By Lucy Bowman
The Health and Sports Studies department recently introduced emphases for the Health Science degree. The overall major has been reduced in terms of course hours, but specific areas of interest have been added for students pursuing education in health science. The three new emphases allow students to focus on movement, public health and community wellness, and allied health. The movement emphasis is perfect for students hoping to pursue jobs in physical therapy, chiropractics, and athletic training. The public health and community wellness courses are geared more towards students who want to either pursue graduate school in public health or enter the workforce in jobs that deal with community wellness. Finally, the allied health emphasis is ideal for students who are hoping to enter the nursing field, specifically in fields of occupational and recreational therapy. Dr. Jamie Fuqua, an Assistant Professor of Health Science at McPherson College, explained that each of these emphases provides an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge background while also allowing them to focus in on specific areas of study. The current health science major is a total of 71 hours. The newly constructed major is only 43 hours, and then each student may choose an emphasis that aligns with their interests. The three emphases range from 22 to 27 hours. The main changes involve a restructuring of the major, with limited course changes. However, Fuqua explains there were minor changes made to both the junior seminar and the senior capstone experience. In both cases, these alterations allow more time for internships around the community. According to Fuqua, one of the great things about the new major is the experiential components. “We’re reaching out to more community partners. We’re building relationships with a lot of organizations.” Majors are currently able to work through internships at the hospital and the Cedars. These opportunities allow students to gain real life experience that is connected to what they are learning in the classroom. Dr. Fuqua wanted all students to know that if they have any questions about the new major and emphases, they should not hesitate to reach out to any of the Health and Sports Studies professors. These teachers are always excited to help students explore new opportunities throughout the community.