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New Healthy Options for Learning

AdventHealth University in Orlando (on lower right), adjacent to AdventHealth.

In fall 2016, Stetson and AdventHealth University signed a milestone agreement to collaborate in the creation of new opportunities for their students. The idea was to create stronger career options for graduates.

Those opportunities are continuing to emerge.

The most recent example occurred in April, when Stetson and AdventHealth University partnered to offer an innovative, dual-degree, online program leading students to degrees in both a Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy & Innovation (M.H.A.-SI) and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) The program is designed to be completed in as little as two years with a total of 54 credit hours, split between the two universities, with AHU conferring the MHA-SI and Stetson conferring the MBA.

In essence, the dual degree combines the best of business and healthcare administration skillsets, giving graduates an advantage over their peers in both sectors. AHU is a leader in health care education, transforming the science and practice of whole-person care and developing professionals with uncommon compassion. Also, AHU has access to the world-class clinical facilities at AdventHealth (rebranded from Florida Hospital in January).

As a result, students with this degree can expect a wide range of job opportunities upon graduation, according to Stetson President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D.

“I am thrilled with the way AHU and Stetson faculty worked together to bring the strengths of both institutions into an original program specifically designed with busy, working professionals in mind,” Libby said. “Graduates will be at the top of their game in an industry always looking for talented and educated employees to fill high-paying jobs.”

Daryl Tol, CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division

Daryl Tol, CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, believes the partnership will allow graduates to reach career goals faster. 

“The preferred degree for healthcare leadership is usually a graduate degree like the MHA or an MBA. Students at AHU can now earn both in less time and for lower cost than taking them separately. AHU and Stetson crafted the new MHA/MBA dual degree to provide the best-in-class business education for aspiring health care leaders,” said Tol.

The coursework is 100 percent online for both institutions, removing barriers to access for candidates nationwide. In addition, the online format allows students to maintain employment and their daily life schedule while advancing their education.

Benita David, D.B.A., chair of AHU’s Healthcare Administration Department

“Engaging in our Healthcare Administration education online marries the interdisciplinary strength of this degree with the opportunity for students to network and develop professional relationships from a distance — a skill needed in today’s electronic age,” commented Benita David, D.B.A., chair of AHU’s Healthcare Administration Department.

“This program represents a high level of pedagogical collaboration between two outstanding institutions,” added Noel Painter, Ph.D., executive vice president and Provost at Stetson. “It brings together a shared understanding of the needs of today’s students in a competitive environment with the distinctive points of academic excellence within both Stetson and AHU.”

This is the second collaboration between the two entities in the past several months. In December 2018, the two institutions signed an agreement to provide “pathways” for Stetson health and science students into the AHU Master of Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs, beginning with the Fall 2019 semester.

“Our common goals of strengthening student experiences both during and after their time in college, as well as expanding student employment opportunities, have made for wonderful connections that will continue to expand moving forward,” Painter concluded.

Three years ago, when AHU and Stetson first came together, Libby noted that the “agreement really opens up new career options for our students.”

It’s happening.

-Sandra Carr

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