PROGRAM REVIEW COMMITTEE
SWW Master of Healthcare Administration
I. Goals & Objectives (Are there goals and objectives; are they clearly stated?)
The Seton World Wide Master of Healthcare Administration is an online program
developed in 1996; it mirrors the face-to-face program in terms of goals and objectives.
It is the seventh largest program of its kind in the country.
According to its Mission statement:
The program is committed to developing healthcare managers who understand the
importance of ethics, diversity, community and quality of life issues. It is dedicated to
providing a quality, interdisciplinary program that leverages learning technologies in
Its primary goal is to “Prepare students for health services management positions in the
rapidly changing, competitive and technologically advanced healthcare industry.”
The goals and objectives are clearly stated, but we concur with the external reviewer
about the need for measurable objectives:
“While these goals provide general direction for the program, there are no measurable
objectives pegged to these goals. As a result, there is no easy way to measure the
program’s progress towards meeting these goals. Specifying measurable objectives
would also help clarify and further define the goal statements.”
II. Curriculum (Is the curriculum aligned with the goals and objectives?)
This is a two-year program, with 3 on-site residency weekends. As part of the process to
earn accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management
Education, the program is in the process of going from 39 credits to 42 credits. The face-
to-face and on-line programs mirror one another. In addition to the curriculum changes
in process, it appears that the program also has made positive changes concerning IT
program adoption that will serve the students well.
III. Faculty (Is the faculty as it exists able to support the goals and objectives?)
The faculty is sufficient to support the program as it currently exists. It is staffed by a
combination of full and adjunct faculty; the majority of the latter have the terminal degree.
All have experience in the areas in which they are teaching.
IV. Assessment (Is there an assessment process, and are the results regularly
communicated back to the faculty and community?)
Assessment is conducted both in individual courses and at the mid and final residencies
and appropriate measures are taken as a result of this feedback. The program recently
conducted an online survey of two of its current student cohorts (LT 23 and LT 25).
Students rated a variety of aspects of the program (e.g. faculty, curriculum, teaching
methods, administration, professional development) on a five-point Likert scale. This
assessment should be done annually. There is also a plan to expand assessment to
include alumni, asking them to evaluate such elements as the application of program
knowledge, learned skills, and perceptions of the program’s role in their career
advancement; this decision addresses one of the suggestions made by the external
reviewer. The reviewer also suggested that “The adoption of program competencies
represents a major shift for the MHA program (as it does for many other health
administration programs), but it should enable the program to better demonstrate its value
to students and the field or practice, and provide faculty a fresh framework for designing
and delivering their courses. Eventually, the program will need to demonstrate how its
students obtain these competencies.”
V. Students (How does the program attempt to meet the needs of students and
verify its success?)
The MHA program has enrolled 346 students in its ten year history and as of May 2008
has graduated 216 students. The MHA program has an 86% graduation rate. The students
come from over 43 states and seven foreign countries.
The external reviewer writes, “In my experience, this is an excellent completion rate for
adult distance learning programs.”
The program admits two cohorts each year, each one ranging in size from 18 to 24 (with
24 two subgroups are created). Students are from mid- to senior-level positions in health
care. Neither reviewer spoke to students, although this is recommended in the Program
Review Guidelines. The external reviewer was given access to several courses
There was some concern expressed by committee members that the GRE was dropped as
an admissions criteria for the program. Admission is now based on letters of
recommendation, a 300-word essay, and a 3.0 GPA.
VI. Program Support (Is there sufficient support for the program to meet its goals
The program has adequate resources and staff to meet its goals and objectives. The
student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, and many courses have co-instructors to deal with the size
of 18 to 24 in the cohorts. If the program grows, an assistant program director may need
to be hired.
VII. Problems and Proposed Solutions (Including Time-Frame)
The self study identified several problems that will be addressed moving forward:
to hire more racial diverse faculty to reflect the student body within the major
to assess program alumni
The online MHA program appears to be a growth program with solid enrollment. The
self study was very well done overall, and the issues raised in the internal and external
reviews were acknowledged and addressed by the program. The program recently went
through a revision process and will be applying for accreditation with CAHME. Courses
are designed using the Quality Matters Rubric and according to the Quality Matters
Standards. This assures that the course identifies the course objectives, unit objectives
and assessments align with the course/ unit objectives.
Items that cannot be assessed
While both the internal and external reviewers referenced market competition
information, this was not included in the self study.
As the enrollment grows, a marketing plan should be developed that identifies who is
being targeted for the program.
The scores for outcomes assessment of actual skills are noticeably lower than the scores
for faculty, administration, and so on in the assessment. An instrument that assessed
actual student learning at the end of the program might result in better responses.
For the next self study, the reviewers should be given the opportunity to speak to students
We approve this program with the understanding that the recommendations will be
addressed by the time of the next self study.