Shepherd M.B.A. issues forum Oct. 28 will focus on health care
Shepherd University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is observing its 10th anniversary this year and will celebrate by hosting an issues forum, “Affordable Health Care Act: The Good, The Bad and the Unknown,” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Historic McFarland House, 409 South Queen St., Martinsburg.
“The 2015 annual M.B.A. issues forum will invite a distinguished panel of healthcare experts to address the benefits and challenges, as well as the unknown potential impacts, of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for West Virginians,” said Dr. Chip Zimmer, assistant professor of business administration and M.B.A. coordinator.
Zimmer said there is general agreement that the ACA is not perfect, so the forum will address the pros and cons of the law and how it might be improved. Some discussion will also focus on the various court cases that involve the ACA.
“While the forum will consider the ACA from a broad national perspective, the panelists will also provide the audience with a targeted perspective for West Virginia,” Zimmer said.
Panelists for the forum, which will be moderated by Shepherd alumnus and WEPM radio news director Hans Fogle, are:
Dr. Marcia Brand, former deputy administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; executive director of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health; and chair of Shepherd’s Board of Governors.
Albert Wright, president and CEO of West Virginia University Hospitals.
Eliza Heppner, senior public health advisor, Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Louise Reese, chief executive officer, West Virginia Primary Care Association.
The business formal event is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit whoozin.com/pdq-get-gw4r.
Ten years of educating business leaders
A reception prior to the healthcare forum will showcase the M.B.A. program and highlight recent and past successes of alumni, current students, and the department. Shepherd’s M.B.A. began in 2005 and was the third graduate program the university offered.
Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies and continuing education and associate vice president for academic affairs, said the M.B.A. has been the largest graduate program offered by the university since 2007, with an enrollment of approximately 120 students.
In 2013 the program, which is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, moved to Shepherd’s Martinsburg Center. Beard credits the move, along with using a hybrid format for the classes where they are partially taught online, with boosting interest.
“This new location and instructional delivery models are a really good way for our adult learners to progress at a nice pace,” he said. “M.B.A. students have different needs. They have families and they have careers or they’re looking to change careers.”
Zimmer said the location near I-81 has helped draw students from north of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and south of Winchester, Virginia.
The program offers a general M.B.A. degree and four concentrations, in accounting, health administration, public management, and sport management. Zimmer said the classes are often taught by working professionals.
“‘We do it today, we teach it tonight’ is the motto,” he said. “Students don’t just get the theoretical knowledge out of a book. They’re getting real-life experiences. It also opens a lot of doors because these professors are still working in the field and have a lot of contacts, so it is a terrific opportunity for our students.”
During the 2011-12 academic year an M.B.A. Advisory Council was developed to involve the community at large. There’s also a Student Advisory Council which was formed in 2012 and organizes several events each year, including the annual issues forum that’s taking place Oct. 28.
This year Shepherd began offering an accelerated M.B.A., which is the university’s first accelerated master’s program. It will allow students to begin pursing their master of business administration while still working on their bachelor’s degree.
Beard said students accepted into the accelerated M.B.A. program are able to take up to 12 credit hours, or four classes, that will count toward both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
For more information about Shepherd’s M.B.A. program, visit www.shepherd.edu/mba/.