The B.S. in Health Sciences program addresses one of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century, that of providing adequate healthcare to the growing and aging population. The degree program builds upon a common foundation, consisting of general education and biology, chemistry and physics courses, and leads to tracks in exercise and fitness, and nutrition.
The programs pre-professional track also affords students flexibility, following completion of the foundation, to select an additional 30 semester hours in natural science and health science courses appropriate to their professional aspirations.
Program graduates will work in healthcare settings an the entry level, seek further professional training in a healthcare field, or seek further education in a related field.
As a result of completing the B.S. in Health Sciences, graduates will be able to apply principles of health and wellness as a lifelong process of learning grounded in the study of basic sciences and the behavioral arts. The students will:
- Understand fundamental biological, chemical, and physical properties underlying life systems
- Be able to gather and analyze research data and make inferences based on the dat
- Be aware of professional, ethical, and privacy issues that are pertinent to careers in the health sciences
Exercise and Fitnessstudents will understand the relationship between exercise and wellness maintenance and be skilled at developing appropriate fitness programs for diverse populations.
Nutrition students will understand principles of human nutrition and the relationship to health and wellness using evidence based strategies.
Community health education students will understand principles to help people assume more responsibility for their health and well being through educational development, implementation and evaluation of community health programs.
Pre-professional students will be broadly prepared to enter professional schools and to successfully meet school admissions criteria.
Health Services is a very large sector of the U.S. economy. For most positions in this area (exercise and fitness instructors, community health educators, and nutritionists), the U.S. Department of Labor predicts growth to be faster than average or much faster than average. The Universitys Health Sciences program broadly addresses this area of growth.
The Bureau summarizes growth in the health sector in the following terms:
Health care will generate 3 million new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016, more than any other industry. Seven of the twenty fastest growing occupations are health care related. Job opportunities should be good in all employment settings.
Wage and salary employment in the health care industry is projected to increase 22 percent through 2016, compared with 11 percent for all industries combined (table 3). Employment growth is expected to account for about 3 million new wage and salary jobs-20 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the economy over the 2006-16 period. Projected rates of employment growth for the various segments of the industry range from 13 percent in hospitals, the largest and slowest growing industry segment, to 55 percent in the much smaller home health care services."
Career areas broadly within the purview of the program are expected to grow. For example, the 2016 Statewide Occupational Forecast, developed by the Connecticut Department of Labor, predicts a 24.9 percent increase in jobs related to waste management and remediation services and a 12.8 percent increase in the education and health services sector.
A number of program graduates also will seek further professional education in healthcare. These areas are among the fastest growing in the overall economy.
Community Health Education
Community Health Education students will be prepared to understand overall wellness of a population as a whole. Students will learn principles to protect and promote the health of the public through health promotion, health education and diseased prevention activities.
Job Positions: Community Health Educator, Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Services Director, Health Advocate, Grant Writer, Health Education Specialist
Employment Locations: Health care facilities (non-profit, for profit, community health centers, hospitals, public health department, private companies, colleges)
Job Responsibilities: Work one-on-one with patients and their families; develop health programs and materials to encourage people to make healthy decisions to groups of people; offer health education classes to community and health personnel; administer public health campaigns on topics such as proper nutrition; grant writing; develop health policy; identify common health problems among employees and create programs to improve health.