Mercyhurst students far exceed average pass rate on HR certification exam


The Mercyhurst University School of Graduate Studies reports an 85 percent pass rate among students who sat for the Professional/Senior Professional Human Resource Certification Exam (PHR/SPHR) in May after completing a leading certification prep course at Mercyhurst.

Since 2010, the national pass rate for those taking the exam has averaged between 56 and 60 percent, according to the HR Certification Institute. 

This marks the first year Mercyhurst offered the preparation program, which was developed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and taught by adjunct professors Ron Diehl, SPHR, a 20-year human resource professional employed at Erie Insurance; and Liz Detisch, Ph.D., PHR, at Millcreek School District; and to Mercyhurst faculty Merry Bollheimer, J.D., of the business department.

“This credential makes HR professionals much more marketable by validating that they are well-prepared to work in the field; it also validates the employer for having hired professionals who are qualified,” said Gil Jacobs, Ph.D., dean of graduate studies.

The 14-week course is offered through Mercyhurst’s Organizational Leadership (OL) Graduate Program each spring. It can be taken as a single course or as part of OL’s human resources concentration or human resources graduate certificate.

The course is ideal for professionals with human resource experience as well as college graduates and master’s degree candidates. However, only individuals with professional HR experience may qualify to sit for the certification exam. For more information on the criteria, visit SHRM. To learn more about the prep course, visit OL at Mercyhurst.


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