GREENVILLE, S.C. (January 31, 2018) — Bob Jones University President Steve Pettit today announced the launch of a School of Health Professions, beginning in the fall of 2018. The new school is a strategic step in BJU’s continual enhancement and expansion of its diverse academic offerings.
“The new school is an exciting move forward for the University,” says Pettit. “Here at BJU, we’re committed to providing high quality, in-demand programs that prepare students to make a difference in their communities. With this new school, we’re updating our academic mix to meet changing workforce demands.”
The School of Health Professions constitutes the seventh BJU academic school, joining the College of Arts and Science, School of Education, School of Religion, School of Business, School of Fine Arts and Communication and the BJU Seminary.
“We have exceptionally strong health-related academic programs and high caliber faculty already in place,” says Dr. Gary Weier, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, “which, coupled with demand, create a solid foundation on which to further grow our health-related programs.”
Market demand for health care professionals is strong, and key national and regional indicators project it will continue to be strong in coming decades.
BJU student demand is also high. In the last five years alone—with quality premed and nursing programs and the addition of new programs in health sciences and exercise and sport science—BJU enrollment in health-related programs has grown over 21 percent.
“Our faculty and programs are producing graduates with stellar track records,” says Weier. 80 to 100% of BJU premed graduates are accepted into medical school within one year of graduation, more than double the national average. They average 84 percent on the national Medical College Admission Test, with some scoring in the 98th to 100th percentiles. Nursing graduates typically outperform national pass rates on their capstone exam.
Initially, BJU will reposition programs currently in other schools into three divisions in the School of Health Professions: Exercise & Sport Science; Nursing; and Health Sciences which encompasses premed/predent, communication disorders, and concentrations in pre-physician assistant, pre-physical therapy, pre-nutrition, pre-pharmacy, public/global health and health care administration. The over 400 students currently enrolled in these programs will transition to the new school this fall.
In the next several years, BJU plans to add resident and online programs, particularly graduate programs.
BJU will co-locate programs in the new school to emphasize inter-professional collaboration and create a learning environment similar to the collaborative environment in today’s health care workplace.
BJU is aggressively recruiting a dean for the School of Health Professions. Qualifications are detailed on bju.edu. Until a dean is appointed, Dr. Jessica Minor of BJU’s Health Sciences faculty will serve as interim dean.
The University is developing facility plans for the School of Health Professions with a local architectural firm. These will be announced when finalized.