CAMDEN — Rutgers University-Camden is taking another significant step forward in contributing to the advancement of health education in southern New Jersey while expanding the region as a leading center for health sciences.
The Rutgers University Board of Governors has approved a bachelor of arts in health sciences degree program for Rutgers-Camden’s College of Arts and Sciences. The program will begin in the fall 2014 semester pending approval from the New Jersey Council of Presidents.
The new 120-credit multi-disciplinary academic major will include courses in the general sciences while also educating students in subjects essential to modern health-related professions, like behavioral therapy, biomedical ethics, health psychology, and human development.
“This program puts Rutgers-Camden on the cutting edge of the health sciences by training students who represent the next wave of health care professionals across the country,” says Kriste Lindenmeyer, dean of the Rutgers-Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “It utilizes our strengths in the sciences and in health education to meet an increasing demand for professionals who will ultimately provide greater access to health services.”
Lindenmeyer says the new major offers a clear-cut path to a degree for the large number of students who are interested in the sciences and health, but ultimately opt to not pursue an academic major or career in a traditional science field or in nursing.
“It is an option for those who wish to pursue a nontraditional or newly emerging career in health care, and it also provides students with the fundamental concepts required for training in health-related professions like occupational therapy and physical therapy,” the Rutgers-Camden dean says.
Lindenmeyer estimates that about 40 Rutgers-Camden students will enroll in the new major during the fall 2014 semester and she expects a gradual increase in enrollment with more than 180 students majoring in health science within five years.
Lindenmeyer says a health sciences director will be appointed this summer to lead the program and an introductory health sciences course will be added to the curriculum for the new major.
“We see a lot of new opportunities in a wide variety of health fields that have never before been offered to our students,” says Allen Woll, associate dean for program development and special projects at Rutgers-Camden. “The health science field is booming around the country and this program opens up a world of possibilities for our students, who will be well-versed in the sciences as well as public health, arming them with knowledge to serve the needs of the community.”
The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest academic unit at Rutgers-Camden, delivering a wide array of programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts.