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Bethel Launches Senior Care Leadership Certificate in Wake of Anticipated Need

Bethel Launches Senior Care Leadership Certificate in Wake of Anticipated Need

The certificate will prepare students to both meet the market need and play an integral role in delivering ethical, compassionate healthcare to one of the demographics that needs it most.

Bethel University is proud to announce the Senior Care Leadership and Administration Certificate as the latest addition to its lineup of healthcare programs. Set to launch spring 2019, the certificate aims to address the growing shortage of professionals equipped to serve in the senior care industry.

“Among many issues facing our culture, providing effective and compassionate healthcare is one of the most critical,” says Kristi Moline, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Excellence. “Bethel is uniquely positioned to prepare Christ-centered leaders for this industry because of our longstanding commitment to faith and service.”

With courses in business, leadership, accounting, gerontology, and regulatory issues, the 24-credit online program will prepare students to work in the full continuum of senior care. By the time they finish, students will be equipped to think critically, communicate effectively with internal and external constituents, and understand different approaches to quality and safety assessment. 

Completion of the certificate and two practicum courses will qualify students who hold a bachelor’s degree to sit for the Long-Term Care Administrator licensure exam, a forward-thinking move for those interested in leadership roles at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “Senior care is a changing landscape,” says Program Director Jen Niska. “More and more states are requiring care administrators to obtain a license.”

Rising standards for care administrators, a growing population of older adults, and increased preference for outpatient facilities are among the driving forces behind the projected demand for senior care workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical and health service managers is expected to grow by 20% in the next eight years.

In a nod to Bethel’s focus on positioning students to compete well in the job market, the certificate directly partners with five leading senior care organizations in the Twin Cities: Augustana Care and Elim Care, Guardian Angels Senior Services, New Perspective Senior Living, Presbyterian Homes, and Walker Methodist. Chosen strategically, the industry partners are specifically interested in the shared values between Bethel and their companies.   

“With partner engagement, we are building this program to meet a current and future need for well prepared, Christ-centered leaders,” Moline says. “Partners are speaking into the design of the program and will create opportunities for students to gain valuable hands-on learning in their organizations.”

Many certificate students pursuing a long-term care administrator license will have the opportunity to complete their required practicum at one of the five partner companies, where they’ll gain comprehensive experience and develop competencies in human resources, marketing, nursing, and administration. They’ll also focus on quality care and assessment—key skills to combat burgeoning problems of abuse and neglect.  

“There is a need now and there is a bigger need coming,” Niska says. “It is a growing industry, and it’s very important that our partners have people trained and ready to go. They’re going to be consistently engaged with our students—that means there will be quite a bit of hiring potential.”

Learn more about the certificate and healthcare programs at Bethel.