Health Administration (HADM) 435

Practicum—Senior Field Placement in Health Administration (Revision 1)


Delivery Mode: Practicum

Credits: 6

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: HADM 235 and all other courses required in the student’s health administration program. Permission of the course professor is required.

Precluded Courses: APST 335; HADM 335. HADM 435 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for APST 335 or HADM 335.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

HADM 435 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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**Note: This capstone course, which includes a required practicum component, is restricted to students enrolled in the Athabasca University Diploma in Health Administration program or the Bachelor of Health Administration program (three-year, 90-credit route) and the Bachelor of Health Administration Post-Diploma program. (exceptions to this restriction will be considered at the discretion of the program director.) Students must have completed all other courses or be registered in their final courses before they begin the practicum. Students should plan well ahead of the registration date for the practicum component. Before students register for the course, they must demonstrate that they can make adequate arrangements for the completion of the required practicum.


This six-credit course encompasses work experience linked to study in health administration in order to assist students to synthesize and apply their learning from other courses taken in the health administration program. The field placement provides opportunities for students to learn about and practice skills associated with operational, administrative, and managerial aspects of the health-care system through a minimum 240-hour work experience within a health facility or health-related organization. Placements for the practicum are typically located in the student’s area of residence and arranged in collaboration amongst the student, the host organization, pertinent university staff, and the program coordinator. This transition-to-practice course is expected to help alleviate the well-documented unease that new graduates feel as they move from student to practitioner or from staff to administrator, or when experienced administrators are transitioning from unrelated fields into the realm of health care or into a new role within the health field.

The roles, responsibilities, and functions of health administrators are very diverse. Health administrators might have specific responsibilities for policy decisions, budgets, department management, or human resources, or these responsibilities may be encompassed by one job description. Ideally, when students are doing their practicum, they spend time with health administrator preceptors who are charged with day-to-day decisions, and those responsible for long-term business strategies. With the guidance of and in collaboration with these preceptors, students will strengthen their understanding of the breadth and depth of health administrator roles, responsibilities, and challenges, and thereby enhance their own administrative and managerial skills and competencies.

During the HADM 435 practicum, in addition to enhancing their knowledge, skills, and competencies in health administration in general, students are required to work on a specific independent project, which must be approved by the preceptor and the course tutor. This project will entail some analysis of a contemporary problem or need in the area of leadership, human resource planning, operational planning, organizational design, stakeholders and governance, quality assurance and risk management, or various other aspects of health administration.


To receive credit for HADM 435, students must spend a minimum of 240 hours completing a health administration practicum project and complete all course assignments. The passing mark for each component is D (50 percent), and the passing grade for the course is D (50 percent). The weighting of each assignment is as follows:

Assignment Weight
Assignment 1: Learning Plan and Contract (includes project proposal) 25%
Preliminary Report Pass/Fail
Assignment 2: Midterm Report 10%
Assignment 3: Activity Journal 10%
Preceptor Evaluation of Practicum Pass/Fail
Assignment 4: Oral Presentation 20%
Assignment 5: Final Project Report


Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HADM 435 challenge completion, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent).

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, February 9, 2015.