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ETSU establishes new Bachelor of Science degree program in Rehabilitative Health Sciences

Contributed • Jul 16, 2018 at 3:59 PM

East Tennessee State University is now offering a new degree program that aims to better prepare undergraduate students interested in careers in rehabilitative health sciences.

The new Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitative Health Sciences will provide general overall knowledge of the rehabilitative health sciences such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology and more, as well as address challenges and issues facing those professions in today’s health care climate.

“We have long identified the need for a concerted effort to better prepare our undergraduate students to enter the rehabilitative health sciences,” said Dr. Don Samples, dean of ETSU’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.

“This degree program gives them an introduction into health care prior to going into their specific health care professions. We hope this will better prepare them for admission in these very competitive programs.”

Earlier this summer, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved the creation of both the degree program as well as a department of the same name, which will be a part of the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.

The curriculum is based on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health, making the only such degree in the nation to incorporate the ICF into its program of study. In total, there are less than a dozen B.S. of Rehabilitation Science degree programs in the United States with a health focus.

“The majority of prerequisites required for rehabilitative sciences graduate programs are built into the program, making this a really good major for any undergraduate student who is looking at graduate level schooling for a health-related profession,” Samples said. “Even if they don’t go into the rehabilitative professions, there is a multitude of health care roles they could pursue once they obtain this particular bachelor’s degree.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that rehabilitation professionals will be among the fastest growing occupations between 2014 and 2024.

For more information about the new degree program, call Megan Roberts, director of student success for the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, at 423-439-7424.

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