Keuka College Adds One New Health-related Major, Updates a Second

Both the new Health Sciences and the updated RN to BSN programs begin with the 2020-21 academic year.

Friday, September 4, 2020

During a global pandemic, careers in health care are more important than ever. In keeping with Keuka College’s longtime commitment to graduating everyday heroes, the College has added a new major, and updated a second, to help meet the increasing need to fill jobs in the health care industry. 

Keuka College will offer a bachelor’s degree in health sciences beginning this fall, following New York State Department of Education approval of the College’s proposal for the new major. The College has also updated its RN to BSN major requirements.

The two health care-related majors join a third, unrelated, bachelor's degree program that the College began offering this fall: Esports Management.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, employment in health care occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs. Health care occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups—mainly due to an aging population—leading to greater demand for health care services.

Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences
“Keuka College’s new health sciences major will provide students with the opportunity to study health care systems, health promotion, and health research methods,” says Dr. Chris Alterio, chair of the Division of Applied Health and Wellness and associate professor of occupational therapy. “Students will develop foundational knowledge in biological sciences, including human anatomy and physiology, physics, and chemistry.” 

The College’s new program provides a solid grounding in the liberal arts and sciences, including coursework in areas such as health, medical ethics, and population health. Special focus will be on experiential education, along with a specially designed capstone experience. 

“Students will acquire the skills, knowledge, and values to work and contribute to the challenging health care environment,” says Dr. Alterio. “Students will also be able to demonstrate an application of foundational and liberal arts coursework to their specific future career through close coordination with the Keuka College Field Period® program.”

The College’s health sciences degree aims to guide students toward immediate employment in health promotion, or continued graduate study in a variety of health-related fields.

New York state now requires all nurses to obtain a bachelor of science in Nursing degree within 10 years of receiving their initial RN license, so Keuka College has updated its RN to BSN to make that requirement more accessible. Notable changes include the streamlining of several courses, reduced tuition cost, and reduced credit hours. The program can be completed in 18 months.

“Students will also take more liberal arts courses, which ensures our professional nurses are more well-rounded,” says Dr. Beth Russo, chair of the Division of Nursing and professor of nursing. “We are proud of that foundation.”

The program includes an academic adviser, and enables students to develop close-knit relationships with their professors and classmates.

“Our professors really do care about each student, and we value the personal relationships we build with them,” says Dr. Russo. “I believe that is something that sets Keuka College apart, and it makes us special.”