UHV to offer new health studies bachelor's degree

Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.

Kathryn TartKathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing

Kathryn TartKathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing

The University of Houston-Victoria is expanding its health care educational program this spring to include a Bachelor of Science in health studies.

The new program is aimed at students interested in a public health career. A health studies degree also can be a starting point to prepare students for graduate programs in several health care specialties.

"It's a wonderful degree with so many uses," said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. "Graduates of the program could start work in health care immediately, and the degree can lead to advanced studies."

The four-year degree program will be housed in the UHV School of Nursing, marking the first time the school has set up a program that includes classes for freshmen and sophomores.

The school's other degree programs are for transfer or graduate students. Tart said students don't necessarily need to have a specific area of health care interest when entering the new program.

"It's a degree for people who are really interested in health care but don't know what they want to do within the industry," Tart said.

Tart said the school saw a need for the degree to improve the public's health education in the Crossroads and beyond. The need was illustrated with changes in health care delivery across the nation. Additionally, a Victoria community survey revealed health care education needs.

Students completing the degree can take a certification exam and become Certified Health Education Specialists. They could then work, for example, in community health agencies, state public health departments and work site health promotion programs.

Graduates wanting to continue their studies can go on to graduate work in several areas, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy. They also could pursue UHV's Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The degree curriculum for the new program was put together by Tart, assistant professor Lisette Barton, associate clinical professor Terry Kirk and graduate student Pam Heise. Students will have to take core classes, science courses and health studies classes.

Existing university faculty will teach the sciences course. The nursing school is slated to hire an additional faculty member to teach the new classes starting in the fall.

For more information about applying to the new program, contact UHV student success coach Ashleigh Kellis-Carr at 361-570-4362 or kelliscarran@uhv.edu.



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