Virginia Commonwealth University introduces six new graduate programs

Drawing by Kilian Goodall Porter

Selina Shi Contributing writer

Virginia Commonwealth University is offering six new graduate programs starting this fall.

Sydney Belt MSc Health Administration student in one of the new programs implemented by the university, Health Equity Certificate.

“Knowing that Virginia Commonwealth University has a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, I entered my master’s program determined to see how I can advocate for social justice in my future career,” Bildt said.

Paula Song, chair of the Department of Health Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University, currently oversees the curriculum for health equity and health care financial management degrees. Song primarily teaches healthcare financial management courses.

According to Song, equity in health and healthcare financing is becoming more and more important.

These programs will help better equip students to use specialized tools and knowledge to address health care issues. Excited for this wonderful opportunity for students to enhance skills relevant to healthcare organizations in the future,” said Song.

The Certificate in Health Equity offers lessons based on health equity, inequality, health care policy and applied practice, according to Song.

“Students work in a variety of places to use their skills, such as hospitals or community organizations and nonprofits,” Song said.

Various graduate programs include certificates in Culturally Responsive Leadership, Decision Analytics, Healthcare Financial Management, Health Equity, Supply Chain Management, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

The Business School also offers two new programs: a Certificate in Supply Chain Management and a Certificate in Decision Making. While other programs do not require any prerequisites, the Certificate in Decision Making requires a basic course before students are accepted into the program.

To qualify for graduate programs, students must have a bachelor’s degree, three letters of recommendation and a statement of intent, according to each program location. Programs require students to take 12 to 15 credit hours.

The College of Health Professions offers a Certificate in Health Equity and a Certificate in Health Care Financial Management.

Currently, online healthcare financial management and health equity classes are taught asynchronously to provide students with more flexibility in their schedules, Song said.

The Certificate in Culturally Responsive Leadership and the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction are new programs for the College of Education. These two programs target Virginia Commonwealth University teachers, administrators, personnel in education-related fields, and higher education personnel.according to its website.

Luciana Oliveira, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies and Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, is currently working with the College of Education to design the new programs.

“The growing diversity of the local Richmond and Virginia community has created a demand for leaders to better understand and connect with various stakeholders and communities,” Oliveira said.

Due to the new state law for grades K-12, the program’s creation was in response to Virginia Department of Education requirements for “culturally relevant leadership and education” training, according to Oliveira.

Lisa Webb, professor in the College of Health Professions, is teaching a course on health equity this semester titled “Reducing Health Disparities: Problems and Strategies.”

“Any student who lives, works and goes to school in Richmond would benefit from a deeper understanding of our history and the impact that history has on the city today,” Webb said.

The course explores the historical and current context of health care delivery in Richmond and strategies for reducing health disparity, according to Webb.

Lauren Mulholland is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration and a degree in health equity.

“I would definitely recommend this program,” Mulholland said in particular to anyone interested in learning more about providing equitable access to healthcare and what we can do as providers, administrators, and even patients to improve healthcare for all individuals.

To apply for the different programs, visit each of their websites.

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