Program offers insights into economy, health care, religion and more.

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Ericka Journee had a good job as a pharmacist when she resolved to change careers. She knew she wanted to stay in the health care industry, but to make a positive difference in the world, she decided, she’d need more skills.


“I didn’t like the way things were going in the pharmacy industry,” Journee says.

“I saw people struggling to pay for their medicine. That made me want to pursue a career where I could work on changing health care policies and speak on behalf of the patients.”

Journee decided to pursue a master’s in health administration, but first she needed to complete her bachelor’s degree. Twelve years earlier, she had completed the University of Washington School of Pharmacy program, which requires prerequisite courses in math and science but not a college degree.

Now, the challenge was going back to school while working a full-time job to support herself and her 9-year-old daughter. She found her solution in the online Integrated Social Sciences program at the University of Washington.

Journee accomplished her goal, graduating in late 2016 with her undergraduate degree. She was also accepted into the master’s program in health administration at Cornell University in August 2017 and expects to complete her advanced degree in May 2019, with an eye to landing a job in health care administration.

“This program has offered me new insights into a global perspective about the economy, health care, religion and more,” Journee says. “Now when I start my new career, I’ll be more culturally sensitive and aware that different communities and beliefs influence people, their decisions and how they do things. Understanding this is crucial if you’re trying to help a variety of individuals in health care.”

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