UVA Enlighten

Earn Undergraduate Credits While Building Your Skillset

UVA believes effective healthcare workers can make impactful contributions at all levels of the organization and staying relevant through continuing education is crucial. SCPS is pleased to offer Enlighten, an online, 12-course program built for the healthcare industry.

The Enlighten program will support healthcare employees by paving a pathway toward a degree and earning 36 undergraduate credits while developing key professional skills to enhance their job performance. This program is ideal for employees in positions such as access associates, reception teams, contract centers, and billing. 

How it Works

  • This program is offered online beginning in Fall 2024.
  • Each semester, students will take two courses.
  • Classes are held asynchronously, meaning students have access to pre-recorded instructional materials; there is no requirement to log into a class at a certain time. Students will interact with their classmates through discussions and assignments on a weekly basis.
  • There will be optional live sessions for those who wish to deepen their engagement with course material, the instructor, and their classmates. These will also be recorded.
  • Courses are offered fall and spring, with a break during the summer.
Key Takeaways
  • Students who successfully complete the Enlighten program will earn 36 undergraduate credits and be eligible to apply to the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) or Bachelor of Professional Studies in Health Sciences Management (BPHM) program at UVA SCPS.  
  • Students will build skills in areas that will position them for long-term success, including:
    • Critical thinking
    • Communication and professional writing
    • Ethics
    • Understanding different cultures and communication styles
    • Using digital workplace tools effectively
    • Understanding and presenting data 
    • Developing a basic understanding of cloud computing


What You Will Learn

Enlighten allows you to earn 36 undergraduate credits while building skills in areas like communications, data, critical thinking and ethics, which are highly relevant to a wide variety of jobs. Skills gained during Enlighten will increase your effectiveness in your current role and position you for success in future roles.

Areas of Study Include:

  1. ​​​Professional Writing in Healthcare – Fall 2024  
  2. Explorations in Healthcare: Issues and Opportunities – Fall 2024  
  3. Digital Literacy and Computer Applications – Spring 2025 
  4. Introduction to Human Communication – Spring 2025  
  5. English Composition I 
  6. Introduction to Psychology  
  7. Data Literacy  
  8. Medical Sociology 
  9. English Composition II 
  10. Intercultural Communication 
  11. Bio-Medical Ethics 
  12. Social Problems 

Hear About Enlighten from Others

Wendy Horton, PharmD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health University Medical Center shares an overview of the UVA Enlighten program, and voices UVA Health's support of it. Watch the video.

Wendy Horton of UVA Health shares details about the Enlighten program



Frequently Asked Questions

Below, find answers to commonly asked questions about Enlighten. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to SCPS at [email protected], or complete the Request for Information form.

What will I learn and how will this help me? 

Enlighten has a few major benefits. First, the program has been designed specifically for individuals in the healthcare industry to ensure they gain experience and skills that are relevant in today’s workplace. You’ll develop human skills--like critical thinking, communication, and leadership—in classes focused on the healthcare industry, such as biomedical ethics and medical sociology.  

Second, Enlighten is a major first step toward completing an undergraduate degree. Students receive an Award of Completion and 36 credits at the 1000- and 2000-level and are immediately positioned to continue in one of UVA’s degree completion programs. Through The School of Continuing and Professional Studies, hundreds of students have completed their bachelor’s degree. With our small class sizes and highly supportive staff, we can support you through your educational journey.  

How do I know if Enlighten is the right program for me? 

nlighten is designed to provide opportunity to students who have earned less than 30 college credits. Coursework is at the 1000- and 2000-level, what undergraduate students in their first and second years typically take. If you’re at a different point in your educational journey, our online bachelor completion programs and professional certificates may be a better fit for your personal and professional goals. Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss your individual situation and find the program that meets your needs.

What time commitment should I expect to make? When will the classes be held? 

Enlighten is designed with working adults in mind. Asynchronous courses mean that students will have access to instructional material and recorded lectures with no requirement to join a class at a certain time. Students will be able to engage on their own time, with ongoing feedback and interaction with instructors. Classes will offer optional opportunities to join synchronous sessions online for those who wish to deepen their engagement with course material, the instructor, and their classmates. Students should expect to spend about 10-12 hours most weeks preparing for or attending class and working on course assignments.

What do I need to apply?

Your high school OR undergraduate transcript, if you have college credits, and a 300-word statement of purpose.

If your first language is not English, or if the language of instruction at a prior institution was not English, UVA SCPS may require proof of a TOEFL test.

When are applications due? 

Enlighten admits students once per calendar year. For 2024, applications are due by May 15.

What is the difference between an unofficial and official transcript? 

An official transcript is one that is sent directly from your high school or college to SCPS Central Admission at UVA; anything received from a student is not considered official. 

Electronic submissions should be directed to [email protected] 

Hard copy official transcripts should be mailed directly from your prior school to: 

University of Virginia 

SCPS Central Admission Office 

PO Box 401105, Charlottesville, VA 22904. 

Students cannot be enrolled in courses until official transcripts are received. More information will be sent to students with the offer of admission.  

How much does it cost? Are scholarships or financial assistance available? 

The cost is $499 per credit (or a total of $1497 for one 3-credit course). Education benefits may cover your program cost. Please work with your employer. The cost of the program can almost entirely be paid for by UVA’s education benefits for UVA Health team members.

I am a UVA Health Employee. Can I use Education Benefits to pay for Enlighten? 

Yes, UVA Health employees can request education benefits through Workday for courses each semester. UVA Health employees must earn a grade of C- or higher in classes paid for with education benefits, or they may be required to repay the tuition. Policies and instructions for applying for education benefits can be found on the UVA HR site.

How is Enlighten different from Edge? 

Enlighten was designed specifically for professionals in nonclinical roles in healthcare settings. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have all the credits needed to apply for our Bachelor of Professional Studies in Healthcare Management or Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree.  
Like UVA Edge, Enlighten is a great first step on a student’s higher education journey and helps students develop skills that are essential for today’s workforce. Please note that UVA Edge is no longer accepting applications.

What if I have already taken one or more courses in the Enlighten program? 

Students will not be required to retake courses they have completed at another accredited college or university. During the application process, our team will review all transcripts and help students develop a unique plan to ensure they are maximizing their time in Enlighten and earning credits that will help them progress toward a degree.

I’ve never taken a class online before. Will I have help with the technology? 

Absolutely. Here's a brief list of the online learning tools the program uses, along with links to resources. In addition, students can reach out at any time for help acclimating to online instruction. 

The orientation process, and the first courses in the Enlighten sequence, will introduce students to the tech tools we use, and strategies for effective online learning. 

Please see the technical support contact information below: 

What academic resources are available to support me during the program? 

We are committed to working with students who experience academic challenges during the program, and all of our instructors design their courses with the goal of making them both challenging and accessible. In cases where students need accommodation for a documented learning difficulty, Enlighten will direct them towards appropriate resources. Your instructors are available to help you in any way they can, but you can also reach out to [email protected], if you have any questions or concerns.

Will there be an orientation? 

In addition to the first classes, which are designed to introduce students to the broader program, students will be guided through an Enlighten orientation that should answer most questions, get them set up with all of the tools they’ll need, and welcome them to the program. 

We will also provide onboarding materials and a point of contact to ensure that students are set up for success in the program and can get answers to any questions you might have prior to the start of classes.  

How do I register for classes? 

All Enlighten students will be manually enrolled in their courses each term by the Enlighten team, and they do not need to self-register.

What are the policies for adding/dropping classes and refunds? 

Request More Information

By providing your mobile phone number, you consent to receiving SMS messages from UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies

START DATE: August 27, 2024

DURATION: 36 undergraduate credits / 12 courses / 36 months on average 

FORMAT: Part-time; online in fall and spring  

Admission Requirements

Fall start: May 15, 2024

Applications are now open.

Admission Details  

You will need to submit a transcript and write a short essay. Find more information on transcript requirements. Decisions are typically made within two weeks of the deadline and notifications are sent via email. 




The cost is $499 per credit (or a total of $1497 for one 3-credit course).  

Education benefits may cover your program cost. Please work with your employer. UVA Health employees can primarily fund the program using UVA Education Benefits 

Tuition Details 

*Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Financial aid is not available for this program. Tuition rates are adjusted annually.