This document is a guide to set expectations, promote, and develop professional behaviors and attitudes during a student’s tenure at Western Governors University (WGU's) Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management program.
Healthcare organizations are managed in a highly-structured, professional, business environment. Students preparing for work in a healthcare environment are expected to know how to function in specific job duties and also interact with others in an ethical, responsible, and respectful manner. Professional behaviors are necessary for success.
Learning how to interact professionally is a skill students can learn through practice. Practicing these behaviors during time spent as a WGU MBA in Healthcare Management student provides them with confidence as they navigate through their career in healthcare management.
Professional Behaviors in the Academic Environment
All WGU students are required to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct as found in the WGU Student Handbook.
The rules and regulations found in the Student Handbook are foundational concepts for developing professional behaviors and attitudes. Suggestions are offered here for developing professional attitudes and are by no means all-inclusive. Students may think of others as they review this list.
In summary, to grow professional attitudes it takes time. Students should start practicing the behaviors that will set them apart from others. This program prepares students for a variety of skills in management and leadership in a healthcare organization. Successful leaders acknowlege that it took time and dedication to develop the professionalism seen in them today.
Professional Behaviors in the Capstone Experience
The MBA Healthcare Management Program provides for an opportunity to apply the lessons students learned in the simulations and other assessments they have worked on throughout their MBA training, and apply those in a real work environment. This portion of the academic program provides students with exposure to and participation in the healthcare management environment.
Subdomain 981.1 - Capstone
Competency 981.1.1: Capstone -The graduate integrates and synthesizes competencies from across the degree program and thereby demonstrates the ability to participate in and contribute value to the chosen professional field.
When at a worksite, students should treat the experience the same way they would a job. The same professional behaviors apply. In fact, students are not only representing themselves at the worksite, but representing WGU. Their actions will have an effect on future students being invited to a worksite.
The professional behaviors listed below can be applied to the healthcare management worksite:
In summary, students should follow the rules, but not be afraid to show initiative and curiosity. Any employer expects a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. Even though the capstone experience is unpaid hours, students should treat their time there with the same commitment. They are there to participate in the work environment: if there is downtime, students should ask if they can help others with any work tasks. Doing so is a good way to learn departmental operations. Students should use downtime to review policy manuals (there are always enough of those around), or gather information for the Tasks required for the capstone courses of study.
Behavioral Counseling for Improvement and Support
This document is a guide to set expectations and provide direction. Health Informatics students must exhibit professional behaviors in the academic environment, and this includes all communications with WGU staff and the professional staff at the worksite.
In the event behaviors are demonstrated which do not follow the ideas and guidelines discussed in this document, the MBA Healthcare Management program will follow the same process as WGU Code of Conduct.
Behavioral counseling will be initiated when a student fails to meet the expectations of the WGU Code of Conduct and the professional behaviors outlined here. The progression from verbal to written counseling is based on student conduct and the need to ensure adherence to professional ethics at the worksite, the development of professional behaviors, and accountability.
Support toward student improvement includes a discussion of a performance improvement plan, additional training, support resources accessible to the student, and a time frame for review.
If the offense is of a serious nature, direct referral to the discipline process may be warranted with the approval of the course mentor for MBAHM program and the program manager for College of Business MBA programs.
Steps in Behavioral Counseling
Step 1: Verbal Counseling:
The first level of behavioral counseling consists of ‘in-time’ verbal discussions of behavioral concerns conducted by the student’s immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor may be WGU staff member, a student or course mentor, or clinical mentor at the PPE site.
Verbal counseling discussions focus on minor errors in judgment, unintentional error on the part of the student or the initial instance(s) of performance or communication issues.
Step 2: Written Counseling
Written counseling occurs when the initial behavioral issues have not been resolved. Written counseling is initiated by the mentor or WGU staff member in consultation with the mentoring program manager and other appropriate staff.
While continuing to focus on specific student performance improvement and support, written counseling includes an action plan providing written expectations for improvement.
Step 3: Referral to Student Conduct Board
If verbal and written counseling do not result in a change in student behavior, the student will be referred for formal disciplinary action. This will be consistent with processes for behavioral guidelines found in the WGU Student Handbook.
Article Number: 20527, 2862