Dean's Message

Message from the Interim Dean


It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce you to the WellStar College of Health and Human Services. The WellStar College is a dynamic and diverse academic component of Kennesaw State University. The WellStar College of Health and Human Services is composed of four academic units, plus the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness and the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth. However, the WellStar College is greater than a collection of units. It is a College on the move making significant contributions to excellence in education, community service (both locally and globally), and scholarship. These contributions are possible due to the strong and dedicated faculty and staff that form the essence of the College. Let me now give you a brief overview of the WellStar College and some of our many impressive achievements.



The Academic Departments


The academic units housed in the WellStar College include the Department of Social Work and Human Services, The Department of Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, The Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, and the WellStar School of Nursing. The Department of Social Work and Human Services has over 500 students majoring either in the undergraduate Human Services Program or the Master of Social Work Program. The undergraduate Human Services Program prepares graduates to work in a variety of human services careers such as case management and service delivery in the non-profit sector. The Master of Social Work Program offers two clinical specializations that provide advanced training in either in Child Welfare or Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention. Additionally, the Department offers an advanced certificate in non-profit leadership through the Non-profit Leadership Alliance. The WellStar College boasts having one of the most active and successful Non-profit Leadership Programs in the southeastern United States. Faculty members of the Department work extensively with local non-profit organizations having obtaining resources through state and federal training grants, as well as, members of the department taking a leadership role in an international collaborative to respond to natural and manmade disasters globally focusing on persons with disabilities and special needs.


The Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management boasts over 1,300 graduate and undergraduate students majoring in Exercise Science or Sport Management. Graduates are prepared to work in the fitness/health promotion profession, as well as with major sports organizations, or to go on for advanced degrees in exercise and health fields. In addition to offering core courses for department majors, the department co-offers Fitness for Living, a general educational course, to over 2,300 students each semester. A master’s degree in Applied Exercise and Health was implemented in fall of 2008. The Department has developed a number of international partnerships including universities in Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Faculty members in the Department were awarded a FIPSE grant to work with partners in the U.S. and Brazil to explore obesity in youth with the aim of developing an environmental model to guide future interventions. With the opening of our new Health Science Building (Prillaman Hall) the Exercise Science faculty have been provided state-of-the-art Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics laboratories in which they are working with students in implementing numerous exciting research studies and projects.

The Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education has nearly 300 majors in Health and Physical Education (P-12 Teacher Education). The teacher education program is one of only three programs in Georgia to be Nationally Recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. In addition, it is fully accredited by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The HPE Department also offers two minors in Health Promotion and Coaching. In addition to these programs of study, the department shares responsibility for the delivery of Fitness for Living, a required general educational course for all Kennesaw State University students. The department offers the Physical and Leisure Activities for Youth (PLAY) Program that provides social and physical experiences for disabled children. It also manages the KSU Challenge Corner, a high and low element ropes course designed to promote cooperation, trust, communication, and problem-solving for small group experiences. Faculty have been engaged in various international initiatives with colleagues in Brazil and South Africa, as well as local initiatives with area public schools and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.


The WellStar School of Nursing has approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate students. The School of Nursing offers a generic baccalaureate RN program, an accelerated BSN program for second degree students, an RN to BSN completion option, and master’s degree programs leading to certification as a Family and/or Adult Nurse Practitioner, a MSN in Advanced Care Management and Leadership, and a Doctorate of Nursing Science (DNS) with focuses on nursing education and health disparities. The School of Nursing undergraduate program graduates one of the largest numbers of new BSN graduates in the State of Georgia. This production of new nurses is even more impressive realizing that the School has a student retention rate of approximately 90% and consistently has high NCLEX-RN pass rates. Additionally, the graduate nursing program graduates the largest number of new Nurse Practitioners in the state with certification rates on national examinations of 99%. Faculty members within the School are making significant contributions in the areas of HIV/AIDS research, diabetes research and education, and Latino health. The School of Nursing is the home of Project IDEAL, a project focusing on diabetes education and prevention in the local Latino community.



Centers and Initiatives

The Center for Health Promotion and Wellness is housed in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services. The unit is responsible for developing and implementing health and wellness programs for the 24,000 plus students at KSU. The Wellness Center has developed a peer education program and works closely with Student Life to provide students with a wide variety of educational programs. Such programs include alcohol awareness programs, HIV/AIDS education and testing in conjunction with the University Clinic, dietary counseling, and violence awareness and prevention. The Wellness Center through it extensive efforts and programs are a vital component of Student Life at Kennesaw State University. Additionally, the Wellness Center operates the University Employee Fitness Center. In addition to a well-equipped private gym for faculty and staff, the Center offers a number of aerobic and exercise classes to assist members in gaining and/or maintaining their highest level of physical and cardiac fitness.


A relatively new initiative is the Academy for Inclusive Education and Social Growth. This initiative provides a college experience to intellectually disabled young adults who have complete high school. This two year program is unique in the United States in that the students are fully admitted to the University and work with student mentors to take classes and develop social skills while becoming full members of the university community. This program not only benefits the program’s students but enhances the educational environment of all KSU students. The program currently has more than 18 students with growing demand for this program. The Academy for Inclusive Education and Social Growth has been partly supported by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Academy and its staff are frequently asked to consult on developing such a program from universities throughout the country. We are proud to be taking leadership in this critical area of educational opportunity for all citizens.



Continuing Education


The WellStar College Continuing Education Program provides continuing educational programs to the university and community related to the various disciplines located in the College.



The Future is Bright


The future of the College is bright. We now occupy a new $60 million Health Science Building (Prillaman Hall) which is the new home of the WellStar College. This state-of-the-art building provides a quality facility of almost 200,000 square feet that supports our dynamic faculty in achieving even great achievements in the years to come.

The Wellstar College has been an active participate in the University’s globalization initiative with partners throughout the world. This enhances student education through international visitors to the College, study abroad programs and an enhanced awareness of faculty and staff of our role in educating students to be global citizens. The College implemented the first Arab-American Dialogue in 2009 at KSU. This conference continues to grow and be hosted in counties throughout the Arab World. Leadership for this and other projects has been provided by Dr. Ibrahim El Sawy, Director of Arab World Programs. Additionally, we have vibrant programs in Thailand, Mexico, and Uganda.


I have only been able to scratch the surface of the significant educational and community services provided by the WellStar College. The College represents excellence in education, community service, and applied scholarship. It is an honor to be the Dean of the WellStar College and to work with faculty and staff of over 100 professionals.  


I invite you to visit and learn more about an outstanding College that will continue to make its mark on the Health and Humans services offered in Georgia, the nation and globally. Our best is still ahead of us. Come see for yourself.