This winter La Sierra University’s Zapara School of Business launched its first out-of-state Master of Business Administration program in sunny Hawaii, offering graduate courses designed for busy health care professionals.

The MBA cohort program at Adventist Health Castle in Kailua, Hawaii officially began instruction on January 7. The class includes nurses, doctors, managers, health care specialists and administrators.

The program allows students to complete their MBA requirements in less than two years. It delivers two six-week sessions per quarter, each featuring a one-week intensive taught by La Sierra faculty and supported by reading, group projects, and assignments in Blackboard, a virtual online classroom environment.

The first one-week intensive class for Adventist Health Castle cohorts was held in early January and taught by Associate Professor of Law and Human Resource Management Dulce Peña from the Zapara School of Business. Titled “Leadership Creativity and Organization Dynamics,” the course taught students the value of a creative mindset in business and life, and how to create organizational structures that support creativity and bring out the best in employees.

Following the first week’s class, cohort students gave their impressions. Noted William Scruggs, emergency medicine physician at Castle, “I expected to be exhausted at the end of the week and I already am. I’m surprised that it’s not because of reading and writing. It’s because I can’t fall asleep and wake up early thinking about the things we talk about, what I could have done better in the past, and how I can apply all of this in the future.”

The Zapara School of Business works with organizations to provide on-site instruction for groups, or cohorts of employees and associates. Over the past two decades, the cohort programs have been offered around Southern California through such organizations as Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, Loma Linda University, and Adventist Health Glendale.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with La Sierra University to bring the MBA program back to Adventist Health Castle,” said Heidar Thordarson, Adventist Health Castle’s finance officer. “We have seen the benefit of an MBA program as three of our executives are graduates of past MBA programs at Castle and we’re committed to the continued growth of our leaders. By offering this valuable Christ-centered program to our leaders, we’re able to continue our mission of ‘Living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope.’”

Noted John Thomas, dean of the Zapara School of Business, “We are so excited that we could create this partnership with Adventist Health Castle and continue providing business education in health care, which we have done for so many of our health care professionals over the years.”