Married Couple Pursuing Their Potential Together Through MHA@GW

For many MHA@GW students, a key advantage of the program is the opportunity to attend class from anywhere in the world and connect with other like-minded professionals. For students Jarrett and Keyla Cooper, this is doubly true. As a married couple, they are able to simultaneously attain their educational goals while continuing to work and raise their two children — and the MHA@GW makes it all possible. 

“[MHA@GW] strengthens us as a couple and enables us to encourage each other along the way. Our passions allow us to have exciting discussions about the new concepts we learn and the people we meet throughout the journey,” said Keyla, who is a program specialist at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, a research and development division of the National Library of Medicine.

Keyla and Jarrett met while serving in the Navy — they were both junior Hospital Corpsman in the pediatrics department at their first duty station in Florida. Currently, they live and work in the Washington, D.C., area. Jarrett, who is the directorate for administration at the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center, said that in order to remain strong and competitive career candidates, they both decided to earn a Master of Health Administration.

“This program has allowed us to learn who we are and bring out our true leadership potential,” Jarrett said. “Both of us have taken skills and concepts back to our organizations and have applied real, measurable change that has been absolutely beneficial to our careers.”

The couple pointed out that the innovative technology platform, group work and immersions were all key selling points that brought them to MHA@GW.

“The virtual classroom experience brings together a diverse student body of individuals that represent all facets of the health care industry,” Keyla said. “Another innovative aspect of the program is the continuous progression of learning. Each module builds onto the next, increasing your ability to retain true knowledge. It is not about learning and moving onto the next subject — it is about learning and applying those skills throughout the program and into your life.” 

Jarrett added: “We also wanted a program that has a great reputation, accreditation, reputation and faculty. The George Washington University has it all.”

Looking to the future, they said they hope the experience of participating in a rigorous advanced degree program together will have a lasting impact on their family as well.

“Something the military has taught us is that this is not a competition, but a collaborative team effort that builds on the success of each other,” said Jarrett. “We want to raise our children by example. We hope they see our hard work and that it inspires them to follow their dreams.”