Stratford University isn’t on the radar for many people but merits an in-depth analysis of their academic offerings and their effectiveness at career placement. In this struggling economy it’s more important than ever to get the most for your tuition money, and colleges are feeling the pinch. Be sure that you’re getting value, and that your hard work and sacrifice will pay off down the road.
Stratford University Overview
Very popular among international students, this private college has been based out of Virginia for 35 years. It is quite unique in that it has the ability to offer American degrees to students in India, without them having to leave the country. It’s also a very popular school among working adults, who are able to find time to take classes around their work schedules.
Stratford University is nationally accredited. While this may not be an issue for many students, some students at other nationally accredited colleges have been found to complain that their credits won’t transfer to publicly-funded state universities, and also that their degrees are not considered as valid as other colleges.
If you are sure of the career that you want, and have confirmed that the program you are taking is valid for that position, than there is little to worry about. If you are unsure of what you would like to do and are just trying to get an education while you figure it out, you may experience difficulty changing schools or entering a job market with an unrecognized degree.
Stratford U has its main campuses in Virginia, in the cities of Woodbridge, Richmond, and Falls Church. It also maintains a campus in India in the city of New Delhi. This gives it an international presence and broadens it’s scope and scale. When considering a college based on whether or not it is available online, it’s reassuring to know that there are real campuses that students are attending it on an actual campus.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for each credit hour clocks in $370, which is about average for this type of college in regards to its size and stature. When you attend Stratford you’ll be eligible to receive financial aid from US government if you’re a US citizen.
Stratford doesn’t have any 100% online courses, but they do incorporate online learning into all of their academic programs, reducing the amount of time that you have to spend in an actual classroom, and allowing you to earn your degree at a more advanced rate than you can at other schools.
Bachelors in Health Care Administration and Management
Stratford only offers two bachelor degree programs and the other one is through their School of Nursing. They do offer several Associate programs, which are covered below.
You’ll get a great amount of core competency by taking the first round of perquisites. Unlike other 4-year institutions you won’t need to spend your time taking dozens of general topic courses, you get right to the meat from the start.
Introduction to Healthcare Administration
This course gives you the basics on how the US Health systems work. You’ll get the gist of how to effectively manage these systems. Not only will you get the technical and practical skills needed, you’ll also leave with an understanding on how these systems operate. Peripherally you’ll learn leadership basics, and how recent trends across the nation and world are effecting health care management.
Epidemiology and Health Services Research
You’ll experience a level of professional growth and gain a better knowledge of public health and how it relates to individuals. Find out how demographics plays a role in the macro-level planning of health systems. Learn how to plan, manage, and evaluate current health service programs.
Healthcare Financial Management
You’ll delve into topics like policy-making, financial considerations, management, and how to control different organizations within a health care facility. Learn how to prepare financial statements, the ways that hospitals are reimbursed for the services they provide, how they make their budgets, how they interact with government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Strategic Health Planning
Get philosophical in this course where you learn the strategies on how to think ahead, plan and manage a health system so that it is prepared for future changes and advancements. Get a clear mind map and so that you can think about an organizations mission and values for their long-term vision.
With baby boomers scheduled to live longer than any other generation before it, there is a growing need in learning how to take care of them for the long term. Learn the important role that assisted living facilities and adult day care companies will play going forward.
Medicare and Medicaid Administration
Get involved with how Medicare and Medicaid work, who’s covered by them, what’s covered by them, where they get their funding, and who runs them. Because these are government-run programs it’s vital to understand how they operate, and what part they play in the overall system.
Health Policy and Reform
Policies are created by middle and upper management of an organization, and if that’s where you’re planning to work, this course will provide you with the skills needed. Start with the concepts, or the why behind it all, and then go deeper into the actual tools and techniques used by today’s top organizations.
Health Maintenance Organizations Managed Care – Here you’ll learn about the often villified HMO. Find out how to work with them and the part they play in large and small health facilities. As more and more employers are using these to provide health benefits to their employees they have become a main part of many organizations.
Minority and Health Disparity – Find out why there is a gap between the health care that is given between different minorities. There are socioeconomic reasons behind it and you can find out how you can play a part in closing this gap and making health care more accessible to people from all walks of life.
Health Management Seminar – This seminar brings together professionals from many different areas of the health sector. They bring with them their own topics and the class will discuss these in an open format.
This course will get you out of the classroom and into the field as you observe and learn from qualified individuals already in the field of your choice. You’ll also be evaluated on how well you are learning your coursework, and will be expected to show an understanding of the core functions or health care facilities.
Other Health Care Programs Offered
Stratford has a range of healthcare related fields that will get you on the path to a new career in the medical industry. Because these courses are taught with a mix of on-campus classes as well as online courses you’ll be able to get your degree more conveniently than you would at a more traditional university with a majority of your courses held in person.
Associates in EKG-Phlebotomy Technician
If you’ve wanted to become a phlebotomy tech then you can take this 2-year program and be well-prepared for this career. If you study straight through without taking a break you can finish in 60 weeks, which is six of their quarters.
Associates in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Many people are looking into a medical billing and coding degree as a way to get into a high-paying job. They’re also attracted to the option of being able to telecommute from home. It’s also attractive to those that want to work in the health industry without having to deal face-to-face with patients or sick people.
Associates in Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy techs assist Pharmacists in the day to day goings on in a pharmacy. You’ll be able to take care of customers that need their orders filled, as well as those that have questions about drug interactions, and interacting with doctors offices and hospitals to confirm prescriptions.
Associates in Applied Science in Medical Assisting
This 2-year degree will put you on pace to becoming a medical assistant. Don’t confuse this with being a Physician’s Assistant, as the two careers are very different in both responsibilities and pay scale.
For-Profit, Private College
Out of all of the different types of college, for-profit private colleges seem to be the best at keeping student interests at the forefront of strategic planning. When a school is publicly traded it immediately creates a conflict of interest between the shareholders and the students. Students want the best education for their tuition dollar, and shareholders want increasing dividend payouts. What’s good for one is usually not good for the other.
When a school is privately held there are fewer people involved in the financial payoff the college generates. They can take a more rational, longer-term view of things and focus on creating the best student experience possible, knowing that this will ultimately result in more profits over a longer period of time.
The only trip up that Stratford University has is their national accreditation. With that in mind, as long as you know exactly what you’re going to school for, and are positive that you will see the program through until completion, then it’s a solid choice. However, if you have any doubts, or are planning on transferring schools halfway through or deciding on your major after a few years, you should look for other options.
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