Graduate Programs in Health Advocacy

The Health Advocacy Program imparts the knowledge, skills, competencies and habits of mind necessary for aspiring and established healthcare professionals to pursue high-impact careers in case management and health advocacy. The Program integrates key elements of management, social sciences, human services, education and health science in such a way to prepare students to become effective professionals. Graduates from the Health Advocacy program will operate from strengths-based, culturally competent frameworks that value, respect and empower clients/patients and enhances healthcare organizations and systems.

The Career Opportunity
Healthcare Advocacy students enter a path in the healthcare field that is an alternative to hands-on primary care or clinical study, and that leads to employment in a variety of settings including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, small clinics, insurance companies, businesses, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits and governmental agencies. 21% job growth is expected in the field through 2020, according to U.S. Bureau of Statistics. This opportunity at Assumption College is singular; no comparable programs are currently offered in our region.

Three Professional/Graduate Tracks
Certificate in Health Advocacy
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Health Advocacy
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) in Health Advocacy - Starting Date TBA

The Graduate Certificate program is designed for students already holding the minimum of a bachelor's degree. It addresses issues of ethics, policy, economics, technologies, disease/disabilities and relational dynamics with an emphasis on individual-level case management. The Master of Arts program focuses on Health Advocacy departmental/organizational design and management. When introduced, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) will build upon the Master's program with system-level policy training.

The three courses of study will be launched sequentially in a way in which students may progress seamlessly from one course of study to the next. Most notably, the credits earned in the Certificate program may be applied to the Master's program.

Online-Blended Format
Classes attain high intellectual standards using a non-traditional format (online blended), respecting the flexibility needs of young adult learners and midcareer professionals. Most of the semester studies occur online, with occasional on-campus attendance required for special events on key predetermined dates. This collaborative educational environment allows participants and faculty to join together to explore and learn through extended seminars, classes, colloquia, small learning groups and online work with a special emphasis on professional practica. 

Students are provided study opportunities that allow them, individually and in groups, to gain knowledge and skills in an area of high personal and professional interest, that is producing high numbers of jobs now and into the foreseeable future, and where there is a great societal need for thoughtful, inspired and compassionate professionals.

Learning and Expertise Goals
Students in the program will know the most important analytical frameworks, contingency models, skills, approaches, historical and current trends and ideas that shape and comprise the emerging field of health advocacy. They will respond to the growing awareness of the importance of partnering perspectives in management, the social sciences, education and the health sciences while exploring the converging roles of patient representative, ombudsman, educator, care manager, patient navigator, family advisor and health advocate.

This program equips students to understand, appreciate and demonstrate relevant aspects of:

  • The nature of human growth and development;
  • The skills associated with interviewing, counseling and consultation;
  • The dynamics of family and group work;
  • Assessment;
  • Research and program evaluation;
  • The medical, psychological, social and environmental aspects of chronic illness and disability;
  • The roles, services and resources associated with Health advocacy;
  • The broad range of economic, legal and policy issues surrounding the provision of health care;
  • The broad range of ethical dilemmas confronting health advocates that arise in acute-care, ambulatory-care settings, long-term care facilities, and other institutions providing health care
  • The various elements of a dynamic professional identity in the field;
  • The sources, nature and consequences of social and cultural diversity.