Online MA in Health Communication Information Session

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Learn more about Rider University’s online Master of Arts in Health Communication program.

Transcript

AJ Arroyo:

Good afternoon. My name is AJ and I’m an Enrollment Advisor with Rider University. Thank you all for joining us today for our Master Of Art And Health Communication Webinar.

AJ Arroyo:

I’d like to take a second to introduce our enrollment team. We have, as your Enrollment Advisors, Mr. Isaac Bello, Mr. Noel Sepulveda, Mr. Ody Camacho, Ms. Monica Lam, Ms. Valeria Bernard, Ms. Kate Williams, Mr. Paul Eames and myself, like I said, AJ Arroyo.

AJ Arroyo:

Today we have a special guest joining us. She’s an Adjunct Professor in the Health Communications Program, LaShara Davis. Thank you for joining us today LaShara.

AJ Arroyo:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

LaShara Davis:

Sure. Thank you, AJ. My name is LaShara Davis, as AJ mentioned. I am an Adjunct Professor at Rider University and my background is in communication.

LaShara Davis:

I’ve been studying communication from the time I was an undergrad and enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue graduate degrees in that area, specifically with a focus on health communication.

LaShara Davis:

I’ve taught at Rutgers University, Kean University, Purdue University, Rider University, as well as DeSales University, mostly with a focus in health communication. When I think about what I enjoy most or what I really like about health communication, is I get to really help people and not in the sense of direct patient care, but to find out what patients needs are and to help make that happen through communication.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for that.

AJ Arroyo:

LaShara, would you be able to tell me a little bit about Rider University?

LaShara Davis:

Absolutely. So Rider University was established in 1865 and it provides over 150 years of education for a variety of students. According to the U.S. News & World Report Rider ranks in the top tier of Northern regional universities offering master’s degrees. This program is just one of such. The student to faculty ratio was usually about 12 to one and 99% of full time faculty hold a doctorate degree or the highest degree in their field, making the staff and faculty really well trained.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome. That’s a lot of good stuff hear about Rider.

AJ Arroyo:

LaShara, can you give me a little bit of an overview of the program?

LaShara Davis:

This program is a wonderful program and that it’s a hundred percent online, so you don’t actually have to physically come to campus. This allows you to hold a regular job, as well as take classes. The classes are asynchronous, which means you set your own schedule. You can, if you’re a night owl, you can come in at night and, or go online at night, and take your classes and engage with the material at that time. If you like to do things in the morning, you can do that as well.

LaShara Davis:

In general, students take two seven week courses per semester, except for the Capstone, which is often offered over summers or a different timeframe for those particular classes. The program as a whole is only 33 credit hours, so 11 courses as a total, three credits per course, and it can be completed in less than two years. The return on investment is really awesome in terms of this program.

AJ Arroyo:

That’s great. Awesome. Thank you very much.

AJ Arroyo:

Now, what does the curriculum look like for the program?

LaShara Davis:

Absolutely. The curriculum encompasses 33 credits in core courses ranging from topics such as communication, processes and health, where you get your basic understanding of health communication.

LaShara Davis:

We also have classes that help students understand the medical concepts and health writing, so medical terminology, how to write for healthcare.

LaShara Davis:

We have a Health Communication Theory class, which exposes students to basic theory in health communication, a presentation course that focuses on business presentation strategies, courses in visual communication, which is exploring legal and ethical issues for professional communicators, exposure to information gathering and analysis, cultural conceptions of health and illness, which exposes students to why and how people understand their health and illness. Culture can be a big factor, play a big role in terms of how one understands illness and therefore how they engage with the healthcare system, as well as how they adhere to, or in some cases, don’t adhere to recommendations from healthcare providers.

LaShara Davis:

We also have the Health Communication Campaigns class where you just get the opportunity to not only evaluate the effectiveness of other campaigns, but also propose their own health campaign.

LaShara Davis:

One of the classes that I really enjoy teaching is the Communicating Crisis in Health class, which allows students to understand how different organizations and companies have dealt with health crises that they face.

LaShara Davis:

The Culminating Project, or the Culminating Class is the Capstone class that’s implementing a health communication campaign, which allows students to really build on the health communication campaigns class wherein they are exploring and evaluating campaigns, and in this particular class, they actually go about implementing campaigns that they have presented or created their self.

AJ Arroyo:

Gotcha. Wow. So that’s a very well rounded curriculum there that students can expect out of this program here.

LaShara Davis:

Absolutely.

AJ Arroyo:

Now what kind of career opportunities are available to students who graduate from our program?

LaShara Davis:

Absolutely. So the beauty of the health communication degree is that it offers lots of opportunities. We see people working in public relations and fundraising management, people who are actually doing the content and marketing design, the communications pieces that you might see in a medical facility or healthcare facility. We have people who serve as health editors, those who work in advertising or PR roles for health agencies.

LaShara Davis:

There’s also the role of the public health communicator, where someone might work for a state or federal agency and be tasked with helping to design the education that people might see on a large scale. So think CDC, the FDA, the Institutes of Health, those types of things.

LaShara Davis:

We also have technical writers, which actually do the technical jargon or the medical writing that you might see in journals or something along those lines, and finally, students often see careers as health communication managers for both the public or private health organization setting.

AJ Arroyo:

Got it. So plenty of career opportunities out there for students who graduate from our program.

LaShara Davis:

Most definitely.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome. So, LaShara, let me ask, why should students choose Rider over schools that may have similar programs?

LaShara Davis:

Well, this is a truly unique program in that it’s 100% online. You’re able to complete the class at your leisure. You’re able to take the courses in a time that works for you. The asynchronous format means that your schedule isn’t tied down to, I must get to class on this particular day, you have flexibility in your schedule, which often works well with our students as many of them do work whole, full time jobs and allows them to manage both the pursuit of the Masters Degree as well as their day to day life and activities.

LaShara Davis:

You have one-on-one access to your faculty. Many of these classes are smaller so you have the opportunity to really build strong relationships with the faculty that work through the program. You also have a dedicated graduate academic coordinator who helps you to navigate the process.

LaShara Davis:

There are times where we also have financial aid options that provide opportunities for students to attend classes and receive assistance in terms of attending the program.

LaShara Davis:

It’s also flexible in terms of the start dates. We have six start dates, so whenever you’re ready, you can go ahead and begin.

AJ Arroyo:

Perfect. Thank you so much LaShara.

AJ Arroyo:

At this point, what I want to do, is I want to start going into some of the admissions requirements for the program.

AJ Arroyo:

So first and foremost, we’re going to need the application for graduate admission, part of that will be a statement of aims and objectives, so pretty much talking about why you’re looking to pursue this specific program. Of course, because this is a Master’s Program, we do require a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 2.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale. We’ll also need a copy of your most up to date resume and official transcripts from all schools previously attended and two professional letters of recommendation.

AJ Arroyo:

Now, evidence of English language proficiency will be required for any international students and there is a possibility of an interview may be required. The Office of Graduate Admissions will be in touch about that.

AJ Arroyo:

Now, as far as tuition and financial aid goes, the cost of the program will be $950 per credit hour for both in state and out of state students and that does not include the cost of books or fees. There is a Technology Fee of $50 per course and a Distance Learning Fee of $35 assessed per course, and like LaShara mentioned before, the program itself is 33 credit hours in length.

AJ Arroyo:

Now, financial aid is available to students who apply and qualify through the FAFSA Application. That’s the Federal Student Loans Application if anybody is not familiar with that. We also accept Employer Tuition Reimbursement. We have monthly payment plans that are available for students and any potential military tuition assistance or VA benefits that you may have, or that you’re entitled to, we also accept that as well.

AJ Arroyo:

So LaShara, we just have a few questions here that a lot of students have asked about this program, if we could just take a second and kind of address those.

LaShara Davis:

Sure.

AJ Arroyo:

So, in the program, how many classes are taken at once?

LaShara Davis:

Traditionally students take two courses per semester. The semesters are split into seven week courses, so a student might take one course in the first session and another course in that second session.

AJ Arroyo:

Gotcha. So they’re able to kind of focus on one course at a time, but still maintaining a steady pace to complete the program.

LaShara Davis:

Absolutely.

AJ Arroyo:

All right. Now who’s teaching the online courses?

LaShara Davis:

The courses are taught both by adjuncts like myself, but also the full time faculty at Rider University are participating in the online courses as well.

AJ Arroyo:

Okay. So it’s not like there’s a different set of professors who are teaching online versus on campus?

LaShara Davis:

No, I actually teach in both the online and the on campus program. That’s pretty much the format for all of the classes and all of the programs.

AJ Arroyo:

Gotcha and now, who would you say is the ideal perspective student for the program for students who are looking to apply to this program?

LaShara Davis:

Anyone who’s interested in learning more about health communication, really anyone who has the passion or the drive to further their career and explore how health communication can impact that. We see students who have backgrounds in business. We see students who have backgrounds in public relations. We see students who have backgrounds in sports management. It’s the full gambit of students from a variety of backgrounds who want to find out how communication itself can help in the health context.

AJ Arroyo:

Awesome and so kind of piggybacking off that, what kind of professional backgrounds do students typically come into the program with? Is there a specific background that you see?

LaShara Davis:

I wouldn’t say that there are necessarily specific backgrounds, but more often than not students have some interest in health. They’ve either been working in some health related career and find that they want to take it to the next level. They want more information or more education or background in communication and how that can be impactful in their career.

LaShara Davis:

It’s not necessarily that someone comes in or has a career already in the health field, but oftentimes we do see someone who at least has some interest or wants to break into that area and they see this as an opportunity to get the background, the knowledge, the skills and the abilities to do so.

AJ Arroyo:

Fantastic. Awesome.

AJ Arroyo:

Well, thank you so much, LaShara. Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us today about the online Master of Arts in Health Communication.

LaShara Davis:

You’re welcome.

AJ Arroyo:

To everyone in attendance today…

AJ Arroyo:

Thank you.

AJ Arroyo:

Everyone in attendance today, I want to let you know that we are currently accepting applications for our upcoming Spring B and Summer semesters. So please contact us today at (877) 856-5140, or you can email us at admission@online.rider.edu, or schedule an appointment on our live vcita calendar page.

AJ Arroyo:

Thanks for joining us today. Everybody have a great day.