HCSC launches new employee education program: Blue University

President and CEO Paula Steiner speaking at HCSC's Blue University opening (HCSC)

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is unveiling an in-house training facility to invest in building the skills of its employees.

HCSC, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, modeled its Blue University after a college-like setting with its flagship located in the company’s Chicago headquarters.

Courses include topics such as leadership and collaboration, healthcare management, finance and actuarial, sales and marketing, technology and innovation and service delivery. In addition, the site has a cooperative MBA program with local universities and offers certificates in cybersecurity and data science. Master's degree partnerships include Lake Forest College, DePaul University, the University of Texas, Dallas and a cybersecurity certificate from DePaul.

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“At HCSC, our focus is on putting our (more than 16 million) members first. To ensure we continue to have our members’ best interests at hand, we want to support our 23,000+ employees in any way possible to stay connected to the company’s purpose and to deliver the high-quality products and customer service our members have come to know and demand from us,” Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Nazneen Razi told FierceHealthcare.

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Razi says that while employee development has always been important to HCSC, this new "university" allows for the building of future skills, “making sure they have the ability to do their jobs better, be ready for what’s next and be positioned to better anticipate our members’ future needs.”

Blue University is available both online and in physical locations in five states. It offers eligible employees up to $5,250 per year in tuition reimbursement, and up to $2,000 of this may be approved for professional certification expenses.

Each college is guided by a dean, who is also a business leader, an executive steering committee and an academic committee which includes members of the HCSC staff. Razi stresses that employees are the company’s most important asset as they are the customers’ first point of contact.

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“By offering a broad array of programs, curricula and formal educational partnerships through Blue University, we hope to build a culture of life-long learning, where employees are inspired and unafraid of innovation and change,” Razi said. “The coursework will help them then enhance existing capabilities or develop new skills, reach milestones such as certifications and degrees, and increase their level of contribution to the organization, which can lead to new, challenging roles, innovation and more job satisfaction.”

Razi says HCSC is seizing the moment, as change won’t wait for any company. So HCSC is taking a direct role in shaping its own future and the future of its employees.

“That’s why we’re committed to helping our employees adapt to an evolving workplace—taking steps to focus on continual learning and cultivating opportunities to build new skills by bringing learning opportunities directly and conveniently to them,” she added.

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