Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meeting the world's great needs

Bluffton students are encouraged to find their calling - that place where their great joy meets the world’s great needs. And the world has a great number of needs.

Bluffton is making it easier for adult students to meet at least a couple of these great needs and be prepared for careers in growing fields with a MBA with a health care management concentration and evening undergraduate social work classes designed for working adults.

On the car ride to the Allen County Chamber of Commerce press conference to announce the two new initiatives, the story was told of a physician in private practice who was frustrated by the business side of the practice. “I can perform surgery and fix a heart, why can’t I run my business?”

Dr. George Lehman, director of the graduate programs in business, has a background in health care administration. He shared that often good nurses and lab technicians with clinical training are placed in supervisorial roles without additional management training. In both instances these are talented health care professionals, who are good at their job, who just need additional training in management to truly excel in their new roles.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of National Statistics:
  • Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related.
  • Healthcare will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population. (
  • Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The healthcare industry will continue to expand and diversify, requiring managers to help ensure smooth business operations. (
Also announced at the press conference was the addition of evening social work undergraduate classes. These classes will address the needs of working professionals with a two year degree and those with a bachelor’s degree who desire a new career path.

In the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to consult with a social worker through a doctor’s office. What an amazing resource! I’d always put social workers in a box with troubled situations such as juvenile delinquents, neglected children and the like. I was so wrong – they are professionals who know where to go to access resources and are able to give direction when the situation feels totally overwhelming.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of National Statistics:
  • Employment for social workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018.
  • Job prospects are expected to be favorable, particularly for social workers who specialize in the aging population or work in rural areas. (

It’s great to be a part of an institution that sees and responds to the needs of the community around it, helping to meet the world’s great needs. Want more information? Visit

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