Quality Progress - October 2013 - 51

Quality in the First Person BY MurraY J. Côté Get a Job Professor encourages students to seek certification Long gone are the days when a col- for Healthcare Improvement and the lege degree was enough to land a job. Medical Group Management Association. The entry-level employment market has Last, an important third component is that become increasingly competitive during students obtain external evaluation and students from other applicants for the last decade. Graduates entering the validation on a specific body of knowledge a job or fellowship. Students tell me workforce are expected to develop skills in the form of certifications from profes- their ASQ certification was one of the and experiences outside of the classroom. sional organizations. deciding factors for a job or fellowship lag behind other industries. • A credential that distinguishes my offer. They must have more to offer organizations than their newly conferred degrees. tion of quality skills and knowledge still Certify for success On average, about 10 of my students Quality certifications are becoming an earn certifications each year. This past of the master’s of health administration essential résumé credential of today’s summer, three of my students were certi- degree program at Texas A&M University’s prospective healthcare employee. I have fied as quality improvement associates, Health Science Center, I am responsible taught a graduate course on healthcare three received Six Sigma Green Belts, two for facilitating students’ pursuit of post- quality and process improvement for 10 achieved process analyst certifications graduate fellowships and entry-level years and began referring students to and one earned the lean bronze certifi- employment in the healthcare industry. I ASQ’s certification program about five cation. To date, 36 of my students have am also a senior member of ASQ. years ago. Initially, maybe a handful of become certified, and five earned multiple As an associate professor and director students would heed my recom- certifications. Equally important, most mendation and pursue certifica- remain ASQ members after graduation. tion. Within the last three years, Of course, I acknowledge there is however, more and more of my another link in the relationship between students are taking the plunge. post-graduate success and certification. ASQ certification provides: Students who are generally ambitious • A sense of accomplishment. and focused on their careers tend to be Translating what they learned more successful. These are the students into a tangible achievement who recognize that certifications are an such as an ASQ certification is important mark of achievement that can invaluable. Almost immediately help distinguish them. after my students receive their As an educator, one of my responsibili- certification results, my email ties is to present as many opportunities inbox becomes flooded with as possible to my students so they are (usually) good news and screenshots of prepared to succeed. Certification from who will be ready to hit the ground run- their exam results. As an educator and ASQ has become a valuable resource for ning has been three-fold. First, I encour- a senior member of ASQ, I am so proud me as an educator and for my students as age students to work for one of the uni- of them. job seekers. QP My approach to cultivating students versity’s local healthcare partners while • Greater employment prospects. completing their studies to gain on-the-job When my students apply for fellowships experience. Second, at the campus level, I or jobs, their ASQ certification often encourage leadership or participant roles garners the most attention on their in our student-run organizations, including résumé. While the healthcare industry student chapters of the Association for sees quality and process improvement Future Healthcare Leaders, the Institute as necessary, rates of formal recogni- Murray J. Côté is the director of the master’s of health administration program and an associate professor at the texas a&M university Health Science Center in College Station. He earned a doctorate in management science from texas a&M university. Côté is a senior member of aSQ. october 2013 • QP 51 http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - October 2013

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Perspectives
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
5S Shakeup
For the Greater Good
Turned On
Get There Faster
Career Corner
Standards Outlook
Quality in the First Person
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - October 2013

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