Colorado State Works with Department of Veteran Affairs to Improve Future of Va Employees Through Graduate Education

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver now will be able to offer graduate education to their employees through the Department of Continuing Education at Colorado State University.  

Colorado State is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Healthcare System to offer a customized "Graduate Credit Leadership Certificate" onsite to Denver VA Medical Center employees.

Employees participating in the program must have previous management experience or want to advance to a management role. Participants are from the Eastern Colorado Healthcare system.

Courses will be offered through Continuing Education and the Colorado State’s College of Business and will allow students throughout the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System to receive this customized on-site instruction and a certificate of 15 graduate credits upon completion.

The program will offer students the understanding of traditional management fundamentals by presenting topics that relate directly to the business world. Some of the class topics include managerial ethics, managing in a diverse society, strategic management and strategic human resource management.The program focuses on integrating the management concepts learned in class into successful workplace strategies.

Classes will consist of five courses required and created by the College of Business and include professional development courses to create a unique hybrid program. Some credits issued may transfer to Colorado State at Denver’s executive MBA program and the Organizational, Performance and Change master’s program. The five required classes explore management fundamentals through ethical reasoning and the development of team dynamics. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to receive graduate credits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs/VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System are sponsoring employees who are accepted into the program and are allowing participants to take courses during work hours. The VA is covering the price of all fees and books for students participating in the program.

Ralph T. Gigliotti, associate director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Healthcare system, believes the new program will provide more of the VA’s employees in the workforce with fundamental ideas about business.

"We are faced with an aging workforce that will see retirements in key areas over the next three to five years," Gigliotti said about why this program will benefit the Department of Veterans Affairs.  "The aim of programs such as this is to ready the existing workforce to step in when that turnover does occur."

Employees who complete the program will have a better overall understanding of management concepts and will be able to apply those skills to many aspects of their work in the health care field.

"I feel this program brings state of the art knowledge to a group of key employees, which will ensure our ability to meet the dynamic changes occurring in health care," Gigliotti said.

The program is expected to be an ongoing initiative. For more information about the leadership (management) graduate credit certificate program, contact Janet E. Kemp, chief of Quality Management, Education and Development at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center or visit Colorado State’s Continuing Education Web site at