Certificate Programs

Nursing and Health/Human Services

Patient Advocacy Certificate Program

Patient Advocacy Certificate Program.  Helping patients.

Welcome to Cleveland State University’s Patient Advocacy Certificate Program!

Conducted entirely online, the Cleveland State Patient Advocacy Certificate Program (CSU PACP) supports the work of advocates across the country by providing a convenient, economical path to a fundamental knowledge base in the field. The Web-based platform also provides a forum for participants to share experiences and discuss issues critical to patient advocacy.

The certificate represents completion of ten 6-week courses, each one focusing on a particular area of knowledge or skills critical to the profession of patient/health care consumer advocacy. Courses may be taken individually, with no commitment to complete all ten; however, only students who complete all ten will earn the Cleveland State University Patient Advocacy Certificate.

Launched in 2004 by CSU, this pioneering program was the first of its kind nationwide. It resulted from conversations with the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy (SHCA). SHCA, a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association, is the national association representing the patient/consumer advocacy profession.

Cleveland State University’s Patient Advocacy Certificate Program

Each of the ten component courses of the CSU PACP focuses on a core competency of the profession.

See detailed information regarding each course by clicking on the title.  For courses currently open for registration, click here.

Course Title and Number

Bioethics (HCHS 538401)
Legal Rights/Issues (HCHS 538402)
Complaint Management (HCHS 538403)
Measuring Patient Satisfaction (HCHS 538409)
Interpersonal Communication (HCHS 538404)
Customer Service (HCHS 538402)
Conflict Resolution (HCHS 538406)
Crisis Intervention (HCHS 538408)
Data Management (HCHS 538410)
Healthcare Management (HCHS 538405)

CSU PACP: Program and Course Structure

CSU Patient Advocacy courses are conducted in 6-week time frames, with class sizes limited to 25 participants. You can participate when it is convenient for you, whether at midnight or during the work day. While there are no specified meeting times, you still get the benefit of interaction with colleagues and faculty through facilitated discussions. You and your classmates discuss the content of five weekly lessons by posting comments and responses to questions posed by the instructor about the material.

Each course represents ten (10) contact hours of work, or 1 CEU, averaging about two hours per week. A 6th week is built in as a grace period for completion. The courses are not academic credit-bearing courses and you do not receive a letter grade or degree. You do earn continuing education units and professional development contact hours; a certificate of completion from CSU CE is provided after successful completion of each course (based on logging in, participating in discussions for each lesson, and completing applicable assignments). Once you complete all ten courses, you receive a special certificate and letter documenting your successful completion of the Cleveland State Patient Advocacy Certificate Program. Cleveland State’s Division of Continuing Education also maintains a transcript of courses completed. While there is no commitment required to take all ten courses, only those who do so will receive the final PACP certificate.

CSU PACP: Registration, Pricing, Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition for each PACP course is still only $149! The tuition has not increased since the launch of the program in 2004.

Information regarding requirements, the technical needs for the Blackboard Learning Management System used, registration and answers to most of your questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you do not find the answer to your question, or need additional information please contact Jeanine Carroll at j.a.carroll@csuohio.edu.

Careers in Patient Advocacy and the CSU PACP

Many individuals inquire about the prospects for entering the field of patient advocacy through participation in the CSU Patient Advocacy Program. This program was not designed as a career entry program, and there is currently no national credential to become a patient advocate. However, earning the certificate provides critical, fundamental knowledge and can enhance your resume/portfolio. Advocates work in a variety of healthcare settings, although most work in hospitals. They perform varied roles, have different titles, and diverse types of education and experience. Advocates may come from nursing, social work, pastoral care or customer relations backgrounds, but most have significant understanding and experience with health care organizations and environments. The scope of work and competencies most requested of patient/consumer advocates are covered in the PACP courses offered by CSU.