Letha Williams, Ph.D., FACHE
Associate Professor and Chair, Health Administration Programs - A.T. Still University

Dr. Letha Williams, Associate Professor and Chair, Health Administration Programs at A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies, joins us today to discuss healthcare administration.

1. Can you tell us about the online MHA programs offered at A.T. Still University?

The Master of Health Administration program at A.T Still University (ATSU) prepares graduates to become seasoned professionals in the healthcare industry. The focus of this Master of Health Administration program is to create elite leaders who are prepared and driven to make a difference and lead the future of healthcare. This 100 percent online Master of Health Administration program integrates web-based instruction, directed readings, email, and chat room interactions between students and faculty. Students in the Master of Health Administration program are taught by expert and highly qualified healthcare faculty and healthcare industry professionals.

The master’s degree in health administration is offered through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) and encompasses 12 healthcare administration courses, totaling 48 credit hours. All class work for the Master of Health Administration program is entirely online, without any residential requirement.

Students enrolled in the Master of Health Administration program complete 10 required courses, including a capstone project and two elective courses chosen by the student from related courses offered by CGHS.

In the capstone project, students will apply theories and knowledge gained throughout the Master of Health Administration program to develop a real-world solution to a problem focusing on the complexities of healthcare delivery systems, building alliances within and outside of the healthcare industry, and strategic decision making.

  • ATSU’s MHA degree is ranked 10 out of the top 25 best online Master of Health Administration programs by
  • ATSU’s MHA degree is ranked in the top 10 best value by

2. How long does a typical online MHA program take at ATSU? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?

If a student takes two courses per term, the MHA program can be completed in approximately one and a half years. If a student takes one course per term, the program will be completed in 12 terms, which is three years.

3. What do you think makes your MHA stand out from other online MHA programs?

Many other online MHA programs have residential requirements. ATSU-CGHS’ program does not have residential requirements, which means the program is 100 percent online.

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online MHA program?

Students should choose a MHA degree that is regionally accredited by a branch of the Higher Learning Commission. ATSU-CGHS’ MHA program is accredited by the Midwestern Association of Schools and Colleges of the Higher Learning Commission.

5. There is some debate as to whether or not online MHA degrees are as worthwhile as traditional MHA degrees. What steps does A.T. Still University take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?

For the most part, the courses are identical. ATSU-CGHS’ courses cover essential topics for new health administrators to understand (i.e., leadership, finance, strategic planning, marketing, information systems, and population health management) and include a variety of assignments, including team interaction, report preparation, budgeting, and presentations. The capstone course allows students to reflect on what they have learned throughout the program and prepare an academic poster.

6. What are the advantages to earning a MHA degree in general?

The MHA degree is the gold standard for healthcare administrators. It is a business degree with a healthcare focus, which is so important in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment.

7. Does ATSU offer job placement for students who graduate in healthcare administration?

ATSU-CGHS provides students with assistance in job searches, resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing practice.

8. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in public administration? Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?

I think you mean health administration, not public administration, which is an entirely different discipline. While ATSU-CGHS does not offer fellowships, grants, or scholarships, there are external opportunities, at least for scholarships. For example, the American College of Healthcare Executives has an annual competition for scholarships. ATSU-CGHS will work with students to obtain student loans.

9. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in an online MHA program for the first time?

Understand graduate work is much different than work completed at the bachelor’s degree level. Courses take time and study, so be prepared to give each the effort needed to maximize your learning. Remember the goal is to learn. If that results in “A” grades, then that is terrific, but it should not be the goal.

10. What do you enjoy most about your position at ATSU?

Hands down, the best part of my job is interacting with students and faculty. Academic discourse adds a great deal to fundamental learning in a graduate program. Students are always engaged and enthusiastic. Faculty are always focused on student success.

For more information on the online MHA programs offered at ATSU, visit them online.

Thank you Dr. Letha Williams, for sharing and participating in this piece.

That concludes our interview!

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