The College of St. Scholastica, which continues to be a national leader in health information management after developing the first health management degree program in 1934, has opened its first venue in Arizona as part of the Communiversity educational cluster in Surprise. Healthcare has continued to grow nationally, and recent changes will require better access to providers, observes Maria Laughner, Arizona regional director for the 102-year-old private Catholic Benedictine college. Demographics and trends here indicate a need for additional higher education providers, she explains, relating she has heard ASU president Michael Crow speak of wishing “more higher education alternatives would come into the area because ASU is not able to handle all the demand.”
Initial program offerings are Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, Master of Science in Health Information Management and Master of Science in Health Informatics. The school is opening online now, and Laughner is submitting an application to the Arizona Board for Private Post-Secondary Education and anticipates being able to offer an on-ground program by fall. “We’ve been welcomed by other colleges,” she says, describing a collaboration with Phoenix College to present a career pathway for its students to transition the associates degree program to a program for a bachelor’s degree from St. Scholastica.
In addition to the degree programs, St. Scholastica will provide continued education for professionals who are constantly required to update their skills. Observes Laughner, “The need has only grown as technology changes.”