A reimagined and reinvigorated baccalaureate program offers a new opportunity for students seeking a four-year degree in Health Sciences; with evidenced interest reflected in near doubling of enrollment.
“We previously offered an Allied Health completion degree for students who already had an associate degree,” says Angela Herman, Chair of the Health Sciences program in the College of Health Professions. “We discovered that there were students who were interested in a health care career, but faced challenges in securing placement in comparable programs due to limits on clinical capacity and capability.”
The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences is available as both a four-year degree program and a completion-degree program. The course of study is intended for students who have an interest in various healthcare roles including management, education, and/or advanced clinical expertise.
Previously, the curriculum had a heavy emphasis in business, as most students were focused on becoming healthcare managers. The revised curriculum provides a broader foundation in the sciences, healthcare policy, research, and leadership. Students seeking graduate school have an accelerated option in the College of Business’s Health Care Administration program, where completion of two graduate courses can earn credit toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“We purposely left flexibility in the degree for students to develop their own focus… healthcare certificates such as Health Information Technology, Holistic Perspectives on Aging and Wellness, or certificates in business or social and behavioral health studies could be embedded in their course of study. Additionally, students may choose to participate in a co-operative experience to gain real-world practice. Successful health sciences co-ops have included partnerships with the American Lung Association and the Wilmington Veterans’ Hospital,” she says.
Expanding the program to students who do not have an associate degree has resulted in an upward climb in enrollment. There are 476 seats in fall 2017 block one compared to 272 seats in block one last year.
“We believe there will continue to be an employment need in health care,” she says. “Students who develop and cultivate a very strong science and health background will be very well positioned for rewarding careers.”