Administrative Issues Journal


Within a sea change in the structure and process of providing health services, the field of health administration education has moved decisively and concretely from a teaching-centered model of education based on the assumption that knowledge equals competency to a learning-centered model. The learning-centered, or studentcentered, model is based on the assumption that competency is related to the ability to demonstrate mission- and market-relevant knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes. This article provides a comprehensive, non-prescriptive approach to the development of a new competency-based graduate program in health administration within an urban-based, private university located in the Southwest United States. The authors describe the structure and process used to align the program’s competencies and curricula to the market needs by incorporating the healthcare community’s input. The first part of the article addresses the components of the program development framework, including the determination of a program vision and philosophy and the establishment of a program development group and advisory board. The second part concludes with a discussion of the process used in the selection of a competency model and its application to the course curricula.