An online associate’s degree in healthcare administration is a great way to enter the lucrative, growing healthcare industry. Behind the scenes in every successful hospital, clinic, retirement center, or other medical care facility, there is a group of professional healthcare administrators.
As more and more members of the nation’s large baby boom population enter retirement age, jobs in the healthcare field will continue to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects healthcare administration positions to expand by 23 percent by 2022, a much faster rate than the average 14 percent for all occupations.
Individuals with an online associate’s in healthcare administration degree will be qualified to help run the day-to-day operations of hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, and clinics. Duties include everything from creating and managing budgets to developing strategies for increasing revenue.
Qualifications include strong problem-solving and communication skills. Today’s healthcare administrators also must stay on top of current and proposed healthcare legislation and be technologically savvy enough to keep up with the latest in databases and Internet security measures.
Students working towards their online associate’s degree in healthcare administration can expect coursework in business management, accounting, and strategic planning principles in addition to healthcare industry–specific classes such as healthcare laws, regulations, and ethics.
In response to the growing demand for healthcare management professionals, many well-respected colleges and universities now offer accredited online healthcare administration degree programs. These fast-paced and interesting programs combine online coursework with traditional classroom settings and offer hands-on, real-world learning experiences supervised by healthcare professionals.
The 10 Best Online Healthcare Administration Associate’s Degree Programs
Online Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management
Florida Institute of Technology (widely known as “Florida Tech”) is a private research university with five academic divisions with a strong emphasis on science and mathematics. Located on 130 acres in east-central Florida, the institute’s main campus is in the heart of Florida’s “Space Coast.” Melbourne, situated beside both the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, is about an hour’s drive south of the Kennedy Space Center and about 90 minutes east of Disney World.
Founded as Brevard Engineering College in 1958, Florida Tech has a nearly 5,000-member on-campus student body. The school has strong ties to the nation’s space program. Alumni include a former NASA director and five Space Shuttle astronauts.
You can earn an online associate’s degree in healthcare management from Florida Tech in less than 20 months. The Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management includes instruction in the areas of healthcare organizations, managed care, and medical ethics, and also offers a strong business foundation. You can also apply your AA degree to earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration-Healthcare Management.
An AA in Healthcare Administration requires 61 credit hours. Some of the degree-specific coursework includes:
- Business computer skills
- Global business perspectives
- Healthcare organizations
- Medical ethics
- Principles of accounting
Florida Tech University Online classes include chat rooms, streaming video, discussion boards, and a messaging system.
Florida Tech received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Online Associate in Applied Science in Medical Office Assistance
When you include its huge online student body, Liberty University is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation and the largest Christian university in the world. The university offers some 350 programs to about 12,600 students on its 7,000-acre campus in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and more than 90,000 students online.
The university’s highly successful online program, called Liberty University Online, features interactive online discussions between students and instructors and limits class sizes to 25 students. All associate’s degrees are available completely online. Sixty-one credit hours are required for your associate’s degree.
Liberty University Online’s Associate of Arts in Medical Office Assistance program helps prepare students for a career as a medical office assistant in public health departments, hospitals, and clinics.
Career-related coursework includes:
- Introduction to health professions
- Medical office billing
- Medical office systems and procedure
- Medical terminology
Last year, more than 6,500 online students walked across the commencement stage at Liberty University (Jerry Falwell founded the university as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971) to receive their diplomas.
Liberty University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
Online Associate in Health Care Administration
Founded in 1914 as the Denver Bible Institute, Colorado Christian University (CCU) is a private evangelical and interdenominational institution. All courses are taught with a Christian worldview, so with your online healthcare administration associate’s degree, you will gain experience in and insight into the ethics and leadership opportunities of the healthcare management profession.
The online Health Care Administration program requires 60 credit hours. Students can complete the program in less than two years.
Coursework includes information on:
- Delivery systems
- Healthcare terminology
- Human resources
Students can apply an online associate’s degree in healthcare management from CCU to a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree.
Colorado Christian University received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
(Colorado Springs, CO)
Online Associate of Science in Health Administration Services
Founded in 1965 as the Colorado Electronic Training Center, Colorado Technical University(CTU) today is a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts university that offers career-focused undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, mostly in the fields of business, management, and technology. The university, whose main campus is located in suburban Colorado Springs about 70 miles south of Denver, offers 45 different degree programs.
In addition to helping students gain knowledge in the changing healthcare delivery system, CTU’s Associate of Science in Health Administration Services degree program works to develop students’ supervisory and interpersonal skills.
A total of 93.5 credit hours are required for this comprehensive program, which includes coursework in:
- Healthcare administration
- Healthcare finance
- Human resources
- Reimbursement systems and healthcare records
- Regulatory, ethical, and legal issues
- Relevant institutional/programmatic accreditation
The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation to TCU.
Online Associate’s-Medical Office Specialist
The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) is a network of institutions based in Texas that offers students training for entry-level employment in the allied healthcare fields. The college has six campuses, including the main campus in Northwest Houston and satellite locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Southwest Houston. There is also a growing online program.
CHCP’s online Associate’s-Medical Office Specialist degree program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to build a strong career in the healthcare industry.
Required degree-related coursework emphasizes the following skills:
- Coding/billing proficiencies
- Computer abilities
- Electronic health records accuracy
- Managerial communication
- Project management training
The normal amount of time for completion of the online program is two years or less.
CHCP’s online program received national accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
Online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Management
With 15 campus locations throughout the country, Kaplan University has more than 45,000 degree-seeking students, and almost 90 percent of them complete their coursework online.
Based in Davenport, Iowa, Kaplan University has 15 campuses in Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Maryland, and Wisconsin. The university’s primary administrative building is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and a Kaplan University Learning Center is located in in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
With such a large online student body, Kaplan features support centers specifically for its online students in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona.
Kaplan’s Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Management Highlights requires 91 credits hours and includes the following coursework for healthcare managers:
- Appointment scheduling
- Health insurance processing, coding, and billing
- Medical and financial record management
- Office operations
Prior to graduation, students are required to complete a period of work at an actual healthcare facility to gain on-the-job experience under the guidance of a professional in the healthcare industry.
Kaplan University, established in 1937 as the American Institute of Commerce, received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
7. Pima Medical Institute
Online Associate of Applied Science in Health Care Administration
Pima Medical Institute (PMI), a for-profit medical career college established in 1972, trains students for careers as allied healthcare professionals.
PMI provides bachelor’s degree completion programs, associate degree programs, and certificate programs.
PMI provides an array of allied healthcare training programs at numerous campuses across the western United States. PMI also provides online degree programs.
The Health Care Administration Associate of Applied Science online degree program, designed as an associate degree completion program, provides courses in subjects such as management, business communication, psychology, and finance. The program covers fundamental business skills.
Pima Medical Institute created the Associate in Health Care degree program for students who have at least 27 credits. Most students obtain their degree in approximately one year.
The program includes courses such as:
- Introduction to the Health Care System
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Health Care Management
- Human Resources Management
Pima Medical Institute received national accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
Online Associate of Science in Medical Office Administration
Henry and Suzanne Herzing founded Herzing University in 1965 as a computer programming school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The founding couple’s daughter, Renée Herzing, is currently the university president, making Herzing the only accredited, private, woman-owned university in the United States.
Since its founding, the university has expanded its focus on career-oriented education to include campuses in eight states, plus a thriving online division.
Herzing University’s Associate in Medical Administration degree requires 60 credit hours, and graduates can easily apply credit towards the bachelor’s degree program if they so choose.
The Associate of Science in Medical Office Administration includes coursework in:
- Ethics and Health Information Management
- Healthcare Systems and Operations
- Insurance Claims, Processing, and Adjudication
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
- Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals
The program, which students can complete in 64 weeks, also includes a required internship or research project.
Herzing University received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
Online Associate’s-Medical Office Administration
Founded in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1983, Virginia College today is a group of private for-profit institutions located mostly in the southeastern states and headquartered in Alabama.
With its online associate’s degree in Medical Office Administration, Virginia College prepares students for administrative duties in a medical office or clinic.
Coursework for an Associate’s-Medical Office Administration degree includes:
- Customer service
- Medical law and ethics
- Medical records systems
- Medical terminology
- Office automation
An important part of Virginia College’s associate’s degree program is small class sizes and required hands-on learning in a real physician’s office, clinic, or other healthcare facility under the supervision of a doctor, nurse, or other qualified medical professional.
Virginia College received national accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Online Associate in Science in Health Services Administration
Founded in 1990 as International College, Hodges University is a non-profit institution that offers Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master’s degree programs in business and professional disciplines, both onsite in several South Florida locations as well as through its online program.
Hodges University’s Online Associate in Science in Health Services Administration degree program prepares students for entry-level business or supervisory jobs in many healthcare office settings and facilities.
Students can apply all credits earned from the online associate’s degree toward a Baccalaureate Degree in Health Services Administration. A full-time online student can complete the program in five terms, or 20 months.
Some of the courses students take for an online associate’s degree in health services administration are the following:
- Introduction to Healthcare Information Technology
- Introduction to Healthcare Services
- Introduction to Health Services Management
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Medical Terminology
- Reimbursement and Revenue Cycle Management
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation to Hodges University.
* * *
The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) offers tips and advice for students wishing to become a healthcare management professional. A student membership offers résumé review services, continuing education programs, subscriptions to healthcare management journals, and other information related to the profession.
A great way to learn about a career in healthcare management is by talking with those already in the field, visiting a local hospital or other healthcare facility, and participating in a healthcare-focused volunteer program to observe first-hand how administrators go about their jobs.
You also may want to visit the website, healthmanagementcareers.org, for more information.