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L.A. Health Administrator Helps Prepare The Future Work Force

Jim Sherman is a part-time faculty member atCalifornia State University Northridge (CSUN). He has been teaching part-time at CSUN for the past 25 years. Sherman teaches health administration courses to both graduate and undergraduate students. He graduated from CSUN with the goal of becoming a hospital CEO. However, by fluke, Sherman's first few jobs involved healthcare finance, a subject that he did not enjoy in school. However, once working, he found he enjoyed finance. When Sherman was out in the work force, finance made sense. He realized that he needed to give back to his alma mater and help prepare the work force of the future.

(Photo Courtesy of Jim Sherman)

Sherman did eventually become a hospital CEO and had a very successful career. As much as he enjoyed his career, Sherman always found that he received a greater personal reward from teaching. Sherman keeps in contact with most of his students and is very proud of their personal growth.

Sherman holds a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration from California State University Northridge and a master's in healthcare administration from California State University Northridge.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"I teach both graduate and undergraduate classes. I use PowerPoint presentations when lecturing. Although most of the material comes directly from the books assigned to the class, I heavily supplement it with materials from current hospital situations. I like to share reports and tools that students will be using in the work environment."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"I know it sounds strange, but I enjoy responding to emails from my students. I find that today's students want assistance on a real-time basis. I check my email quite often and get back to my students as quickly as possible. Based upon feedback that I've received, they really appreciate the quick response. Sometimes, I don't have the answer to their question, but I can point them in the right direction. That means a lot to them."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"In hindsight, it provided me with basic material. I wouldn't have been successful in my professional career without my degrees. However, my education didn't teach me how to apply the concepts being learned with the real world. I'm a very visual person. Anyone can read the textbooks, but it means so much more to the students when you can translate the material in the books to experiences that one will encounter in the work place."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"Use examples from work experience. I have found that students gravitate to instructors who have work experience in the material that they are teaching. Students want faculty members who are willing to be mentors. You need to realize that you continue to be a professor to the students outside of normal work hours."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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