Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

A new era in education | Changing times call for flexibility, new priorities

Forces within and outside higher education are converging to create a consensus that is long overdue: four-year degree programs are just one of many viable educational pathways for postsecondary students. We are experiencing a shift toward “micro-credentials,” a recognition that the traditional degree —which front-loads education into a single years-long block that we expect to last a lifetime — may not work for everyone. At the same time, vital industries from manufacturing to healthcare are experiencing remarkable shortages of trained labor.

Responding to these facts requires that we broaden our paradigm for higher education, not only by making learning more responsive and flexible for a diversity of learners, but also by supporting students in all aspects of their journey.

This new era calls for modern, stackable educational opportunities that match experience with opportunity. UMA has a history of innovation, bridging gaps by tailoring our curricula to the needs of employers while delivering instruction with the needs of students in mind. Our model centers around student success, providing 360-degree services to ensure our graduates are best prepared for their careers in healthcare. Our students have access to academic advising, one-on-one academic support, resume and interview coaching, job search assistance, technical support, and more.

The current state of the healthcare sector demands we take such an approach. The need for quality care continues to grow as America works to address the talent deficit that exists in our nation’s healthcare system. The new face of care extends beyond that of doctors and nurses and now includes non-patient facing professionals that work to ensure safety, trust, and efficiency is maintained. These vital, yet often less featured, careers provide a wonderful opportunity for a nontraditional workforce, which UMA specializes in serving.

But our mission is larger than just meeting needs. We’re doing our part to support workforce development and pair communities with the healthcare professionals they seek. Though our role is to provide quality education to our students, we are aware of the impact our students create when they enter the healthcare sector. Through their new roles, they are able to support an increase in economic stability and opportunities.

We are at a vital turning point in both healthcare and education. UMA’s model harmonizes the needs of students and employers, providing a modern template to address the healthcare sector’s workforce challenges. By taking an innovative, forward-looking approach, we hope to provide real solutions for employers as we provide upward mobility for our students.

I invite you to learn more at www.ultimatemedical.edu/.

Thomas Rametta is President of Ultimate Medical Academy, where he leads UMA’s mission to equip and empower students to excel in healthcare careers. His work includes developing a diverse, talented team to support students throughout their academic and career journey, ensuring the institution operates responsibly and always champions student outcomes.