New College Offerings Geared to Evolving Industry Needs


If one thing has been made clear over the last year, it is that the job marketplace is changing. Workers have become more aware of their career choices, the things they value in life, and how they spend their time. This close examination left many to fervently seek alternatives that offer more fulfillment, financially and personally.


Colleges and universities are embracing the transformation to combat the mismatch between their programming and worker demand. Healthcare and information technology always need more skilled workers. Other industries also have grown as workers explore their options.


La Roche University is one of several local institutions of higher learning reshaping its offerings. The university added two new certificate programs to meet shifts in the healthcare industry. Students now have the option of enrolling in the health leadership certificate program, which launched in spring 2021 or the global healthcare certificate program, which began enrolling new students in summer 2021. In this current pandemic-fueled atmosphere, a health certificate is practical in a demanding and essential field.


Lauren Lanzino, chair of the Health Sciences Department at La Roche, said the certificate programs can be used in any healthcare setting, domestically or internationally.


“These programs were created because of requests from both students and healthcare facilities,” she explained. “Many current healthcare workers are looking to expand their educations and advance in their current fields, but they need more credentials. These certificates are more concentrated and concise with a focus on health leadership or global healthcare.”


The health leadership certificate is designed for individuals seeking competencies in active and effective roles in the healthcare system. Students who complete the course gain the necessary tools to succeed and lead in the evolving healthcare industry. The global health certificate is ideal for students who would like to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes within various cultural populations.


Students do not need to live in the area to enroll in these new certificate programs since both are offered fully online. Certificates can be earned within one academic year, and anyone can apply for these certificate programs without first completing a separate degree with La Roche. For more information, contact La Roche’s Continuing Education office at 412-536-1260.

Another industry in high demand these days is childcare. Some experts believe the reason many people did not return to the workforce after pandemic restrictions were lifted is because of a lack of affordable childcare options. Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship Women’s Business Center launched into action, creating The Business of Childcare entrepreneurial training program. The program started its first round of classes on September 21. The hybrid programming offers both in-person classes and virtual lessons.


There are two options under the new training program: Business of Child Care Start-Up and Business of Child Care Existing. The entrepreneurial course is designed for those who wish to start a daycare in their homes or another suitable location. Some women currently enrolled in the program came from childcare or early childhood education backgrounds and were looking for new opportunities to build on their knowledge and experience. The course covers everything from planning your business to meeting zoning and occupancy regulations and other compliance guidelines for the childcare industry. Participants can even meet with local realtors to find spaces suitable for operating childcare businesses as part of the course offerings. By the time students complete the program, they have everything needed to start their new business.


The second option is for those already running a childcare program interested in learning new skills for marketing or expanding their existing services. “There is always something new to learn, even if you have been in the business for 20 years,” said Anne Flynn Schlicht, director for the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. “They can share best practices with other childcare business owners about reducing their costs and increasing their revenues.”


Every participant enrolled in the program is paired with a mentor in the industry who can provide one-on-one coaching. All program facilitators and mentors are certified childcare owners/operators. Thanks to funding from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) and Invest PGH, the 10-week training programs are 100 percent tuition-free. There is one caveat: enrollees must either already own or be planning to open a childcare facility within the Pittsburgh city limits. Participants who complete the program are eligible for a forgiveness loan through the URA designed to help with start-up costs or capital improvements.


The first cohorts enrolled in the new programs began their studies in September 2021, and the next enrollment period begins in March for the spring of 2022. While the program is operated through the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, Flynn Schlicht said it is not limited to women only. Men are welcome to apply and receive the same benefits. However, she said most entrepreneurs interested in the childcare field are women, which is why Chatham launched the program under its Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship flagship.


“If we want to get women back into the workforce, this is an industry that has a longer lead time,” she explained. To learn more about the program, visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.


If healthcare or childcare is not of interest, Seton Hill has developed a new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree (BSBA) with several concentrations in areas such as accounting, business communications and finance. The new courses came about after Dr. Debasish Chakraborty was named the new dean of the School of Business at Seton Hill.


Dr. Chakraborty engaged the business faculty in a curriculum review to realign the undergraduate business programs. As a result, Seton Hill launched the new BSBA degree with majors that include Accounting, Accounting CPA, Business Communication, Finance, Financial Economics, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management and Sports Management.


“The curriculum review has resulted in a strengthening of all the majors in the School of Business, with a focus on quantitative skills, including data analytics and quantitative business methods,” said Seton Hill Provost Susan Yochum. The program also introduces two new courses on diversity and inclusion: Slavery, Race and American Capitalism, and Discrimination, Inequality and Economic Development.


Yochum said that these new degree programs help to fill a need in the community. In 2016, Seton Hill opened the Office of Academic Innovation and Planning, which provides faculty with the resources to research and implement new academic programs that meet workforce needs. Seton Hill has been able to bring 22 new academic programs to the market in the last five years by analyzing the external market and talking with regional employers to understand workforce needs and how Seton Hill can educate students to meet those needs.


The new degree programs are traditionally taught in the classroom and are supported by the university’s focus on the liberal arts. “The students in our business programs not only learn the technical skills they will need in their careers, but the liberal arts foundation provides them with the communications and leadership skills that employers are seeking,” said Yochum. “They learn how to work in a team environment, how to think critically, and how to communicate with others through the liberal arts core.”


Learn more about Seton Hill’s new programs at www.setonhill.edu.

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