How healthcare in the United States will be provided, delivered and paid for is at the forefront of national debate and a major political issue. One fact, however, is clear. With an aging population and an increasing incidence of chronic diseases, the need for quality healthcare – and healthcare workers – will continue to increase dramatically.
By 2030, 20 percent of all Americans will be 65 years or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of all American adults suffer from at least one chronic health condition such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease or arthritis, and one in three experience multiple chronic conditions.
These and other factors indicate that demand for healthcare will be huge, increasing the demand for highly skilled and educated healthcare workers.
Alvernia University is widely recognized for its healthcare degrees, and is at the forefront of addressing the rapidly growing need for specialized, professional employees within the field of healthcare. Majoring in Healthcare Science will prepare you for a meaningful, fulfilling career with a healthcare agency or business, a government organization, or in a variety of medical care settings.
In addition, Healthcare Science majors have the option to specialize in either Athletic Coaching or Outdoor Adventure:
- Athletic Coaching - This track prepares individuals who desire to coach in community, interscholastic, and intercollegiate settings. Internships at local communities as well as within the university are encouraged. The creation of culture within the framework of a team is a major theme throughout the Athletic Coaching Track.
- Outdoor Adventures - This track will develop your leadership skills and prepare you to plan, organize, and facilitate a variety of outdoor experiences. The active, team-orientated experiential learning opportunities are the foundation of this track and will successfully prepare you for a career in a dynamic setting such as sport development programs, youth community organizations, outdoor/sport camps, environmental/outdoor centers, municipal community programs, park ranger, outdoor retail, eco-tourism, and more. Internships with local organizations will provide you with real world experiences that will increase your marketability during your job search.
The Healthcare Science degree is offered at Alvernia’s Reading, Pottsville and Philadelphia campuses. Alvernia University partners with Montgomery County Community College, guaranteeing that 100 percent of MCCC degree credits transfer directly into Alvernia’s Healthcare Science Program.
Careers in Healthcare Science
A Healthcare Science degree from Alvernia University can open the door to a variety of careers in the healthcare field. You might work as a healthcare policy leader, advocate or educator. Or, your interests might lead you to scientific research or medical writing. Whatever career you choose, you’ll be prepared to play a meaningful, big-picture role in the current healthcare environment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available in the healthcare and social assistance industry is predicted to increase by almost 5 million between 2012 and 2022. That represents a 29 percent increase in employment – a rate much faster than average for all occupations.
As a Healthcare Science major, you will gain a variety of educational tools and techniques that will set you apart in your profession, regardless of the field in which you choose to work. You will have the opportunity to work with an advisor and select coursework designed to meet your area of interest.
While Healthcare Science is a valuable major for students entering the field of healthcare, obtaining a Healthcare Science degree from Alvernia University also can greatly benefit individuals in these fields by preparing them for career advancement:
- Surgical Technologists
- Dental Hygienists
- Medical Imaging Technologists
- Physical Therapist Assistants
- Occupational Therapy Assistants
- Respiratory Therapists
- Other Allied Healthcare Professionals
All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.
Healthcare Science majors must complete 30 credits in the major. Required courses are:
- HCS 300 Writing for Healthcare Science
- HCS 305 Introduction to Healthcare Informatics
- HCS 310 Health and Wellness Over the Lifespan
- HCS 320 Healthcare Science and Cultural Competence
- HCS 330 Healthcare Literacy and Advocacy
- HCS 340 Healthcare Science Management
- HCS 400 Healthcare Systems and Policy
- HCS 410 Community Health Organization and Administration
- HCS 420 Current Issues in Healthcare Science
- HCS 430 Healthcare Science Capstone
Related required courses are:
- BIO 100 Human Biology (with lab)
- BIO 200 Medical Terminology
- PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (Social Science Core applicable)
- BIO 216 Nutrition
- PSY 208 Human Development Across the Lifespan
- SOC 111 Intro to Sociology
You’ll also need to complete 54-55 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours to qualify for graduation.
To complete a concentration, students must complete the following electives in their track of choice:
- HCS 110 Principles of Athletic Coaching (3 credits)
- PED 133 CPR/AED for the Professions (1 credit)
- PSY 312 Psychology of Play (3 credits)
- SM 210 Sport in Society (3 credits)
- HCS 325 Culture Creation in AC (3 credits)
- HCS 441 Internship (1-3 credits)
Outdoor Adventures (16-18 credits):
- HCS 120 Hiking & OA Skill Development (1 credit)
- HCS 210 Intro to Outdoor Adventures (3 credits)
- HCS 350 Risk Management & Decision Making (3 credits)
- SPE 345 Meeting Needs of Individuals Requiring Complex Support (3 credits)
- PHI 215 or THE 227 (fulfill Ethics/Morality requirement) (3 credits)
- HCS 441 Internship (1-3 credits)
- HCS 125 OA: Outdoor Activity (1 credit)
- HCS 125 OA: Outdoor Activity (1 credit)
- Experiential Learning
Through internships, students have opportunities to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of professional settings. In addition to providing exposure to the activities and expectations of a real-world workplace, internship experiences help students develop their network of professional contacts.
You will not only benefit from experienced faculty members who have extensive experience in the business world, you’ll also get the opportunity to participate in learning opportunities in real business and/or healthcare settings through internships and cooperative experiences.
Some of the organizations with which Alvernia healthcare majors have had internships include:
- Reading Health System
- Reading Health Dispensary
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Lutheran Home of Topton
- St. Joseph Medical Center
Your advisor, other faculty members and staff of Alvernia’s Career Development Center can help you decide if an internship is right for you.
- Financial Aid
100% of Alvernia students receive some form of scholarship and/or aid. Our admissions counselors can help you identify the aid that is available to you and for your program. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.
All programs offered by Alvernia University are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
For more information about Alvernia’s Healthcare Science Program, please contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out directly to:
Thomas G. Porrazzo, PH.D., LAT, ATC
Healthcare Science Program Director
Francis Hall - 2nd Floor, Room 220-B