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.

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.

Use Your Career to Reduce Stress for Others

How Does Therapeutic Behavior Management Relate to Business?

Not only are these tips useful to Human Resources professionals, but they can help us all deal to stress in our work lives.

More than 80% of workers in the United States admit to having job-related stress. This continued stress frequently leads to burnout, which can affect an employee’s ability to remain productive in the workplace. Therapeutic behavior management can be beneficial to any employee experiencing job-related stress.

Job Stress vs. Professional Challenges

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the perception of job stress is frequently confused with professional challenges. These two concepts are not one and the same.

Job stress leads to unhealthy physical and emotional reactions, whereas professional challenges can energize an individual both mentally and physically.

Challenges motivate professionals to master new skills that will improve their job performance. Successfully completing a challenge at work frequently leads to the same feeling of satisfaction an individual experienced following accomplishments during their college career.

A survey conducted by Northwestern National Life finds that 40% of the workers surveyed feel their jobs are very stressful. Additionally, one-fourth of employees consider their jobs to be the number one stressor in their lives.

The Effect of Job Stress on an Individual’s Health

When an individual becomes stressed, the brain begins to prepare the body to take defensive action. This defensive action is frequently referred to as the fight or flight response.

During this response:

  • The nervous system arouses and releases hormones to enhance the senses
  • Respiration deepens
  • The pulse quickens
  • Muscles become tense

Although occasional or brief episodes of stress are of little concern, stressful situations that keep the body in a continuous state of activation must be addressed.

A continued state of fight or flight activation increases the amount of wear and tear on the biological systems throughout the body. Eventually, the ability for the body to defend and repair itself becomes compromised. This increases the risk of the individual becoming ill or injured.

Reduce Stress by Changing Your Thoughts About Work

Dr. Frank Ghinassi, who has served on the board of the Academic Behavioral Health Consortium, states that in order to make it through the workday with less stress, we need to alter the way we think about work. Changing our perspective may significantly reduce the apprehension and nervousness we experience in the workplace.

Ghinassi states that it is not necessarily the facts that compel our emotions, but what we think about a particular event. Our cognitive interpretations are responsible for driving how we feel.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Job-Related Stress

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes CBT as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders and depression.

CBT therapy is unique in that it focuses on the beliefs and thoughts a patient has, rather than a patient’s actions. Because job-related stress is frequently caused by perception, some of the strategies utilized in CBT therapy may help individuals who are dealing with job-related stress.

4 CBT-Inspired Strategies to Reduce Job-Related Stress

1. Prioritize

Stress levels begin to rise as our responsibilities increase throughout the workday. Make a list of the things you need to accomplish. Rate these tasks according to importance. Chances are that several tasks are crucial, while others are not very important. Now you can focus your attention on the crucial tasks; completing the unimportant tasks only after the crucial tasks have been addressed.

By taking the time to prioritize, you can clearly see the tasks that require immediate attention and which tasks can be addressed at your leisure; thus reducing your stress levels.

2. Create an Oasis

Whenever your attention wanders and you begin thinking stressful thoughts, Ghinassi recommends taking a break. Find a quiet place where you can perform calming non-physical exercises. These exercises may include positive imagery, deep breathing, and listening to soothing music.

3. Use Probability to Eliminate Negative Thoughts

Catastrophizing is a type of thought pattern that focuses on every possible mistake or slip up that can lead to a downfall. Besides causing stress, this kind of black-and-white thinking may cause you to have a sense of impending doom. Instead, Ghinassi suggests controlling these thoughts by weighing the likelihood – or probability – of something happening. Once you bring this technique into your regular patterns of thought, it can be a calming influence in eliminating worry about things that aren’t likely to manifest into actual problems.

4. The Cognitive Flip

If you feel as if you have lost control of a situation, you can try to curb stress levels by thinking about the things you can control. That doesn’t mean the things you can’t control won’t happen but by focusing on what you have the power to control, you are reminded that you can shape your own outcomes.

Having these behavior management tools at your disposal and knowing how to use them will help you manage stress, often before it becomes debilitating. If you are a manager, fostering some of these patterns in a general way can help your staff.

By addressing staff mental health issues, performance levels increase and a company or organization becomes a better place to work. A qualified leader in a company’s human resources department will encourage the use of these techniques by everyone in the company, when needed. They can be used to significantly improve the atmosphere and health of the work force.

Knowing methods like this to improve morale and productivity is just one small – but very effective – part of an advanced human resources education, such as a Master of Science in Human Resources Management. If you want to step up and do more for your company, look into the online master’s in human resources management offered by The University of Scranton.

5 Tips To Create A Stellar Resume

Writing a great resume is a balancing act. You need to outline your portfolio with professional keywords in your field, but also stand out from the pack. In addition, you need to strike a balance between presenting brief career highlights for recruiters who view resumes at a high-level while describing a greater depth of your experience for hiring managers who are taking a deeper dive.

1. Select the right format

Choosing the right format for your resume depends on your industry or profession. Careers like banking, finance, and law are considered traditional, while positions in advertising, fashion, art, and innovative technologies are more creative. Many fields are somewhere in between.

As a rule of thumb, standard resume formats are expected in traditional fields. On the other hand, job seekers in creative fields have used innovative new formats including video, websites, social media tools, and even handmade books and artifacts to craft successful resumes.

2. Customize your resume

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 61 percent of employers prefer a resume that is customized to an open position.2 CareerBuilder also found that 48 percent of employers spend less than two minutes reading a resume.

That means you should prepare a separate resume for each job that you apply to, preferably using bullet points and highlighting your most relevant skills and experience.

3. Select a suitable length

Most of the time, one page is best because you generally are writing for busy recruiters. But occasionally, two pages may win you the job, especially for hiring managers looking for a range of experience, according to specialists convened by Monster.com.3

Whatever you do, choose your words carefully so that you are not featuring outdated or irrelevant skills.

4. Be selective with word choice

Here’s a warning to resume writers: avoid clichés and outdated expressions. Hiring managers and recruiters in a recent survey by CareerBuilder ranked these as words as the most offensive:4

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Think outside the box
  • Synergy
  • Go-to person

The hiring executives also gave examples of words they would like to see on resumes, including:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/ mentored
  • Managed
  • Created

5. Avoid formatting mistakes

These days, resumes are often scanned by machines to determine if you have the relevant requirements. Make your resume “machine-readable” by keeping it to a standard font, without special features such as italics or underlining.5

Many employers also advise having text only and no images or graphics.6

With these tips and a mention of your higher education, you could achieve your goals and land the job you have been waiting for!

___________________________________________________________________________________

Sources:

1Fortune.com. Congrats, MBA Grads. http://fortune.com/2015/05/19/mba-graduates-starting-salary/

2CareerBuilder.com. Employers Reveal Biggest Resume Blunders in Annual Survey. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2F2015&id=pr909&sd=8%2F13%2F2015

3Monster.com. The one-page resume vs. the two-page resume. http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/one-page-or-two-page-resume

4CareerBuilder.com. Hiring managers rank best and worst words on a resume in a recent CareerBuilder survey. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?id=pr809&sd=3/13/2014&ed=03/13/2014

5Dummies.com. How to create a scannable resume. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-create-a-scannable-resume.html

6CBSMoneyWatch: 10 resume errors that will land you in the trash. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/10-resume-errors-that-will-land-you-in-the-trash/