Many career paths exist in the growing field of Health Sciences. Knowing this, and as a way to further serve its student body, Chestnut Hill College has added a new major in the School of Undergraduate Studies.
Health Sciences will accept its first students in the fall 2018 semester.
Students with an interest in allied health—a clinical health position in a medical setting, in nursing, dentistry, optometry, cytology, or respiratory—or anyone wishing to work in a clinical or administrative position in a health-related field—will find something in this major for them.
“This major will interest students who say, ‘I want to help people and work in a healthcare setting, and want to see where I fit within that setting,’” says Carrie Albright, Ph.D., director of the department of health and exercise sciences.
The time is right for the addition of this major, according to Albright, who says that jobs in the field are abundant, especially with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. She cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts an increase of up to 25 percent in needed personnel because of the increase in the numbers of people who will need health care.
“One of the reasons those jobs are in demand is to support physicians and do some of what they used to do,” says Albright. “For example, athletic trainers are being used in orthopedic offices now. It’s a shift in the way society thinks about going to the doctor.”
Albright, a physiologist, joined CHC during the fall 2015 semester. She has direct experience in the health sciences field working in and helping to mold the Health Sciences program at Franklin Pierce University. Albright has been a faculty member and administrator and researcher at Immaculata, James Madison, and Towson universities.
She also directs the CHC’s liberal arts physical education program.
“At this point in my career, it was exciting to be given the opportunity to build my own lab and start new programs and use past experience to build my own,” says Albright when asked why she chose to join CHC. “When I looked into CHC, it was refreshing to see how its mission aligned with my outlook and values concerning higher education. I respect and value the way the institution puts its mission into action in the positive effect it has on its students.”
CHC added an Exercise Science major in 2017. According to Albright, there is some overlap between the two, however, exercise science is more of a “human movement science” for students who want to go into human movement careers, such as physical or occupational therapy, athletic training, strength conditioning or cardiac rehab, for example.
These two majors are clinical in nature and she works closely with the chemistry and biology departments. Business courses also are included in the curriculum, for those students who may want to work as a lab coordinator or health educator, for example.
“All of our classes are geared toward the science of human movement or working in a hospital, doctor’s office or public health,” says Albright, “but we also talk about the behavioral aspects of how to be a leader to your patients.”
Students in the new major will find one of the many available jobs in the field or continue on to graduate school or a certificate program. Many students look for a traditional four-year college program that will prepare them to attend an accelerated nursing program, in which they can earn a nursing degree in about two years.
“This is all part what makes this new Health Sciences major unique,” says Albright. “This is not a professional track, but rather an interdisciplinary general program that offers students the chance to explore career options. We will provide an overview of the many possible career paths in the health sciences and the requirements needed for each. This allows students to make an informed decision on the courses they want to take, based on their interests, skills, and abilities. We will provide them the foundational sciences—chemistry, biology, psychology, exercise science and business courses needed as well as the rigorous, holistic liberal arts education for which CHC is known and respected.”
“Incoming students also should understand they will have an adviser who will really work with them in designing a program that’s right for them,” she adds. “They will get the attention they need to reach their goal. We will work with them.”
— Brenda Lange