MS in Management - Health Care Administration Courses

"I'm especially impressed with the real-world experience at Marlboro. The Capstone projects represent quality improvement at its best, with the advantage of excellent faculty consultation. Marlboro's graduate program has groomed several of our clinical managers to become more highly effective and influential leaders at the hospital. With the advent of "pay-for-performance" under national health care reform, Marlboro's professional faculty and strong foundational course-work prepare our students to grasp the current environment, accomplishing both clinical and financial outcomes, while building team-work and conflict resolution skills to manage major changes."
--Steven R. Gordon, President and CEO, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Course Descriptions

Health Care Administration

Required Courses

MHCA608 - Capstone I: Planning

  • 2 credits
  • Taught in Winter, Spring

Students enroll in Capstone I: Planning in their penultimate trimester. The course offers guidance and support as students plan their response to the problem or opportunity they have identified. Each student completes a project proposal in his or her own website with the support of others in the class, course faculty and their Program Director. Deliverables for this phase include: completion of a comprehensive project proposal document and the first two pages of students individual Capstone websites, and creation and delivery of an elevator pitch  a very brief statement that communicates their Capstone project.

Capstone involves both process and product. Students engage in the process of identifying a problem or opportunity, planning and carrying out a project, and reflecting on their learning. During the two-trimester process, students create products including a completed website, a project deliverable designed to solve the problem or address the opportunity, and an elevator pitch. There is a strong focus on ensuring an agile approach to planning and implementation and on clear, professional communication. Together process and product provide students with a deep learning experience during their last two trimesters at the Graduate School.

MHCA609 - Capstone II: Implementing

  • 4 credits
  • Taught in Fall, Spring

Students enroll in Capstone II: Implementing in their final trimester and complete their Capstone project thereby completing a key degree requirement. Supported by an Advisor, students: create the deliverable planned in Capstone I; deliver a formal presentation of his/her project; participate in a conversation about what they have learned doing the Capstone and their course of study; and submit their completed Capstone website, which includes a written Project Summary and Retrospective on Learning. Students Capstones are assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Capstone involves both process and product. Students engage in the process of identifying a problem or opportunity, planning and carrying out a project, and reflecting on their learning. During the two-trimester process, students create products including a completed website, a project deliverable designed to solve the problem or address the opportunity, and an elevator pitch. There is a strong focus on ensuring an agile approach to planning and implementation and on clear, professional communication. Together process and product provide students with a deep learning experience during their last two trimesters at the Graduate School.

MHCA640 - Organizational Leadership and Teamwork

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Fall

This course combines theory and practice by encouraging students to learn traditional and contemporary leadership theories and apply them to the analysis of the behavior of leaders, colleagues, and subordinates. Through a variety of readings, cases, and exercises, students will examine numerous effective leadership models. Topics include the evolution of leadership; the leadership roles of strategy, vision and transformational change; the development of leaders; the leadership responsibilities of creating effective teams, organizations and cultures; the exploration of different leadership styles; and current popular approaches to leadership theory

MHCA641 - Managing Projects

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Fall

Based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), this course guides project leaders through the application of the project management process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing. Key topics include project selection and scoping, time management, risk identification, quality planning, team building, and project communication.

MHCA642 - Issues in Ethics for Healthcare

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Spring

This course explores and analyzes the interrelationships among stakeholders in the healthcare industry. The moral implications of the healthcare organization and its decisions are explored with respect to their social effects, and the tension that exists between achieving desirable outcomes and attending to the means by which they are achieved. Topics include: theories of morality; analysis of ethical decision-making; interaction and conflicts among personal, professional, and organizational values; the effect of cultural diversity on individual and group values; current issues; and the impact of ethical considerations on healthcare organizations. Individual and collective choice, and how they figure in the management of competitive environments and the organization's position on contemporary moral issues will be explored.

MHCA643 - Marketing Management in Healthcare and Service Sectors

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Winter

This course introduces fundamental marketing principles with applications specific to the healthcare and service sectors. Students will develop a foundational knowledge of the marketing concept, marketing strategic planning, buyer behavior, market segmentation, marketing mix management, and control and assessment of marketing planning.

MHCA644 - Management of Information Systems in Healthcare

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Winter

Information technologies continually change organizational operations. This course is designed to prepare students to meaningfully participate in dialogues and decisions that involve, or could profit from, use of information technologies. The issues and opportunities facing managers today in the health care industry will be explored from both the information technology and health care managers perspectives.

Casework focuses on the health care leaders effective management of information technology, whether its purpose is for clinical application, finance, human resource, facilities, operations management, or strategic planning. Frameworks and methodologies to determine organizational needs, evaluate and select information technologies, plan for systems changes, and implement information technology in the health care setting will be investigated.

MHCA645 - Organizational Communication, Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Winter

This course examines the dynamics, constraints and skills needed in negotiation, collaboration, conflict resolution and leadership. It focuses equally on using communication, negotiation and collaboration in business operations and in resolving disputes in all aspects of our lives. The materials, concepts and skills can be used in the professional, social and personal lives of the students, including the all important negotiations they do with themselves. Theories of negotiation are examined through current literature and specific techniques are taught through simulated exercises and role plays. The course is drawn from the fields of business, law, psychology, education, administration and communication. Students learn about theories of communication, negotiation, collaboration, conflict resolution and leadership and about themselves as negotiators and leaders.

MHCA647 - Legal Issues in Healthcare

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Spring

The purpose of this course is to examine the background, foundation and ethical aspects of the United States legal system and the role of the legal and political environment as it affects the health care industry. Topics include: liability, negligence, taxation, antitrust, compliance and emergency care. This course will examine contemporary issues affecting the industry and local facilities.

MHCA649 - Financial Management

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Winter

The goal of this course is to introduce financial decision-making and management techniques in a firm, including its relationship to financial markets and institutions. Topics include: balance sheet analysis, capital budgeting, working capital management, capital structure of the enterprise, business valuation and managing risk.

MHCA650 - Strategic Planning and Policy

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Fall

This course will examine the process of strategic planning. Organizations are undergoing a series of revolutionary changes, including vertical integration, horizontal consolidation, strategic alliances and joint ventures, entrepreneurial startups, and specialized niche networks. This course will critically examine changes and discuss the various strategic decisions and managerial skills needed to confront them in a variety of firms in organizations. The primary focus of the course is on the strategy of the business unit, which is the foundational level for competitive analysis, and an analysis of the issues central to the firm's short-term and long-term competitive success. Using a combination of case studies and industry field research, students will assume the roles of key decision-makers and/or advisors in analyzing these issues and offering recommendations for strategic change.

MHCA655 - Change Management

  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Fall

This course prepares participants to lead change in an organizational setting. Topics of study include: contrasting climates and cultures in various organizational types; analyzing conditions that foster both acceptance and resistance to change; viewing change management through structural, personnel, political, and symbolic frames; assessing the needs and providing the means for professional development to accompany change; and specific leadership strategies for managing change. Participants will develop a change management plan for use in an organizational setting of their choice.