MHA program earns seven-year accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) announced on Nov. 12 the seven-year accreditation of the Penn State Master of Health Administration program in the Department of Health Policy and Administration. CAHME reviewers performed their site visit of the program during the past spring semester.

MHA Executive Director Jonathan Clark explains that the successes of the program and its graduates are possible because of a strong foundation on which the program has grown. “This accreditation is a great achievement for our program. Under Karen Volmar's leadership, and Michael Meacham's before that, the program has flourished and gained national prominence, and this recognition only serves to underscore that,” Clark says, adding that the CAHME decision to accredit the program for a full seven years is another testament to the program’s success.

A committee of full-time and adjunct faculty members and one student representative governs the MHA program, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1987. The program is dedicated to the needs of new and early careerists in health care and is intended for full-time residential students completing the program in 21 months. The MHA program currently has 28 students (14 first- and 14 second-year students and a placement rate more than 94 percent).

“Though we have work ahead of us to ensure continued excellence, the efforts that went into achieving this recognition have positioned us well to deliver on our vision of the future: cultivating health care leaders who create value wherever they serve,” Clark says.

In addition to the efforts of former directors Volmar and Meacham and past Department Head Dennis Shea, Clark recognizes the work of interim Department Head Diane Brannon on curricular and competency issues and Tamara Smith on her administrative efforts to record and report needed information for the CAHME review. The next accreditation site visit for the MHA program is set for spring 2020.