MHA Competencies & Curriculum

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Our MHA Program uses the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) competency model as the framework for curriculum planning and operation. Texas Woman’s University was one of the universities and healthcare groups, that worked together to develop the initial model. Our model was reviewed and updated in June 2023 by the HCA faculty, alumni and its practitioner-based Advisory Board. The foundation of the Program’s curriculum is to facilitate the development of a depth and breadth of knowledge in the health sector and health care management to support our graduates career success and to fulfill their organizations mission and vision.

In addition, the competencies are organized in their support of four domains: Critical Thinking, Analysis, Problem Solving and Business Skills; Communication and Interpersonal Effectiveness; Professionalism and Ethics; Management and Leadership. Students completing the MHA program will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate the 17 competencies at the basic (B), intermediate (I) and advanced (A)-levels.

All MHA students monitor their growth and development according to these competencies, through a series of self- and faculty-assessments and use this feedback to create professional development plans to guide them towards their career goals.

MHA Competency Model 

Critical Thinking, Analysis, Problem Solving and Business Skills

L3. Analytical Thinking (A) - The ability to understand a situation, issue, or problem by breaking it into smaller pieces or tracing its implications in a step-by-step way.

L8. Financial Skills (A) - The ability to see the potential in and understand the use of administrative and clinical information technology and decision-support tools. Manages budgets and assets and explains financial metrics.

L17. Performance Measurement (I) - The ability to understand and use statistical and financial methods and metrics to set goals and measure clinical as well as organizational performance.

L18. Process Management & Organizational Design (A) - The ability to analyze and design or improve an organizational process incorporating the tools of quality management.

Communication and Interpersonal Effectiveness

L5. Collaboration (A) - The ability to work cooperatively with others, to be part of a team.

L6. Communication Skills (A) - The ability to speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations.

L21. Relationship Building (A) - The ability to establish, build and sustain professional contacts for the purpose of building networks.

Professionalism and Ethics

L1. Accountability (A) - the ability to hold people accountable to standards of performance or ensure compliance with the long-term good of the organization in mind.

L22. Self-Confidence (A) - A belief in one’s own capability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach.

L23. Self-Development (A) - The ability to have an accurate view of one’s own strengths and development needs, including the impact that one has on others.

L26. Team Leadership (A) - Sees oneself as a leader of others from forming a team, holding the team members accountable both individually and as a group for results.

Management and Leadership

L4.  Change Leadership (I) - The ability to energize stakeholders and sustain their commitment.

L9. Human Resource Management (I) - The ability to implement staff development and other management practices that comply with legal and regulatory requirements and optimize the performance of the workforce.

L12. Information Technology Management (A) - The ability to see the potential and understand the use of administrative and clinical information technology and decision-support tools.

L14. Innovative Thinking (A) - The ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways for breakthrough thinking.

L20. Project Management (I) - The ability to plan, execute and oversee a large scale project involving significant resources, scope and impact.

L24. Strategic Orientation (I) - The ability to consider the business, demographic, cultural, political and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that improve long-term success of the organization.

Structure of the Curriculum

Consistent with the mission of the MHA program, the design of the curriculum reflects the professional development needs of a highly diverse, early to mid-career student with interest in serving an expansive and complex system of health services. The flexible enrollment option, hybrid (on campus + online) course delivery, and the use a variety of teaching and assessment methods, allow faculty to tailor learning to the diverse backgrounds and professional goals of their students.   

Placement Assessment

All students earning the MHA degree will be required to complete three foundation courses (titles follow); however, students will receive three links from their Academic advisors to three placement assessments. Each link aligns to one of the Foundation courses. Students are invited to complete one, two or all three of the assessments.  If the student achieves a 70% or higher on the assessment, they will not be required to complete the related foundation course. 

MHA Foundation Courses 

Immersion Sequence

The program requires all students to participate (beginning Fall 2024) in three “immersion” courses with required attendance on the Dallas or Houston campus. These courses are designed to be completed at the beginning, middle and end of a student’s degree pursuit. Two of these specialized courses are scheduled over 3-day weekends, are highly interactive and designed in a workshop format that utilizes a variety of hands-on exercises, teamwork, role-play, and case study. Faculty engage the resources of Houston’s Texas Medical Center (TMC) and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for inclusion in the student experience through guest speakers, panel discussions, demonstrations, field experiences, etc. 

  • HCA 5883 Professional Portfolio. The focus of these courses is to immerse students into the profession of management and leadership within the US health system. The focus of the first immersion course focus is on understanding self (personality, cultural identities, ethics, etc.).
  • HCA 5633 Health Policy Analysis.  The second course provides a focus on leading others (collaboration, team leadership, communication, etc.) through deep understanding and debate on current issues in healthcare, followed by immersion in the development of health policies and advocacy for them in the legislative process.
  • HCA 5933 Capstone in Health Care Administration. The third course serves as a culmination of all courses in the application of theories, models and techniques to the complex problems and opportunities health care managers are tasks with.  Students participate in a series of case studies, problems, consulting projects and field experiences that require them to demonstrate their learning and profession development. 

The immersion series connects students to practicing leaders and their local, regional and statewide health organizations; provide an opportunity for students to practice relationship building and networking skills; while creating a tight knit community of learners working together in their pursuit of highly effective careers in health care management and leadership. Each of the immersion courses includes a career advising session with seasoned TWU MHA Alumni and includes a career planning exercise. 

Teaching/Learning and Assessment

MHA program faculty are committed to using a blend of highly effective teaching/learning methods and assessments that address the three domains of learning (Bloom, et al., 1956): cognitive (knowledge), affective (growth in feelings or emotional areas/attitude/self), and psychomotor (manual or physical/skills). Faculty strive to use authentic assessments or those that reflect the nature of the work of a health care manager/leader and make a commitment to provide individualized feedback to support the learning of each student.

Most courses utilize group projects, field experiences (case studies, consulting projects, etc.), oral and written communication with a heavy emphasis on serving the profession and the communities served through building relationships and professional networks.

Students are required to monitor their professional growth and development in relation to the TWU MHA Competency Model (with target achievement levels) throughout the program with a learning portfolio. Students start their portfolio in the first immersion course and continue throughout the program to collect their work, reflect on their learning; write professional goals and objectives; and prepare for their desired career.

Professional Advising Services

All students are assigned two advisors to support their degree pursuits:  an academic and faculty advisor.  Academic advisors assist students with the admission process; enrolling in courses (considering their work, transcripts, and personal constraints); conduct degree audits to ensure students are meeting degree requirements; and, navigating TWU support services. 

Faculty advisors work with their advisee’s to: Understand the structure and design of the curriculum (how to get them most out of their degree pursuit); serve as a personal and professional resource for questions and concerns; provide career advising; review student competency achievements and professional development plans at multiple stages within the degree program; and, connect advisees with other students and resources. 
All new students are also enrolled in the College of Business Collaborative Space within TWUs learning management system. This 24/7/365 resource is used to provide additional resources to students as well as keep students up to date on announcements, opportunities, events, deadlines, etc. The program also provides an orientation to the MHA program and the health administration profession.

Career Advising

The Faculty advisors work with students throughout the curriculum and in advising meetings to guide students toward resources to support their career goals and objectives.  In addition, TWU’s Career Connections is available to all students.  

Page last updated 9:35 AM, May 9, 2024