Experiential content within the UIW MHA program focuses on developing the competencies associated primarily with professionalism, teamwork, and leadership. To this end, the program has incorporated four distinct curriculum components that provide our students, regardless of their work status or previous healthcare experience, with the content exposure to meet specific competency outcomes. First, the program has established a formal mentorship program which affords second year students the opportunity to be paired with a healthcare industry professional that will help guide and nurture the student's professional development. Second, the students participate in a series of three one-credit hour courses that focus the students on professional development, team building and group performance. This course content is integrated into three existing core courses, including Human Resources Management, Quality and Continuous Improvement and Healthcare Leadership. In this three course sequence, students are exposed to different aspects of professional integration in healthcare settings, which includes contact with working healthcare executives. Third, students are required to attend four seminar sessions in each year of their degree program. These sessions expose the students to current issues in healthcare and allow them to interact with practicing healthcare administrators and other professionals and to observe the application of management principals outside the traditional classroom setting. Finally, the culminating academic event of the program is a client-based capstone project. Working in teams, and for a health industry client, students address a significant management problem, questions or issue in real-time. Capstone project work is evaluated by both the professor and the client.
In addition to the four program components outlined above, the program has retained the internship option for students who want additional exposure to the healthcare setting, especially those students who are not working and have had little or no previous health experience.