Duane Bonifer  |   Published October 06, 2021

A Path to the Health Professions

Health science and human movement major prepares students for careers in the health professions.

Health science and human movement faculty, from left, Laura Moore of Chemistry, Sean Schumm of ki... Health science and human movement faculty, from left, Laura Moore of Chemistry, Sean Schumm of kinesiology and Jennifer Braun of kinesiology.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Responding to a growing demand for leaders in the health professions, Monmouth College will begin a major in health science and human movement.

LAURA MOORE: ?The research experiences our students will have ... will give them an added benefit... LAURA MOORE: “The research experiences our students will have ... will give them an added benefit when they attend professional school, and it also will open students to the option of going on to graduate programs.”The interdisciplinary bachelor of science degree – which will start in fall 2022 – will prepare students for careers in health professions such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic medicine and athletic training.

Drawing on courses in biology, chemistry and kinesiology, the health science and human movement major will also appeal to students who plan to attend medical and physician assistant school.

“Most health professions now require at least a master’s degree that builds upon a student’s undergraduate coursework in health and natural sciences,” said chemistry professor Laura Moore, one of three Monmouth faculty members who collaborated in creating the major. “Monmouth’s health science and human movement major will provide excellent preparation for students who want to become a health professional.”

Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt said he is excited at the creation of the College’s new major because it “fits the best traditions of the liberal arts and sciences in several ways.”

“First, Monmouth College exists to serve society, and this new program has identified and will serve a vitally important need, particularly in our region,” Wyatt said. “Second, the students who complete this program will do so within the broader context of knowledge and experience of the Monmouth College education, empowering them to be leaders in their professional and community lives. Finally, this new program will provide outstanding preparation in an area of great and growing interest to our students.”

Built on College’s academic strengths

Monmouth’s health science and human movement is built on three of the College’s strengths, according to kinesiology instructor Jennifer Braun.

SEAN SCHUMM: ?Our students will graduate with a broad and deep background in natural sciences wit... SEAN SCHUMM: “Our students will graduate with a broad and deep background in natural sciences with applied knowledge of how it relates to human movement, which will serve them better when they get to professional school and into their careers.”“Students will have a rich academic experience in which they will conduct research and work closely with faculty,” said Braun, who teamed with Moore and department colleague Sean Schumm in developing the major. “It’s a unique program because it combines the study of biology and chemistry with kinesiology. And the major will tap into Monmouth’s strong network of alumni and friends, giving students numerous opportunities for mentorships, internships and shadowing experiences.”

Monmouth’s new major will be distinguished by its inclusion of the study of human movement.

“Students will receive a rich background in natural sciences that will be complemented with a comprehensive study of human movement and exercise physiology,” said Schumm, a professor of kinesiology. “Our students will graduate with a broad and deep background in natural sciences with applied knowledge of how it relates to human movement, which will serve them better when they get to professional school and into their careers.

“Many of our students will go on to work with an aging population as physical and occupational therapists, so the study of human movement will give our students more tools when working with future clients and patients.”

A major with ‘powerful added depth’

The program will be housed in the College’s Center for Science and Business, which features fully equipped laboratories that provide students hands-on experiences and research opportunities. In addition to faculty from the laboratory sciences of biology and chemistry, the program will include faculty with areas of expertise and professional experience in exercise physiology, human movement, nutrition, dietetics and muscle biology.

Moore said the numerous research opportunities available to students in the program will give a “powerful added depth to this major.”

“It is not common for students who go on to physical therapy or occupational therapy school to have had research experiences throughout their undergraduate careers,” said Moore. “The research experiences our students will have at Monmouth will give them an added benefit when they attend professional school, and it also will open students to the option of going on to graduate programs in areas such as exercise physiology.”

JENNIFER BRAUN: ?Students will have a rich academic experience in which they will conduct researc... JENNIFER BRAUN: “Students will have a rich academic experience in which they will conduct research and work closely with faculty.”Combined with the broad liberal arts education that all Monmouth students receive, Schumm said the health science and human movement program will also position the College’s graduates to be leaders in their profession.

“We want to help foster new leaders and innovators in these professions,” Schumm said. “We want our students to aspire to become the best professionals, and we want them to become leaders and innovators in their fields as well.”

 

Listen Up …

The health science and human movement faculty discuss the major’s advantages on the 1853 Podcast. 

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