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Faculty Prepare Students to be Professional Leaders from the First Day of Classes

July 22, 2013

When Spencer Ward, PhD, begins teaching any of his courses, he always starts with an introductory exercise. Students share their names, where they are from, their backgrounds and any prior work experience they may have. “I tell everyone that the reason I do it is not only to create a more relaxing environment, but to create bonds and network,” said Ward, an assistant professor in the Health Services Administration Program.

 “The HSAD program outlines specific technical and professional standards for all students in the Student Handbook and provides opportunities for professional development in the program,” Department Chair Kristine Mulhorn, PhD, said.

Ward wants his students to leave class with skills that enhance their leadership, self-management and employability. He once spent two and a half years working with a student to teach her how to speak at a managerial level. “You can’t lead a team if no one can hear you,” Ward said.

Michelle Sahl, PhD, also wants HSAD students to leave college on the best professional footing. She launched a new course-guided internship program in the 2012-2013 academic year. The program is specifically for students who may not have a co-op opportunity and provides students with part-time internship placement on-site at a healthcare facility. According to Sahl, this course will help improve students’ professionalism, bolster their resumes and permit them the opportunity to begin networking with other healthcare professionals in their field.

Sahl and Ward have also been working to develop a “Capfolio” for students to work on, beginning in their first year as Drexel students. The Capfolio will help students to collect and organize all of their presentations, research, resumes and cover letters in one web-based platform that they can show to prospective employers. Sahl calls it an opportunity to “look back at the knowledge that you’ve gained and look forward towards your future career.”