Strengths of Healthcare Administration Program Drew Victoria Higgins 3,000 miles From Home

March 22, 2016


When Victoria Higgins ’16 decided she wanted to pursue a degree in healthcare administration she had dozens of options in her native California, yet the attributes of Stonehill’s nationally recognized program enticed her to trade the Golden State’s endless summers for the four seasons of New England.

“I wanted a school that offered me both big-city and small-school advantages,” says Victoria, who came to Stonehill from San Juan Capistrano. “I wanted to be close enough to a big city where I could be both entertained as well as having access to important professional experiences. Stonehill had everything that I wanted.”

Stonehill’s HCA program combines core skills, high-value internships and a solid liberal arts foundation. The goal is to prepare students for careers in direct-service and support organizations in the private and public healthcare sectors as well as for graduate or professional study. Stonehill’s emphasis on leadership and social justice also empowers our alumni to be an innovative and positive force for ethical and constructive change in the healthcare system.

A Time-tested Path to Personal and Professional Growth

As many other HCA majors have found, the HCA program and Stonehill's culture foster tremendous personal and professional growth. Since coming to Stonehill, Victoria has capitalized on many of the opportunities available here, joining the Lux et Spes Society, Healthcare Society and the Upsilon Phi Delta Healthcare Honors Society. In addition, she was awarded a Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad (Madrid, Spain) and earned a competitive summer internship in supply chain management with LeeSar, a healthcare supply chain management company in Fort Myers, Florida.

Access to such high-value internship opportunities is just one of the distinguishing aspects of Stonehill HCA program. Another is that it is one of the few undergraduate programs in the country fully certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

“I was able to do everything I wanted to do in college and still be on track to graduate in four years,” Victoria says, crediting faculty and staff for providing the support she needed to succeed at all she has done. She says her proudest moment here was being selected as one of two students for the LeeSar internship. “Not only was it an honor to be chosen,” she says, “but it solidified what I wanted to do after graduation.”

HCA Professor Thomas Gariepy, C.S.C., is Victoria’s advisor and says students who want to get the most out of their HCA experience at Stonehill should take note of Victoria’s approach. “Since she has been here, she has excelled in her work and has taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the program,” he says.