News Details

December 01, 2015

Wesleyan to Offer New Health Science Major and First Online Cohort Program

In the fall 2016, a new Bachelor of Health Science degree will be available for both new and current students at West Virginia Wesleyan College.  The major, housed in the School of Nursing, will be available as both a four-year undergraduate degree on-campus as well as in an online cohort setting. 

“This program will meet the needs of students interested in degrees in the health sciences who were not necessarily interested in careers in nursing or athletic training,” stated Dr. Susan Rice, associate professor of nursing.  “Additionally, this program offers people in the community working in health-related careers an option for degree competition.”

New students entering in the fall semester will complete the major-specific courses online while completing the remainder of the liberal studies requirements in-seat.  An online cohort program will be available to non-traditional students, or students entering college at a non-typical age, where all classes, including liberal studies, would be completed online.  This option requires two classes each fall, spring, May, and summer term and would be a feasible five-year option for those students who are entering with no prior college credit.  Both trajectories include an internship. 

“The internship during the final semester of the program will provide the practical experience and increase the student’s potential for employment opportunities,” commented Dr. Rice. 

“We believe that the health care industry is growing and that some adult learners may be seeking a credential that will allow them to advance in health care,” stated Dr. Boyd Creasman, vice president for academic affairs.  “We also discovered that some of our nursing students would decide that nursing was not the right major for them, but they wanted an opportunity to work in the health care field in a non-clinical role.  This major attempts to address the needs of both of these groups- adult learners and traditional students.” 

Graduates in a health science major are qualified for a myriad of health-related jobs including positions in a hospital or long-term care, such as activities director, clinical outcomes analyst, or quality improvement manager; community or ambulatory care services, such as non-profit health-related organizations, home care or hospice, or pharmaceutical sales; and pre-professional programs in higher education, such as Master of Public Health, Occupational Therapy, and Physician’s Assistant.  The Bachelor of Health Sciences will also prepare students for degree completion in any allied health field, allowing the student to begin the secondary program with an Associate in Science. 

This new program will be mutually beneficial for both the students and the College. 

“Since the major is intentionally interdisciplinary, students will have a broad knowledge base but also have the opportunity to focus on coursework to meet their specific interests,” Dr. Rice said.  “Likewise, in response to the changing needs in health care in this country, The Institute of Medicine appealed to colleges and universities across the U.S. to include courses in public health in their curriculums.  This major offers an alternative for students who want to contribute to the health of people in this country but who prefer a public health focus rather than a clinical focus.” 

For more information on the program, please contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-722-9933 or email Dr. Rice at

The School of Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30326; telephone 1-866-747-9965).  The program offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a post-graduate (post-MSN) certificate for Family Nurse Practitioner. Students in the Master of Science in Nursing program choose from among the following areas of study: Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, or an advanced practice option including Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Both Nurse-Midwifery and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner are offered through a collaborative program with Shenandoah University. The School of Nursing has an on-site, state-of-the-art simulation laboratory. Program offerings for graduate students are flexible to meet the needs of adult learners. For information about the programs, please contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-722-9933 or email the School of Nursing at 

Founded in 1890, West Virginia Wesleyan is a private residential college located in Buckhannon. The college offers 47 majors and graduate programs in athletic training, business, education, English creative writing and nursing. Thirteen Wesleyan students have been selected as U.S. Department of State Fulbright Scholars.




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