Hiram College continues its momentum as a leader in educating and training the health care work force of the future with its new integrative exercise science major.
The bachelor’s degree program, which begins this fall, allows students to study human movement and physiology, and apply their knowledge to help individuals live better and healthier lives through exercise, rehabilitation and nutrition. The new offering also requires students to complete a concentration of courses — resulting in a minor — in another discipline. The curriculum will prepare them for their chosen career, whether it is physical therapy, athletic training, coaching or another life science field.
The integrative exercise science major also embeds coursework from Hiram’s signature biomedical humanities undergraduate curriculum. “In addition to detailed studies of anatomy and bio-mechanics, the new major infuses literature and arts to teach bioethics and the human condition, as found in our biomedical humanities program popular with pre-medical and nursing students. The end goal is to produce highly competent health professionals ready to serve their patients and clients from both knowledge- and compassion-based perspectives,” says Sandra Madar, Ph.D., professor of biology and biomedical humanities at Hiram College. Hiram’s undergraduate major in biomedical humanities was the first in the country.
The degree responds to a growing demand from incoming college students. Physical therapy (pre-physical therapy) and athletic training ranked among the top 15 majors of interest selected by students sitting for the ACT exam in 2015.
Students in the four-year program will complete a tract in sports health, human performance or sport and fitness management. As required of all Hiram College students, those in the program will also have completed a hands-on capstone experience before graduating, according to Jim Johnston, M.S., head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director.
“An internship or research project provides students the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge of coursework and lab experiences into a practical or research environment,” explains Johnston, a licensed and certified athletic trainer.
The new degree punctuates Hiram’s response to a call from the health care industry for experts who address patients’ and clients’ needs for both technically competent and humanistic treatment.
“This is a long-recognized need among health professionals and Hiram is proud to take the lead in answering it,” says Dr. Madar, who also serves as director of strategic academic initiatives for Hiram.