CHHS Seeks Quality Matters Certification for Online Programs

4/20 - The School of Health and Applied Human Sciences is seeking Quality Matters (QM) Certification for its online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program.

Quality Matters (QM) is a global name in enabling a quality assurance process for online and blended programs through three critical components-Rubric Standards, Faculty and Staff Professional Development and Course & Program Reviews. QM program certification is a gold standard of quality assurance for online programs with a focus on four critical areas of program design, teaching support, learner support and learner success. Achieving certification in all four critical areas within a three-year period will receive Exemplary Program Status from QM.

This certification ensures the College is providing the most optimal student experience for its online programs. CHHS will seek this certification for all of its online programs in the future.

Assistant Professor and MHA Program Coordinator Eric Richardson said the MHA program has a unique opportunity to become one of the first online programs within the UNC System to achieve a global recognition in four critical areas of online programs: program design, teaching support, learner support, and learner success.

Richardson said, “In addition to our continued pursuit of CAHME Accreditation, the Quality Matters certification will provide an additional layer of external recognition of our program’s commitment to support both faculty and students in their online success.”

Richardson has worked with QM Coordinator Ginu Easow to plan for candidacy, determine cost, and negotiate the budget and timeline for achieving certification. MHA aims to pursue candidacy for program certification in Summer 2020 and eventually program certification in Fall 2023. As part of this plan, faculty are currently participating in the initial and required QM training and the courses are being designed and developed using Quality Matters standards.

With this certification, students, parents and stakeholders can be confident CHHS’ online MHA program meets nationally and internationally recognized standards.

According to the website, Quality Matters began with a small group of colleagues in the MarylandOnline, Inc. (MOL) consortium who were trying to solve a common problem among institutions: how do we measure and guarantee the quality of a course? This question was especially important as institutions began to create a system where they could share available seats in their online courses with other institutions. They needed a way to ensure course quality — that courses would be equivalent — for their students, regardless of where the course originated. In 2003 MOL outlined how the Quality Matters program could create a scalable process for course quality assurance, and applied for a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.