of jobs with their average salary potential for your better understanding:
- Computer and Information Systems Manager — $135,800
- Medical and Health Services Manager— $96,540
- Financial Manager — $121,750
- Medical Records and Health Information Technician — $38,040
- Administrative Service Manager — $90,050
- Healthcare Firm Executive — $103,950
What Professional Associations or Societies Should You Join?
For you to become a member of your professional society and get in touch with your colleges, existing professional associations.
You can find healthcare administration associations that will be interesting for you and join one or some of them.
Within the membership in any of professional societies, you can read most up-to-date literature, builds professional relations and find like-minded colleges and even friends.
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- National Association of Health Services Executives
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals
- Healthcare Administrators Association
- American College of Healthcare Administrators
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- American Hospital Association
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration
To sum up, a degree in healthcare administration is suitable for people who want to implement their knowledge and skills in business planning and strategies, management of human resources and financial operations in the field of healthcare.
We hope that our article will help you to understand the importance of getting a degree.
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