Award Winning Professor of Education!

Dr. Julie Cerrito, Director of the Graduate Program in School Counseling at the University of Scranton, received the Partner in Education Award by the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).  This award was presented at the annual PACAC conference at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

The PACAC Partner in Education Award was created to enhance awareness about the association by recognizing someone outside the membership for outstanding contribution to, and support of, post-secondary education. This award represents the collaborative spirit needed to foster a commitment to educational equity and access for all. Individuals, institutions, and organizations may be nominated to receive this award.

As the Director of the School Counseling Graduate Program, Dr. Cerrito regularly works with school counseling graduate students in finding innovative ways to assist school-aged students, particularly high school students, in reaching their postsecondary education and career goals. Drs. Julie Cerrito and LeeAnn Eschbach, faculty members in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton, have collaborated with local high school administrators and practicing school counselors to create special district-wide and multi-district events such as “Post-Secondary Education Readiness Night”, “College Application Night”, and “College Signing Day”. These events invite both high school students and their parents to their respective neighborhood schools, where graduate students in the field of school counseling share vital information (ex. how to select a major, how to apply to college, how to visit a college, etc.).

These topics are important when it comes to navigating what comes next after high school and the steps one should take in planning successfully for college and a future career. Research has indicated that first-generation college students, racially and ethnically diverse students, and students from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds often lack the resources and support needed to navigate the many unknowns of the future. These events attempt to reach out to those student populations, level the playing field, and help them gain the confidence they need to be proactive in planning for the future. Graduate school counseling students frequently comment on the direct benefit of increased “learning through doing” as well as the opportunity to impact youth positively in the local area. They see how their future work as school counselors connects to really making a difference in the lives of school-aged students and their families.

 

 

Something for Every Lifestyle: “Best Online Graduate Programs”

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Online Graduate Programs” ranked The University of Scranton’s online master’s degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 76 and its MBA program at No. 109 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked Scranton at No. 52 in the country for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the eighth consecutive year that U.S. News ranked the University’s online programs among the best in the nation. The methodology used by U.S. News to determine the ranking has changed several times throughout the years.

For the 2019 Best Online Programs ranking, which published Jan. 15, U.S. News reviewed statistical information submitted by schools. The ranking criteria differed by category. The criteria used by U.S. News to rank online business and MBA programs included student engagement (28 percent), which looked at graduation rates, class size, one-year retention rates, and best practices such as accreditation by AACSB International, collaborative coursework requirements, course evaluation requirements and other factors. The ranking criteria also included admission selectivity (25 percent); peer reputation score (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (11 percent); and student services and technology (11 percent).

In addition to offering distance education programs that incorporate coursework that is predominantly online, colleges and universities making the “Best Online Program for Veterans” list must have ranked in top half of 2019 Best Online Program rankings; be certified for the GI Bill, which includes participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program; and enroll a “critical mass of veterans” as defined by U.S. News based on the size of the college.

Scranton offers online MBA degrees in general business, accounting, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management; master’s degrees in accountancy, finance, health administration, health informatics and human resources and a dual MBA/MHA degree, in addition to graduate certificates. For technology, recruitment and marketing support, the University partners with Wiley for the online programs.

In other rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, Scranton has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 25 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 6 in the 2019 edition of the guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 3 in its category in a listing of just 168 colleges in the nation expressing “A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” and No. 11 in its category in a ranking of the “Most Innovative Schools.” U.S. News also ranked Scranton’s programs in entrepreneurship at No. 31, finance at No. 36, and accounting at No. 37 in the country, among other rankings.

The 2019 Best Online Programs listing can be viewed at usnews.com.

Learn more about our MBA program here.

Alumni Spotlight – Finding Career Success with a Health Informatics Degree

Patrick Wende, M.S., explains how the Master’s in Health Informatics supports his career path

We talked to Patrick about his experience in the Health Informatics program, his new position, and the future of the health informatics field.

Tell us about yourself and how you decided to pursue a Master of Science in Health Informatics at The University of Scranton.

My name is Patrick Wende and am originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I attended The University of Scranton as an undergraduate, studying exercise science and sports. While I found that field fascinating, it wasn’t the career field I was looking for.

By chance, I landed in a role at a local hospital teaching professionals how to use electronic health record software, and found that the health informatics field was the field for me. After being in health informatics for some time, I decided to pursue a graduate degree and chose to return to The University of Scranton. My choice was largely due to the history I had with the school, and my knowledge of the quality of education I would get—notwithstanding it being a brand new degree program.

How did the program fit into your job?

Throughout the program I worked at Geisinger, a local health system, managing their trauma registry. Though very data- and writing-intensive, this position allowed me to interact with clinical and administrative professionals to understand where health technology fit into their workflow and the changing landscape of health care.

One course, healthcare policy management, impacted my work immediately. While it was taught mostly using the government as an example, the principles were very easily translatable to the private organizational healthcare structure as well. The course explored how the policy process functions when considering the need for political momentum and effective change management. Combined with my experience in interacting with administrators, this knowledge completely changed my perception of the field.

Working with these administrators helped me better understand why processes and policies I’ve experienced in the past have or have not worked. The overall impact of the ways process and policy are enacted, changed and managed was a major eye-opener for me, and I’ll be using that information forever.

How did you balance your data- and writing-intensive job with your coursework?

It was a challenge, no doubt. I was fortunate to have a supervisor at my job that was very understanding of the challenges that I would be undergoing as a student and a full-time professional, and she was flexible with me.

I know that’s something not every student will have. It certainly is a challenge to maintain 40-plus hours of work per week and the student workload, but you just have to develop a new routine. You prioritize your time in such a way that you can complete your work and school work while still having time for yourself.

Scranton’s course structure made it much easier to build this routine. The workload is laid out by week, so you aren’t overburdened with a mass amount of work to do all at once.

What project did you do for your capstone course?

My capstone project took me to a wide variety of facilities in the Geisinger system to compare and analyze how the same process worked at four different hospitals. My job was to document the differences between them, their strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for process standardization across the hospitals.

I had to learn to work with each stakeholder group impacted by the process; otherwise, I’d have only bits and pieces of the information vital to understanding the process as a whole.

There were so many moving parts, regardless of location, that it required me to confirm information at various levels. That aspect was astonishing in and of itself—realizing just how many layers of personnel you need to explore to effectively document a process.

How does technology fit into health informatics?

The field is growing more technical. Informaticists—a common health informatics title—work as the intermediary between clinical and technical personnel. When I was looking for new professional opportunities, many informaticist positions required a solid technical base and were seeking candidates who weren’t afraid of learning new technologies.

Essentially, if you’re interested in pursuing this field, you need to be willing to embrace the idea of new and developing technology.

In my current role, I will be able to use many of the skills the program teaches that are geared toward informaticists—again, that link between the clinical and technical. But, if you were to draw a spectrum with technical on one end and clinical on the other, you wouldn’t be able to place the informaticist right in the middle. They would be more toward the technical end of the spectrum. At least that’s what I’ve experienced in my role, and I think that goes for the majority of informaticist positions as well.

Do you need a technical background for Scranton’s program?

You don’t need to be very technical to get through the program, but as the field skews more toward the technical side, the curriculum is sure to follow. Scranton’s program introduces technical topics in early courses and gives students a base from which to gain job-specific skills.

I get a lot of built-in education at my current job, especially as I’m learning the specific software that we use. The degree prepares you to enter the workforce, you just have to know that part of being an informaticist is learning how technology fits into your specific position.

Finally, do you have any advice for prospective students?

The health care field is very interesting and has a wide range of opportunities, offers, and room for a diverse workforce. Students should take any opportunities to speak to or shadow people in the field to make sure that it’s the field they want to be in because it’s so unique.

 

The University of Scranton’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is at the cutting edge of this emerging field.

Award Winning DBA Faculty!

University of Scranton accounting professor Douglas M. Boyle, D.B.A., was profiled as one of just six “Professors to Know in Business Programs Based in the Northeast” selected by Bschools.org, an online resource for entrepreneurs. The professors, who teach at business schools in the Northeast with online MBA programs, were selected based on their professional experience and knowledge.

An award-winning researcher and teacher, Dr. Boyle is chair of the University’s Accounting Department, director of the University’s DBA program and the founder and director of the University’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program.

A Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Management Accountant, Dr. Boyle has more than 25 years of industry executive experience. He has served in executive roles in startup, middle market and Fortune 500 companies where he has held the positions of chief executive officer, president, chief operations officer and chief financial officer. He currently serves as chair of Allied Services Foundation’s Board of Directors.

At Scranton, Dr. Boyle was named the Kania School of Management’s (KSOM) Alperin Teaching Fellow for 2015 to 2018 and received the KSOM Advisory Board’s Award for Curriculum Innovation for 2017-2018. He has twice earned the KSOM Teacher of the Year award and earned the Provost Excellence Awards for the Scholarship of Teaching in 2014 and for Scholarly Publication in 2012. He was awarded the Outstanding Accounting Educator of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2015. In addition, three research papers he has authored with fellow KSOM faculty members have received the Institute of Management Accountants’ Lybrand Medals for “outstanding papers.”

Dr. Boyle earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton, a MBA from Columbia University and a doctorate from Kennesaw State University.

To learn more about the DBA program at The University of Scranton, click here!

Opportunities Abroad Boost DPT Education


Matthew Aiken (MA) ’17, DPT expected 2020, and Erin Ciarrocca (EC) ’18, DPT expected 2021, reflect on their experiences doing service in Guatemala during intersession.

Where are you going on your service trip/how long?

MA: Our service trip took place in Guatemala over the course of 10 days. Specifically, we stayed in Zacapa and Antigua.

In a paragraph or two, describe your experience and what kind of service you did.

MA: Our service trip was based out of Hearts in Motion (HIM) an organization that provides various medical services to individuals throughout Guatemala. This trip specifically focused on physical therapy. Our group consisted of three groups of physical therapy students from the following Universities: Marquette University, William Carey and The University of Scranton.

Each day we traveled to neighboring towns and provide physical therapy in either a pre-existing clinic or in a “pop-up” clinic. While at the clinics we would treat various types of patients ranging from poor posture causing pain to patients with much more severe and involved neurological issues. Each day we would attempt to work in different groups of students from different schools in order to grow and learn from one another.

What inspired you to go on a service trip?

MA: I was inspired to go on this service trip by various people. Some of my friends have attended previous trips similar to this one and have given it remarkable reviews. Furthermore, I knew for a while that I wanted to take part in some type of service trip, this trip specifically resonated with me because it was a chance to both help other people while continuing to grow as a person and as a student in the physical therapy society.

What is your biggest takeaway from this experience?

MA: My biggest take away from the service trip would be the hospitality and the thankfulness each and every patient expressed. No matter how small of an issue we treated, every patient was grateful. This hit close to home for me because I feel that in our society we can sometimes get so caught up in our everyday lives and ignore what is directly around us. In addition, this trip has shown me how complacent we can become in our everyday lives if we don’t live to help others.

EC: I was most awestruck by the gratitude each patient demonstrated for the care we provided. Often patients would hug and kiss us at the end of their treatment, offering a “Dios te bendiga,” which translates to “God bless you” on their way out of the clinic. As a first-year student, I initially questioned my ability to truly help these patients, but I found that their willingness to listen and learn along with a pure determination to better their own lives was so much stronger than my insecurity. They welcomed my knowledge with open arms and embraced any treatments we offered without skepticism. This type of open-mindedness and faith in the goodness of others was unlike any I had seen before and it was something I would like to model in my future career as a physical therapist.


5. What advice would you give to college students interested in participating in a service trip?

MA: Do it! If there is an opportunity for you to go on a service trip, especially if the service is something you are passionate about, then I highly recommend taking the leap of faith and going for it. If you have concerns about the trip reach out to individuals who have previously attended or a moderator of the trip. We are lucky enough that our school runs numerous service trips that can cater to all types of needs. These opportunities are not always present after we graduate. Therefore, I strongly encourage, even if just a small part of you wants to take part in a service trip, go for it.

EC: My advice is simple — go for it! I decided to go on this trip with only a few days’ notice, no idea who else was going, and relatively low confidence in my ability to treat Spanish-speaking patients, but within just a couple hours of working in the clinic found that the opportunity was just what I needed to grow as a student. I didn’t plan on utilizing my Spanish much, but I was immediately thrown into translating so my comfortability speaking with patients increased each day. I was able to learn from my peers and the professors, which gave me a whole set of new tools to take back for classes this spring. More importantly, this service trip gave me a chance to share the blessings I’ve been given as a University of Scranton student with people who haven’t been afforded the same opportunities. I was able to carry out my mission as a physical therapist, but also as a Christian, in serving and loving God’s children.

6. Do you think you’ll continue to serve in some way after you graduate?

MA: Yes. I am already thinking about ways to continue serving both here in the United States and abroad. Since I was young, I have felt a need to help others, hence a degree in physical therapy. Over the past six years at Scranton, this calling has only grown stronger. The Jesuit ideal of men and women for others has become not just a saying, but, rather, a lifestyle that I look forward to continuing.

View more about Erin Ciarrocca’s trip to Guatemala here!

Check out a faculty perspective here!

Learn more about the DPT program here.