Partners HealthCare employees have a new pathway to advance their education, thanks to an expansion of a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). The initiative builds on the accredited, nonprofit College for America (CfA) program at SNHU, which has already helped more than 400 Partners employees work toward certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.

The program’s expansion, co-created by Partners and SNHU, offers employees the opportunity to earn a certificate in Health Care Management from the university. The certificate will be “stackable,” serving as a foundation for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or as a standalone career-advancing credential. The certificate in Health Care Management joins a growing list of CfA degrees and certificates in management, communications, health care, and general studies.

Throughout its programs, CfA serves to make advanced education both more affordable—programs are subsidized significantly to lessen out of pocket costs—and more accessible to busy health care workers who may not otherwise have time for courses. “This program is a win-win for Partners—it helps our employees advance their own education and careers, while bringing enhanced skills back to our patients,” says MJ Ryan, Director of Partners Workforce Development. Among Massachusetts General Hospital Health Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Ambulatory practice employees who had completed a CfA certificate program, improvements were found in 10 targeted competency areas, according to employees and managers alike.

The new certificate was announced at the recent Governor’s Online Digital Learning Summit hosted by MIT, where Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker called on participants to enhance education access through flexible opportunities for working adults. “Our partnership with CfA certainly meets the Governor’s challenge, and I am excited to see the fruits of the new Commission he is establishing to create similar opportunities throughout the Commonwealth,” continues Ryan.

For more on the program, visit the CfA website.

Pictured above: Judith Crawford, Certified Nursing Assistant and the first graduate of the CfA/Partners online associate degree program

Topics: Health Professions, Scholarship, Partners Corporate

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