Sacred Heart to launch human resource management program

In the fall of 2013, Sacred Heart University will launch its master’s degree in human resource management program. The 33-credit degree can be completed in less than two years and requires three years work experience.

“The nature of human resources has changed in the past several years,” said Leanna Lawter, assistant professor of management and the director of the new program. “The human resource professional has gone from being a traditional ‘personnel manager’ who just coordinated people’s benefits, payroll and paperwork to someone who is much more senior-level. He or she is making strategic decisions, helping with work forecasts, figuring out the human capital needs for the organization and integrating these decisions into the actual strategy of the company. In this new role, analytical and strategic-thinking skills are critical for success.”

Lawter says the new graduate-level program is aimed primarily at full-time working professionals with at least a few years of general experience in the workforce. The coursework is designed to be a blended format, part online and part classroom, to accommodate the scheduling needs of full-time professionals. Saturday classes will also be part of the schedule.

“A component of the Saturday classes will be guest lecturers who are senior-level professionals in the field,” Lawter said. “They’re the people who our students are going to be working for. So not only will that give students a really valuable glimpse into what’s going on right now in the HR field, but it will also give them the opportunity to network.”

Six professors in Sacred Heart’s John F. Welch College of Business have experience working in the human resources field, providing a solid educational bedrock for the new program. Additionally, the university is in the process of hiring at least one new professor dedicated to the department of human resource management.

The university is actively recruiting students for the new program.  For more information, visit

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