With careers in the health care field growing at a rapid pace, Georgia Highlands College is doing its part to help fill those new and vacant positions.
Students who want to enter Georgia’s quickly expanding health care sector will have the opportunity to work toward a new Bachelor of Health Science degree being launched by GHC this fall.
“Currently, more than 25% of the students at the college are enrolled in a health care-related pathway,” Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce said. “By offering this new program, students can continue their education at GHC to obtain a bachelor’s degree and help fill employment needs in our area. Graduates of the program will also be prepared to apply for professional graduate programs such as dietetics, public health, physical therapy and medical school.”
Graduates of the program will be qualified to seek such health care industry careers as health educator, health coach, community health consultant, public health adviser, researcher, worksite wellness and health navigation in hospitals, medical or pharmaceutical sales companies, community organizations, wellness centers, insurance companies and public health agencies, Boyce said.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that health care occupations will grow 14% through 2028 – a much faster rate than the average for all occupations – due to an aging population increasing the demand for health services. The growth will add about 1.9 million new health services jobs.
Eighteen of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the country through 2028 will be in health care or a related field, according to the DOL.
Students who attend school full time can complete the health science degree in four years, while those with an associate degree in a health profession can complete it in one to two years, depending on previous coursework.
“Students who have previously completed an associate degree in health care career programs such as radiologic technology, surgical technology or pharmacy technology can also transfer to GHC and complete a bachelor’s degree,” Boyce said.
Many prerequisite courses will be available across all Georgia Highlands sites, and additional courses will be taught on the Floyd and Cartersville campuses, the dean said.
“The majority of program-specific courses are offered online; however, some classroom-based courses may be required,” she said.
The program application cycle opened March 1, Boyce said, and “several students have already been admitted to begin fall 2020.”
Graduates of the program will be able to perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure the accuracy and validity of health programs and health information, according to Boyce.
“GHC graduates will be able to direct and supervise health education programs and operations and collaborate with clinicians and the general population,” she said. “Furthermore, they will be equipped to provide information crucial to improve the health of all individuals.”
For more information on the new bachelor’s degree program, visit https://sites.highlands.edu/division-of-health-sciences/division-of-health-sciences/bachelor-of-science-in-health-science/.