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 five 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, the WellStar School of Nursing, and the Department of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality. 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 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.
The newest academic unit is the Department of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality – a unique approach to the study of culinary and hospitality management, transcending the traditional culinary arts or hospitality management curricula to incorporate and infuse the study of sustainable best-practices employed around the world, emphasizing areas like food science, nutrition, agro-ecology, resource conservation, as well as essential business skills/abilities. This highly relevant degree program offers graduates a competitive advantage through experiential learning in the epicenter for teaching, research and best practices in sustainable culinary and hospitality management.
Centers and Initiatives
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.
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.
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.