Multidisciplinary Health Care Management, Effectiveness
and Policy Graduate Certificate
The Multidisciplinary Health Care Management, Effectiveness and Policy graduate certificate is a professional curriculum based on a multidiscipline base. An initial survey assessed the educational needs of executives and managers within the healthcare industry as to needs relating to a multidisciplinary program. The results of the survey supported the need for a multidisciplinary program for healthcare chief executive officers, new healthcare administrators, healthcare executives and healthcare chief operating officers. Executives cannot be experts in all areas of management and policy but a program such as this would enhance the operation and effectiveness of healthcare institutions.
Based upon the above cited survey research, four colleges at NIU joined together to develop an integrated curriculum resulting in a 15-18 credit hour graduate certificate. The NIU Proton Therapy Center enhanced this possibility for the center would be an excellent place for students to interact within a practicum setting during their formal course work. The region served by NIU was surveyed as to like programs. There are Healthcare Policy and Management programs near NIU but none of these are interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary in focus at the undergraduate level. Only two programs were possibly multidisciplinary at the graduate level. After a more in depth analysis, these programs were determined to be non-integrated multidisciplinary programs. These programs only encouraged students to take courses offered by different colleges. Therefore, this graduate certificate will differ from other programs offered at other universities. Since the proton therapy center can be utilized, synergy among the universityâs mission of teaching, research, and service can be more recognized. Other sites for practicums can also be used but the basic institutional framework will be established at the proton center practicum and the co-requisite didactic courses.
Graduate courses will be designed specifically for the chief executor audience building upon their previous education and experiences. Tentative identified topics are; analytical foundations; accounting and financial management; economics and essentials of quantitative analysis, marketing; operations and quality management; health management technology; policy analysis and response; legal environment and ethical issues; epidemiology and health care language; and strategic management. Much of this course content is incorporated in various courses across the four colleges at NIU.
Faculty within the Colleges of Business, Health and Human Sciences, Engineering and Law have joined together to study the topics and possible strategies for integration of this material into a multidisciplinary format. Five to six courses will be developed for the certificate.
In the fall 2008, a committee of faculty was convened by the deans of the four colleges. This group was asked to develop proposals of operation to include deliverables, resources, timeline identification, etc. This committee consists of a faculty member from each of the four colleges of business, law, engineering and health and human sciences. These faculty members have experience in various areas of policy and management. The Deans developed a strategic planning budget for the project. The committee continues to meet and discussions are on-going as to the involvement of a consultant in the area of interactional expertise. Interactional expertise can act as a medium of interchange in interdisciplinary programs. This medium of exchange operates between specialized disciplinary knowledge and public understanding. Recent research has isolated interactional expertise as the skill that permits someone to learn to speak a specialist language. For example, an interactional expert cannot fully âwalk the walkâ but they are good at âtalking the talkâ of a field outside of their specialization.
The group is also discussing the need for a proton curricula academic coordinator. This position would be a faculty position in the College of Business with assigned duties to coordinate the many academic programs being developed utilizing the proton center.
Timeline and Outcomes
2008 (Fall Semester)
- Identified the faculty group
- Developed proposals of operation to include deliverables, resources, and project timelines
2009 (Spring semester)
- Requested Gantt charts from each working group as to milestones, deliverable outcomes
- Interview consultant and finalize decision as to his involvement in the project
- Identify funding and begin search for a faculty coordinator
2009 (Summer semester)
- Prepare curricula materials/approval paperwork for submission to various college curricular committees
- Identify teaching faculty expertise to begin development of modules/course outlines
- Hire project coordinator
2009 (Fall semester)
- Submit curricula materials for approval to various curricular committees
- Seek NIU Board approval of certificate program, if appropriate
- Assess and identify additional funding sources to continue support for the certificate offerings
2010 (Spring semester)
- Develop module content for all courses to include E-learning and practicum experiences at the proton center
- Prepare recruitment materials for students
- Identify faculty for instruction of the courses
- Market the program
2010 (Fall semester)
- Accept first students