Focus on Faculty:
Steven J. Szydlowski, MBA, MHA, DHA


Steven J. Szydlowski, MBA, MHA, DHA

Chair, Department of Health Administration and Human Resources
University of Scranton
Pennsylvania, USA

“Being involved with CAHME helped me learn exactly what it means to develop and improve curriculum and program level competency.”

For Steve Szydlowski, MBA, MHA, DHA, engagement with CAHME began almost 20 years ago when he pursued his master’s in health administration from the University of Scranton. The MHA program at the university was CAHME-accredited when Dr. Szydlowski enrolled. It remains so today, and in the intervening years Dr. Szydlowski’s involvement with CAHME has expanded to include serving as a CAHME Fellow, being a member of the CAHME Board, chairing the CAHME Standards Council, and as a leader of multiple program site visits nationally and internationally. Today, in his role chair of the University of Scranton’s Department of Health Administration and Human Resources, Dr. Szydlowski believes “CAHME is critical to higher education in Health Administration. It is focused on student-centric excellence in education… Being involved with CAHME helped me to learn exactly what it means to develop and improve curriculum and program level competency.”


CAHME Supports Rigorous, Competency-Based Education

According to Dr. Szydlowski, the field of healthcare management education faces multiple challenges, including how to support enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, optimizing the ‘time to degree completion,’ and addressing the continuing cost pressures facing colleges and universities generally. At the same time, Dr. Szydlowski sees opportunities for graduate healthcare management students “across the continuum of health service delivery. It’s not just hospital administration—there are opportunities in insurance markets and opportunities in post-acute settings, and opportunities in in home-based care.”

Regardless of the challenges and opportunities, Dr. Szydlowski says “I believe that competency-based education is critical for our graduate student success… What we get out of CAHME is not only the rigor of standards that are set forth, but we also learn best practices and what other CAHME-accredited programs across the country are doing to improve student attainment of competency.”

Dr. Szydlowski values the professional and personal connections that are a feature of his involvement with CAHME. “CAHME faculty across the country is a family. It’s a peer group that we bounce ideas off of one another and share best practices. It’s helped me professionally with teaching methodology and best approaches to pedagogy and andragogy in the classroom, along with assessment and using assessment information to make program improvements.”


Paying It Forward Through Engagement with CAHME

Dr. Szydlowski believes that his engagement with CAHME has benefited his advancement in academic leadership at the University of Scranton because of the rich experiences it provides and the support of his peers.  While being mentored has helped him, he now pays it forward. “It has been extremely important (to me) to be a mentor to other programs across the country and internationally. CAHME is a whole community of learning, developing, giving back, and mentoring.”