Date of Conferral





Health Services


Shari Jorissen


Health care administration programs have transitioned to using the competency approach to better prepare graduates for workplace success. The responsibility of preparing graduates lies with the program faculty, yet little is known about faculty perceptions of the competency approach. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess the perceptions of graduate-level health care administration faculty about the competency approach, the approach's effect on graduate preparedness, and employer expectations. Adult learning theory and the theory of self-efficacy were used as the theoretical foundations for the study. Faculty demographics related to personal information, workplace/teaching experience, and program information served as the independent variables, while survey item perception ratings were the dependent variables. Nonprobability sampling of graduate-level health care administration faculty (n = 151) was used and data were collected using an online survey developed by the author. Descriptive statistics, independent samples t tests, correlation analyses, and multiple linear regressions were used to examine and describe faculty perceptions. Findings indicated that faculty generally support the use of the competency approach and that it effectively prepares graduates. Teaching in a CAHME-accredited program predicted perceptions about the approach adequately addressing employer expectations (β = .343, p < .05). Issues including need for standardization and use for accreditation versus educational purposes were identified. Social change implications include contributing to professional development efforts for faculty and improving the quality of health care administration graduates and the future leadership of the industry.