HLA Frequently Asked Questions
We recognize that you will have some questions regarding the new Healthcare Leadership Administration Program. These FAQs have been designed to address the most common questions we hear. If your question is not addressed, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Is the HLA major right for me?
The HLA major is a bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree specifically
targeted to allied health professionals who have associate’s degrees
(AAS, AS) and wish to earn their bachelor’s. HLA may also be a good
choice for AA degree holders with professional experience in a
It is important to note that this degree is not appropriate for some students. This degree is not designed for students without associate’s degrees and without healthcare experience.
Because this degree is fully online, it is best suited for students who are self-directed, comfortable in the use of computers and able to be successful in an online learning environment. If you prefer a program that is delivered in a traditional classroom setting, this program may not be a good fit.
What is a bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree?
A BAS degree is a bachelor’s program that is designed to meet local
workforce needs. Often, BAS degrees are designed as completion programs
that accept a greater number of college technical credits toward the
degree and provide an academic pathway for graduates of two-year
programs (AAS, AS, AA). For these reasons, the BAS model typically
allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree more quickly and cost
Winona State’s HLA program is designed to build on each student’s technical education and professional experience and provide the education needed to develop management and leadership skills for success in today’s interdisciplinary healthcare settings.
What careers are available to HLA BAS holders?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook
anticipates employment growth of 22% for medical and health services
managers between 2010 and 2020, well above the average of 14% for all
occupations. A recent review of job openings in Southeast Minnesota and
Western Wisconsin identified numerous open positions in healthcare
leadership including: nursing home administrator, healthcare project
manager, on-site health and wellness program manager, clinic manager,
regional director, healthcare program development manager, hospice
administrator, director of managed care, system director of imaging
services, compliance coordinator, practice manager of orthopedic clinic
Employers seeking medical and health services managers include hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, sleep centers; dental, optical, and veterinary clinics and government organizations focused on public health and policy.
What if I eventually plan to go to graduate school?
Graduate programs vary widely in their entry requirements. If you are planning to attend graduate school we recommend that you research the admission requirements of each program of interest very carefully. This will allow you to determine whether or not Winona State’s Healthcare Leadership & Administration degree is the best choice for you.
Is HLA appropriate for nurses?
Nursing professionals seeking leadership roles typically follow an
academic pathway that includes a two-year RN degree followed by a
Bachelor of Science Nursing and possibly a Master of Science Nursing and
Doctor of Nursing Practice. Winona State offers nursing programs
at all of these levels. If you are a nurse seeking a bachelor’s degree,
we recommend that you first speak with the nursing department to
discuss your educational options. If after consulting with nursing you
believe that HLA is an appropriate degree program for you*, please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.457.2315.
*Important note: Nursing scope of practice dictates that LPNs are not permitted to supervise RNs. Therefore, LPNs are encouraged to first earn a RN degree before pursuing any bachelor’s degree program.
Does HLA have program admission requirements?
Yes. Individuals interested in the HLA major will need to be admitted to Winona State and will first declare a Pre-HLA (PHLA) major. Before admission to the HLA program, students will need to demonstrate that they have earned an associate’s degree, hold a minimum of junior standing (60+ credits), have completed the Communication requirement (Goal 1) of Winona State's General Education Program (GEP), and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. Students who possess professional experience in a healthcare setting will receive priority in the admission process. Please see the HLA Program Admission for full details.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Completion of the HLA program depends on the associate-level coursework that is accepted in transfer and the amount of courses a student is able to complete per semester. Winona State will accept up to 30 credits of college technical credits toward the HLA major through articulation or formal approval. General education courses approved through the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum will also be accepted. Additional coursework may also be accepted after review by WSU transfer specialists. The HLA program offers two course scheduling options, including a two-year plan (PDF) and three-year plan (PDF), which allow you to complete your degree in a timeframe that meets your individual needs.
What should I know about taking classes online?
Success in online programs requires that a student has adequate technology skills, a good deal of self-discipline, and ready access to a computer and software that meet or exceed minimum program requirements. In addition, access to high-speed Internet and multimedia player software for audio and video content will enhance success in an online learning environment. For more information and tips about online learning, visit WSU Online.
Winona State University and Bemidji State University are committed to offering only the highest quality online coursework and programs. HLA courses are developed and peer reviewed to meet rigorous Quality Matters Rubric standards.
Do I have to take all HLA classes online?
While the HLA major coursework will be offered completely online, some of the courses are also offered to non-HLA majors in a traditional classroom setting or using a hybrid online/classroom model. HLA students are allowed to take these courses, but may need instructor permission to do so. We encourage students to take the HLA cohort courses as these are specifically tailored to healthcare professionals.
What if I've been out of school for awhile?
The HLA program was specifically designed for working allied health professionals who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree to strengthen their leadership skills, advance their careers and differentiate themselves in a challenging job market. We anticipate that most students admitted to the HLA program will have been out of school for some time—5, 10, even 15 years or more! We’ve developed the HLA program using a cohort model that will allow you to share ideas with fellow students, learn from their experiences and expand your professional network.