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Graduate Program in Health Administration at Mississippi College Boosts Careers

A registered nurse and graduate student, Mary Williams gives high marks to Mississippi College's master's program in health services administration.

Joanna Bourdin wanted to advance her management skills in the healthcare field after serving more than two decades as a physical therapist.

She turned to Mississippi College’s graduate program in health services administration to achieve her career goals.

Others are doing the same. And a new Professional Development scholarship is making the MC program even more attractive to graduate students around metro Jackson. Health services administration graduate students are eligible for a 30 percent reduction in tuition for each three-hour class.

The master’s in health administration at the Baptist-affiliated university exceeded her expectations. There was time to learn from top-notch instructors and balance a busy career. “The program is wonderful and a perfect fit for my needs,” Bourdin said.

A rehab education specialist at the Sta-Home Health & Hospice AccentCare, the Mississippian works as a teacher, trainer and mentor. She assists with quality assurance/special projects.

After 23 years as a physical therapist, Bourdin desired more classes to open career doors. “I came to realize that a missing piece of the puzzle for me was additional education in the healthcare business and administration.”

So far, so good as she works her way through Mississippi College’s graduate program based on the Clinton campus.

“I love the real time, face-to-face exchange that a classroom setting provides,” Bourdin said. “But I am equally pleased that I can swap to the online program if needed.”

She’s not locked into a specific timeframe to complete the program, and that’s another plus.

Professor Melanie Fortenberry serves as the program’s director and advisor. Bourdin is amazed at what skills the caring professor from Clinton brings to the table. “She provides individual guidance and support for each student.”

Professors like her, Joanna said, are more than knowledgeable about healthcare issues. They are also mindful of the “sometimes hectic work schedule of students.”

Professionals working as human resources specialists, directors of ambulatory operations, medical case managers, directors of outpatient services, pharmacy benefits manager and other jobs are encouraged to sign up for MC classes. It’s an opportunity, Fortenberry says, to move up career ladders in the healthcare field.

Since last summer, students began receiving professional development scholarships for enrollment in master’s in health services administration program. The program is designed for employees with at least a year’s experience in the field.

A divorced full-time mom with five children, Mary Williams was awarded her MC tuition discount that enabled her to begin the program in August 2016. “It definitely helped,” she said. Williams expects to receive her master’s degree in December.

The Durant resident is employed as a registered nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Holmes County Hospital and Clinics in Lexington. The Goodman native also earns a paycheck on travel assignment at Bolivar General Hospital in Tennessee. She’s served as a registered nurse for a decade.

The MC graduate program gives her a great amount of flexibility that she needs. “I love the fact that MC offers both face-to-face classes as well as online,” Williams said. “The professors are very friendly and welcoming.”

For more information, contact Melanie Fortenberry at 601-925-3982 or