MHA Program Mission, Competencies and Accreditation

The University of Providence MHA program mission is to partner with and support healthcare professionals who are seeking to advance their careers. UP MHA students are working healthcare professionals. The majority are early to mid-careerists. Across cohorts there is almost an even split between managerial and non-managerial professionals. Students’ experience in healthcare ranges from 1-5 to over 20 years; there are a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties represented. This lays the foundation for a community of learning with diversity of thought offering robust discussion and enriching collaborations.

Our focus is to help professionals build knowledge, skills and abilities. While professionals require a strong baseline of awareness and knowledge, we believe that skills and abilities must be developed and repeatedly practiced to enhance workplace preparedness. As part of our interest in developing future healthcare leaders, we selected the National Center for Healthcare Leadership 2.0 Competency Model (

The NCHL model has 26 competencies representing three domains. The domains are Transformation, Execution, and People. The UP MHA program “highlights intrapersonal understanding and self-development to support cultivating collaboration and leading teams to execute change.” We believe the NCHL model is the best fit for the program. Within the model, a subset of 19 competencies have been selected for emphasis within the UP MHA program. While some “stretch” competencies and levels are occasionally included for awareness, the core will be emphasized across the curriculum.

NCHL Domain: Transformation

Achievement Orientation:

A concern for surpassing a standard of excellence. The standard may be one’s own past performance (striving for improvement); an objective measure (results orientation); outperforming others (competitiveness); challenging goals, or something that has not been done before (innovation).

Targeted levels within the competency

L 2.1 – Wants to do the job well
L 2.2 – Creates own measures of excellence
L 2.3 – Improves performance

Analytical Thinking: 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. It includes organizing the parts of a situation, issue or problem systematically; making systematic comparisons of different features or aspects; setting priorities on a rational basis; and identifying time sequences, causal relationships, or if-then relationships.

Targeted levels within the competency

L3.1 Breaks down problems
L3.2 Identifies basic relationships
L3.3 Recognizes multiple relationships

Financial Skills: The ability to see the potential in and understand the use of administrative and clinical information technology and decision support tools in process and performance improvement. Actively sponsors their utilization and the continuous upgrading of informational management capabilities.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 8.1 Explains the organizations financial metrics and reports
L 8.2 Manages budgets and assets
L 8.3 Understands impacts of reimbursement models

Information Seeking: An underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people or issues, including the desire for knowledge and staying current with health, organizational, industry, and professional trends and development. It includes pressing for exact information, resolving discrepancies by asking a series of questions, and scanning for potential opportunities that may be of future use, as well as staying current and seeking best practices for adoption.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 11.1 Consults available resources
L 11.2 Investigates beyond routine questions
L 11.3 Delves deeper
L 11.4 Conducts research to maintain knowledge

Innovative Thinking: The ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways for breakthrough thinking in the field.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 14.1 Applies basic rules
L 14.2 Recognizes patterns based on life experiences
L 14.3 Applies “tried and true” concepts or trends
L14.4 Clarifies ideas or complex situations

Strategic Orientation: The ability to consider the business, demographic, ethno-cultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that continually improve the long term success and viability of the organization.

Targeted levels within this competency

L 24.1 Conducts environmental scanning
L 24.2 Develops strategies to address environmental forces

NCHL Domain: Execution

Accountability : The ability to hold people accountable to standards of performance or ensure compliance using the power of one’s position or force of personality appropriately and effectively, with the long-term good of the organization in mind.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 1.1 Communicates requirements and expectations
L 1.2 Sets limits
L 1.3 Demands high performance

Change Leadership: The ability to energize stakeholders and sustain their commitment to changes in approaches, processes, and strategies.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 4.1 Identifies areas for change
L4.2 Expresses Vision for change
L4.3 Ensures change message is heard

Collaboration: The ability to work cooperatively with others, to be part of a team, to work together, as opposed to working separately or competitively. Collaboration applies when a person is a member of a group of people functioning as a team, but not the leader.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 5.1 Conducts work in a cooperative manner
L 5.2 Expresses positive attitudes and expectations of team or team members
L 5.3 Solicits input
L 5.4 Encourages others

Communication Skills: The ability to speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations to prepare cogent business presentations and to facilitate a group.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 6.1 Uses generally accepted English grammar
L 6.2 Prepares effective written business cases or presentations
L 6.3 Makes persuasive oral presentations

Information Technology/Management: The ability to see the potential in and understand the use of administrative and clinical information technology and decision support tools in process and performance improvement. Actively sponsors their utilization and the continuous upgrading of information management capabilities.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 12.1 Recognizes the potential of information systems in process and patient service improvement
L 12.2   Actively promotes Information Systems Implementation

Performance Measurement: The ability to understand and use statistical and financial methods and metrics to set goals and measure clinical as well as organizational performance; commitment to and employment of evidence based techniques.

Targeted levels within this competency

L17.1 Monitors indicators of performance
L17.2 Monitors a “scorecard” of quantitative and qualitative measures

Process Management/Organizational Design: The ability to analyze and design or improve an organizational process, including incorporating the principles of quality management as well as customer satisfaction.

Targeted levels within this competency

L 18.1 Conducts process flow analyses
L 18.2 Benchmarks good processes and practices
L 18.3 Evaluates organization structure and design

NCHL Domain: People

Human Resource Management: The ability to implement staff development and other management practices that represent contemporary best practices, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and optimize the performance of the workforce. Including performance assessments, alternative compensation and benefits methods, and the alignment of human resources practices and processes to meet the strategic goals of the organization.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 9.1 Is familiar with basic employment processes and law

Interpersonal Understanding: The ability to understand other people as well as to accurately hear and understand the unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings and concerns of others. It measures increasing complexity and depth of understanding of others and includes cross-cultural sensitivity.

Targeted levels within the competency

L 15.1 Recognizes emotions and concerns of others
L 15.2 Interprets emotions and verbal content
L 15.3 Commits to understanding others

Professionalism: The demonstration of ethics, sound professional practice, social accountability, and community stewardship. The desire to act in a way that this consistent with one’s values and what one says is important.

Targeted levels within this competency

L19.1 Acts openly and honestly
L19.2 Promotes organizational integrity

Self-Confidence: A belief in one’s own capability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach to a task or problem. This includes confidence in one’s ability as expressed in increasingly challenging circumstances and confidence in one’s decisions or opinions.

Targeted levels within this competency

L22.1 Acts confidently within job or role
L22.2 Acts confidently at the limits or slightly beyond the limits of the job or role
L22.3 States confidence in own ability

Self-Development: The ability to have an accurate view of one’s own strengths’ and development needs, including the impact one has on others. A willingness to address needs through reflective, self-directed learning, and by trying new approaches.

Targeted levels within this competency

L 23.1 Seeks Feedback
L 23.2 Improves own performance

And what this means to students is..,

Course activities and assignments reflect competencies. Students may consult course syllabi for listings of competencies reflected in each course. Competencies are listed immediately after the Student Learning Outcomes. Scroll down to the first grid that appears in each syllabus, this is the “Major Assignments” grid. The grid includes assignments, percentage of grade, due dates, and Module Learning Objectives. The far right column is “Outcomes.” This column of the grid aligns Course Student Learning Outcomes, Program Outcomes, Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education domains, University of Providence Graduate Outcomes and NCHL competencies. This grid validates that each assignment has a carefully considered purpose.

Beginning with the January 2020 entering cohort, each student will have the ability to look at his/her Individual Learning Plan to measure performance in demonstrating competencies. Certain assignments will be designated as “sentinel assignments,” Students’ work on sentinel assignments should reflect demonstration of specific competencies. If work does not reflect a demonstration of competencies, students will be asked to revise and resubmit.

Accreditation Pursuits

The University of Providence is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (   The leadership of the University of Providence MHA Program have chosen to pursue an additional voluntary accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Just as individuals challenge themselves to achieve board certifications or specialty designations and healthcare organizations challenge themselves to achieve voluntary accreditations to demonstrate quality, we are pursuing the rigorous CAHME accreditation for our MHA program. In the CAHME December 16, 2019 newsletter, Anthony Stanowski, President and CEO, reported 106 accredited programs. The UP MHA program was accepted for eligibility in October 2019 and will apply for candidacy on January 15, 2020. Once a program is accepted for candidacy, the next step is to begin a year-long self-study process in preparation for an accreditation site visit.