Berkeley Today Stories

Berkeley College Health Services Administration club members volunteer at St. John’s Bread and Life

Club Prepares Students for Careers in Healthcare



Berkeley College Health Services Administration club members volunteer at St. John’s Bread and Life


Just one year into teaching Health Services Administration courses at Berkeley College in New York, LaToya Trowers-Bell, Ed.D., realized the need to provide rich experiences for students that would allow them to try out career choices and be better equipped for the future. In response, Dr. Trowers-Bell established the Health Services Administration Club in 2013 to deliver mentoring and other opportunities beyond the classroom.

Student interest has remained constant, with 15 to 20 students participating each quarter.

“We meet regularly – same time, same room – every two weeks on the Brooklyn campus,” said Dr. Trowers-Bell. Students can garner job information, address questions or concerns about classes, hear guest speakers, or prepare for off-campus trips. The New York-based group also has a counterpart across the river that organizes similar experiences for Berkeley College students in New Jersey.

Neville Bird, a junior majoring in Health Services Administration, said he particularly enjoys hearing from alumni who return to Berkeley College to share their experiences. “The Club helps build our confidence to take on tasks involved with patient care,” said Mr. Bird, a resident of Manhattan, NY.

Berkeley College offers degrees in Health Services Administration and Health Services Management that explore the operations and challenges of organizations delivering and supporting health services, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

Inspiration beyond the classroom

This year, students helped care for children on a field trip to the Ronald McDonald House New York. Another site visit will take them to Richmond University Hospital in Staten Island, NY, where they will interact with healthcare professionals and ask questions about job requirements and outlooks.

Healthcare administrators are enriched by the student visits as well.

“I am happy to provide opportunities for students to meet with me and discuss career path options as they pursue their own careers in healthcare,” said Jennifer Saleta, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Administration, following a recent visit by the students to Northwell Health’s Center for Learning & Innovation.

Preparing for the future

Working as part of a team, the Health Services Administration Club facilitates relevant community service opportunities. While academic grades are imperative for job applications and career success, research has shown that many employers also look for well-rounded candidates who participate in extra-curricular activities that promote personal and professional development.

In addition to helping foster practical skills such as time management, leadership, and responsibility, Dr. Trowers-Bell said the Club challenges students to successfully balance the time they devote to extra activities with the time needed to study and maintain good grades.

She added that participation in activities like the Club have been shown to increase student engagement, in and out of the classroom. “It gives students a network of support among their peers and faculty, and they are able to see the relevance of the careers they are pursuing,” she said.

Health Services Administration club members visit Ronald McDonald House New York

Members of the Club help care for children on a field trip to the Ronald McDonald House New York.