Keller Hall, the home to UNA's College of Business and Technology.

Alabama Commission on Higher Education Green Lights Two New Workforce Development Programs at UNA

Sep. 19, 2022

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – The Alabama Commission on Higher Education has approved a Bachelor of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Master of Health Administration at its most recent meeting. The University of North Alabama plans to launch these workforce development programs for the Spring 2023 term, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges later this year.

“Both of these workforce-focused programs exemplify the innovation occurring in the College of Business and Technology, as well as the commitment from UNA to craft and implement programs that have high market demand,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) is an online program geared towards administrators/leaders in the healthcare industry. Already, in the post-pandemic era, it is proving to be in high demand among employers.

“Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., which has created a need for well-trained leaders who can effectively manage healthcare facilities and organizations,” said Dr. Greg Carnes, Dean of the College of Business and Technology. This program “will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet this challenge, which will result in better healthcare for our region.”

Dr. Kyrel Buchanan is the program director as well as an Assistant Professor of Management in the College. She said she is excited about the courses as well as the student interactions “as we explore our healthcare system.”

“I think that what excites me most is being able to build a program that will produce dynamic healthcare leaders for many years to come,” Buchanan said. “This will positively influence the healthcare ecosystem within Alabama and beyond. The importance of leaders who can successfully navigate the changes and challenges of our healthcare system (while supporting and inspiring colleagues to do the same) was certainly underscored during the COVID pandemic.

However, these leaders will continue to be in demand as healthcare evolves. UNA has the privilege of being involved in shaping these leaders.”

In addition to the Master of Health Administration, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education also approved the Joel R. Anderson Bachelor of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

This face-to-face program has been designed to emphasize experiential and work-based opportunities in UNA’s newly renovated Joel R. Anderson Generator in the 541 W. College Street Building. The College of Business and Technology has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship-based programming, and this new baccalaureate program will appeal to current and future students who desire to launch their own businesses after graduation or while they are still students.

“The Joel R. Anderson BBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship will present highly motivated students with the opportunity to learn to think creatively and to discover ideas for new businesses,” said Dean Carnes. “These students can develop their business ideas in the Generator, which is our new student incubator and maker’s space.” 

Named for Joel R. Anderson, a former member of the UNA Board of Trustees and Chairman and Director of the Anderson Companies, Anderson’s son, Joel II, who has filled his father’s term on UNA’s Board, said this program is “quintessential Dad.”

“As he would say, most people are focused on how to cut a bigger slice of pie for themselves,” Joel II said. “His whole life philosophy was to focus his time and effort on making the pie bigger for everyone. He knew there was always a way to make life better for people. Entrepreneurship – the invention of new businesses or techniques for doing things – is one of the best ways to improve daily life for large numbers of people.”

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: and