The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education approved a new online bachelor's degree program Jan. 19 that will be offered by the School of Nursing and Allied Health at Clarion University-Venango Campus beginning in fall 2012.
The Bachelor of Science in allied health leadership is a bachelor's degree completion program for individuals who have earned associate degrees or completed accredited certificate or diploma programs in allied health fields. It will be of interest to allied health professionals such as respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, medical lab technicians, surgical technologists, dieticians, medical office assistants, dental professionals and others in similar fields, including programs offered at the Venango Campus and at other colleges and universities.
The new degree program is offered online to accommodate the busy schedules of students, including working professionals who might otherwise be unable to realize their academic and career advancement goals while balancing work and family obligations.
The new degree will position graduates to assume roles in health services management, health care education and medical sales, among others. Business courses included in the curriculum will also prepare students for graduate education in health policy, health care administration, business administration, and other areas. Graduates of the new degree program will be well positioned to enter Clarion University's online Master of Business Administration degree program if they choose.
"This new degree was developed in response to a need expressed by hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania and by our own graduates," said Dr. Christopher M. Reber, executive dean of Venango Campus. "It's also a perfect example of what we term a ‘stackable' degree, whereby graduates can realize significant career advancement and resultant salary increases in a relatively short period of time by systematically progressing from a diploma or associate degree to bachelor's and graduate degrees through online programs, often with tuition assistance from their employers."
Demand for health care managers is projected to increase nationally by 16 percent through 2018. In Pennsylvania, it is estimated that openings for medical and health services managers will increase by 13,190 positions by 2014.
Aaron Rosen is a 2009 graduate of Clarion's associate degree program in respiratory care, now a registered respiratory therapist working at UPMC Northwest and a clinical preceptor for Clarion's respiratory care program.
"I am thrilled to hear about this opportunity, not only for myself and my own education and career, but for the other graduates in my position," he said. "This program will open the door to more productive and beneficial roles within our local medical community."
"As evidenced by the success of the medical imaging sciences program and applied technology programs, Clarion University-Venango Campus has found its niche in offering unique academic programs in high-demand fields," said Renee Bloom, chair of the department of allied health. "This degree will produce graduates who will function as hybrid health care professionals with business administration, clinical and liberal knowledge and skills - a mix that is highly practical for health care leadership roles."
Future plans for the new degree program include exploring the addition of a track in education that will provide an option for students who are interested in becoming leaders in educational programs for allied health.
The program is offered through a collaboration of Clarion's School of Nursing and Allied Health, offered at the Venango Campus, the College of Business Administration and the Office of Graduate and Extended Programs. With more than 600 students, Clarion's School of Nursing and Allied Health, located at the Venango Campus, offers one of the largest nursing and allied health programs in the 14-university Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
For more information, call the Venango Campus Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 814-676-6591, ext. 1211.
Clarion University?Venango Campus, located in Oil City, is the oldest regional campus in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The campus provides high-quality educational programs and personalized services to help students succeed. Students can begin any of Clarion University's 90-plus bachelor's degrees at the Venango Campus, earn an associate degree, a bachelor's or master's degree in select areas, obtain a one-year certificate or participate in a variety of professional development and personal enrichment courses. The campus is home to Clarion University's School of Nursing and Allied Health, the Department of Applied Technology, and the Venango Department of Arts and Sciences. Clarion University?Venango Campus is committed to serving the needs of the community.