Date: January 6, 2005
Contact: Michael Hopkins
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, Illinois, January 6, 2005 - Governors State University announced today that its Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) program has received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
The CAHME accreditation makes Governors State the only state university in Illinois to have a Master of Health Administration program so accredited. Only two private universities in the state have similarly accredited master’s programs.
With the M.H.A. accreditation, Governors State University becomes the only university in Illinois offering both an accredited graduate program and a certified undergraduate Health Administration program.
The accreditation is the latest in a series of successful accreditations earned by the university. Every program at the university that has a recognized accrediting body is now accredited.
The M.H.A. accreditation comes after a lengthy process in which every facet of the program was examined, including curriculum, faculty qualifications, research, and service.
“We were successfully evaluated on 48 criteria through a written and on-campus visitation process,” said Dr. Ralph Bell, chair of the university’s Health Administration Department. Bell said the GSU program has always been very strong, but added that the CAHME accreditation assures the program meets or exceeds nationally recognized standards.
CAHME cited several strengths in the GSU program, including its mission, leadership, and commitment to excellence. Bell said program faculty have been extensively involved in research, particularly in the area of health care disparities. Graduates of the GSU program most often find work as managers in hospitals and other large health care facilities.
“Accreditation and periodic reaccreditation of programs is important to a college of health professions for several reasons,” said Dr. Linda Samson, dean of GSU’s College of Health Professions. “Most health professionals must graduate from accredited programs to be eligible for licensure. Part and parcel to that is the benchmark accreditation sets for program quality.”
Samson added that accreditation also assures program curricula are up to date and in synch with the standards established for professionals.
The college’s Master of Occupational Therapy program was reaccredited in September of 2004, its Master of Social Work program in June of 2003, and both its graduate and undergraduate nursing programs in October of 2002.
University President Stuart Fagan congratulated the college on its work. “The College of Health Professions has covered impressive ground over the last couple of years,” Fagan said. “The faculty in the college, the students, staff, and the dean of the college, Dr. Linda Samson, are all to be commended.”
Since taking over as Governors State’s president in 2000, Fagan has made program quality the university’s first priority. A series of accreditation successes have accumulated under his watch, in every one of the university’s four colleges.
In 2002, the university’s Professional Education Unit earned prestigious accreditation from the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), with no weaknesses found under the NCATE 2000 guidelines. Governors State was the first university in Illinois to do so.
“GSU has come a long way in a short time,” said the university’s provost, Dr. Paul Keys. He added that the faculty in GSU’s Health Administration program is nationally recognized for its accomplishments and its research.
The university has long held overall accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Secondary Schools.