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University adds second all-online master's programfirst of its kind in the state

August 13, 2003

Beginning in Spring 2004, Austin Peay will offer a program that will allow students to earn a master of science with a specialization in health servicescompletely online. Offered through health and human performance, the program is believed to be the first of its kind in the state.

"We've had the program on-campus for almost five years," says Dr. Wayne Chaffin, chair of health and human performance. "Because of demand for people in the field, we felt it had high potential for growth."
August 13, 2003

Beginning in Spring 2004, Austin Peay will offer a program that will allow students to earn a master of science with a specialization in health servicescompletely online. Offered through health and human performance, the program is believed to be the first of its kind in the state.

"We've had the program on-campus for almost five years," says Dr. Wayne Chaffin, chair of health and human performance. "Because of demand for people in the field, we felt it had high potential for growth."

Occupational trends support Chaffin's optimism. Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although hospitals will continue to employ most health services administrators, the growing number of residential care facilities and practitioners' offices also will boost demand.

"Preparation through this course is such that graduates can go into a lot of different environments," Chaffin says, "managed care settings, nursing care facilities, healthcare management companies and more."

Opportunities for graduates are particularly strong in Middle Tennessee, according to Chaffin. "Nashville and Davidson County are sort of a mecca for healthcare, with HCA and all the support companies for various managed care companies there."

The program is designed to be completed in two years and will be taught by Austin Peay faculty, with assistance from a few adjuncts.

"One of the faculty members in this program lives in Nevada," Chaffin says.

Students, too, are likely to be geographically diverse. The relative rarity of the program is expected to make it attractive to would-be healthcare managers not only from Tennessee but from across the country. One student who has enrolled in the program is from Chicago.

"We're really excited about the program," Chaffin says. "We think it has tremendous potential."

For more information, contact Chaffin at chaffinW@apsu.edu.