An IWU education right where you work

An IWU education right where you work

Indiana Wesleyan University Adult and Graduate Programs is expanding opportunities by making going to class more convenient. Degree programs are offered in numerous locations and online, and in some workplaces. IWU is very excited about a new partnership with the MetroHealth System in Cleveland to offer on-location, blended cohorts that will better serve students and the community.

How it works

The MetroHealth program is a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Management. It is designed for students with 60 credits of previous college work, those who have typically completed an associate degree. However, IWU has a starting point for anyone regardless of credit level. As Enrollment Manager Brian Rowe explains, students can start fresh with an associate degree program, a bridge program, or some combination of credit earning.
Class time is the equivalent of one night a week. In this blended learning model, students attend class in person on the first and last night of each course. Courses typically last five weeks, so students spend the middle three weeks completing their class requirements online. This allows for the students and instructor to go over the syllabus and expectations face-to-face on the first day of each class and for students to be able to give in-person presentations on the last meeting, as is often done with onsite cohorts. The three online weeks grant adult students the flexibility of attending class whenever it best fits their schedules while still seeing and interacting with their cohort members at work.
The healthcare industry is very competitive in Cleveland. The MetroHealth System requires nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree within three years of working at the hospital. This partnership with IWU encourages and supports workers in this effort. Student Edna Nale is in the first MetroHealth cohort group. She said she was missing out on job opportunities by not having a degree. “I’ve been working at MetroHealth for over 20 years but the lack of degree kept stopping me from moving forward,” says Edna.

I’ve been working at MetroHealth for over 20 years but the lack of degree kept stopping me from moving forward."

Edna Nale

Increasingly, hospitals in the region are requiring the same of their workers and colleges in the area are working to accommodate this large number of students in the most convenient way possible. Partnerships between education providers and hospital systems benefit everyone involved from students to the hospital.

The many benefits

The blended learning model affords many benefits to students. They enjoy the added convenience of not having to leave work to attend class. After a long shift they can simply grab a coffee and a bite to eat and head down to the learning center in the MetroHealth Medical Center instead of packing up and heading to a different location for hours of class time. This benefit is in addition to the accelerated format that boasts classes on only one night a week.

Nale said one of the most appealing aspects of the program was the convenience. “I don’t have to worry about running around somewhere else. We can just go upstairs to the classes right there at the main campus.”

“I don’t have to worry about running around somewhere else. We can just go upstairs to the classes right there at the main campus.”

Edna Nale

Students in this program are in a cohort with their coworkers. It is not an open program, which means the students get to work with people they know on real situations and familiar problems Support and help from classmates is more accessible when needed and the camaraderie can provide the motivation students need to keep going.

The hospital also benefits from this closed group of students. They have large numbers of employees collaborating to find solutions to problems seen in their workplace. Students deal with real-life situations rather than hypothetical problems, and what they learn one night can be put into practice the very next day.
This creates a more educated and able workforce. According to Andrea Flynn, Learning and Development Specialist at the MetroHealth System, the hospital believes by improving the experience and knowledge of employees they will enhance the patient experience.

In addition to the IWU cohort at the hospital, the MetroHealth System offers a tuition discount to employees to further increase the accessibility of education. This discount is not only for IWU students in the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management program. The tuition assistance program at MetroHealth is meant to help workers with education that will in someway help someone at the hospital.

A great response

Both IWU and the MetroHealth System are celebrating a great response to this program offering. The first class started with 15 students and there is strong interest among others who have not yet started. The enrollment team is working to project a start date for the next group of students.
Information sessions have been held at the hospital so potential students can meet with representatives from the IWU enrollment team. At these meetings, employees of the MetroHealth System are able to find out exactly how the program works and get answers to their questions. Nale commented she didn’t know if she could add school to her already busy workload until she attended one such meeting. She said Rowe gave her the confidence she needed to enroll.
While this is a Bachelor of Science level cohort, this type of program would work at any level and with any degree. If there is enough demand, enrollment staff at IWU say an associate program could be added.

As Corporate Education Liaison Bart Ciofani explains, employees often need degrees to get promotions. IWU is offering a springboard to employees to move ahead in their careers. He says this program works whether the student is in pediatrics or accounting at the hospital; it will help that person become a better candidate for management.
For IWU, the goal of this type of program is the opportunity to provide education to more people. A degree can make a difference in the career of a working adult. It can open doors to promotions, raises, and other job opportunities. IWU also offers degree programs at 16 regional campuses and online. See which option works the best for you.

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