Working with Businesses

By:
Ken Shaw

In Fort Worth this past week, Civitas Senior Living and Southwestern Adventist University joined with 70 leaders from the metroplex and senior living industry to launch our new Senior Living Management Certificate Program.  With 10,000 Americans retiring every day, senior living communities are growing rapidly, and with this growth, there is a need for strong leadership.

It was about two years ago when I first sat down with Civitas Senior Living founder and CEO, Wayne Powell, to listen to the needs of his business and of the senior living industry as a whole.  Mr. Powell shared how he was having difficulty locating individuals who could easily transition to becoming a manager at one of his facilities.  He had realized that if he found talented individuals who have the potential of being a manager, it is easier to educate them in their new roles than to find managers ready for this industry.  Consulting closely with Mr. Powell and his team of professionals, Southwestern Adventist University’s Business Department worked diligently to help solve this problem. 

The solution they created is an online certificate program that will equip senior living industry individuals to better understand the legal and ethical framework of Senior Living, the quality in resident care and services, the financial and human resource management of senior living facilities, and the principles of marketing, management, and leadership.  What makes the certificate genuine and authentic is that it will be taught by industry professionals.  The certificate program is designed for individuals who desire a profession in senior living management whether they are new to the industry, have years of experience, or are looking for a career change.  The curriculum consists of four 3-semester hour courses and is taught in an interactive and collaborative online environment, allowing for potential students to enroll from around the country. 

I am so fortunate and blessed to have both of my parents still in my life.  In their 80s, they are still doing well, still living in the same home where I grew up in rural Tennessee, still maintaining a garden, and still traveling.  I know that the day may come when they might decide to move to a senior living community, where they will enjoy a wonderful safe environment filled with entertainment, activities, and healthy meals as well as the flexibility to come and go as they desire.  It will allow them to no longer worry about mowing the grass, doing household maintenance, dealing with multiple bills, etc.  It is comforting for me to know that our University is providing the industry with a set of essentials for senior living managers to ensure best practices and experiences for people like my parents. 

Part of Southwestern Adventist University’s strategic plan is to explore new academic programs and partnerships with particular attention to job market demands.  It has been a rewarding journey working closely with our senior living industry partners and putting together a product that will make a positive difference.  The new online certificate program is accepting applications now with the first class beginning September 10, 2018.  For more information, you can visit our website, https://www.swau.edu/seniorliving

This article is an opinion piece written by President Shaw for the Cleburne Times Review.