Frequently Asked Questions



What criteria do I have to meet to serve as a preceptor?

You must be a senior-level executive holding a master’s degree in health administration, business, or the equivalent. You must be employed with an accredited organization that possesses a wide scope of services in order to allow for a breadth of learning opportunities for the resident. Also, you must be willing to sign a Preceptor Affiliation Agreement and express an interest in building a long-term relationship with the department as a residency location.  Before being approved to serve as a preceptor, the Program Director will review your resume and may visit your organization.

Expectations and Responsibilities

What time commitment is required of the preceptor?

The length of the Administrative Residency is 12 months.  The residency begins the first Monday in June following the second year of graduate study, and is completed one year later in May at which time the residents who have fulfilled all requirements are awarded the MHA degree. The preceptor is expected to be involved in the resident’s learning process throughout the year. For more details, see Preceptor Best Practices.

How is the preceptor involved in the resident’s academic work?

Informally and formally, the preceptor works with faculty and the resident to continuously review and assess the resident’s performance in all aspects of the administrative residency, including the administrative residency plan, accomplishments, two evaluations conducted throughout the year, and Oral Comprehensive Seminars.  For more details, see Preceptor Best Practices.

Does my organization establish a salary/stipend for the resident?

A salary/stipend is paid to the resident by the training site during the residency period. Benefits should include health insurance. It is departmental policy to establish and publish a salary and benefit minimum for the total equivalent cash value of salary/stipend payments to the residents and to recommend that all preceptors keep payments at or above this minimum. The purpose is to prevent residencies from being selected (or avoided) on the basis of the salary/stipend amount.

The site is also required to pay expenses for the resident to attend one regional and one national health care conference during the Administrative Residency.

Assignment Process

How are residency assignments made?

The residency assignment process is competitive. Students compete for sites of their choice. Preceptors compete for students of their choice. To help ensure that you are assigned a resident, it is highly recommended that you complete the interview process and attend one of the scheduled Preceptor Days. Registration for Preceptor Days is held each fall, prior to the summer when the residency is scheduled to begin. Register now!

What steps are involved in the actual residency matching process?

  1. Register and attend one of the scheduled Preceptor Days held each fall at the Grant House in order to conduct initial interviews with students who are interested in completing their residencies at your organization.

  2. Conduct second round interviews at your organization with the student(s) you select.

  3. Present the student you select with an offer. If the student accepts, you will then sign an affiliation agreement.


Why does an affiliation agreement have to be signed?

In order to comply with University policies and accreditation standards, an executed affiliation agreement is required from VCU and the preceptor’s organization.

What does affiliate faculty status entail?

The VCU Administrative Residents are fulfilling a required one-year practicum that is tied to coursework that includes learning objectives and competency-based outcomes.  The preceptors—or external affiliate faculty—are important to assuring the learning objectives are achieved and the competencies are measured.  As such, once a new preceptor has been approved, it is necessary to keep a copy of his or her resume on file. After a preceptor has served for at least two years, the preceptor may request a formal VCU faculty appointment with an application submitted before June 1.