In response to the growing demand for well-educated professionals in the rapidly growing health care and scientific fields, DePaul University has established a new College of Science and Health (CSH).
CSH—the university’s 10th college/school—will encompass programs in biology, chemistry, physics, nursing, psychology, environmental science, mathematics and statistics that were previously located in DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. An immediate outgrowth of the new structure will be the creation of a new degree in health sciences, which will begin this fall, while other new programs and degrees in the sciences and health will also be actively explored.
“DePaul has always strived to make certain its academic offerings and structures align with the needs of the communities we serve,” said DePaul provost Helmut Epp. “This move will better support the development of programs to educate students for emerging career paths—many that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. It responds to the dynamic pace of scientific innovation and employment and the need for generalists and specialists who are well-grounded in the basic sciences.”
Labor trends and growing student interest in health care careers support the creation of the college. Health care is expected to generate 3.2 million new jobs in the United States by 2018, more than any other industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, health-related science is the top area of academic interest indicated by college-bound high school students in the United States who complete the ACT college entrance exam. In Illinois, interest in health science as an educational focus grew by 53 percent from 2007 to 2009, while interest in biology/physical sciences grew by 83 percent during the same period.
At DePaul, undergraduate enrollment in the sciences, health-related programs and mathematics has increased a combined 29 percent over the past five academic years. At the graduate level, those programs have increased enrollment 30 percent over the same period. DePaul has responded nimbly in addressing this demand through expansion and enhancement of numerous academic programs and the significant improvement of its facilities in recent years, including the opening of a second major science-focused building in 2009.
CSH will take a multidisciplinary approach to preparing students for careers in the evolving health care field, which is being radically reshaped by numerous technological, social and economic factors. In addition, CSH will be better able to serve the needs of students transferring from the many health care programs at community colleges and other four-year institutions.
With the formation of CSH, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has been renamed the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) to better reflect the more refined orientation of its academic programs. LAS also had strong growth in recent years, with graduate enrollment up 41 percent over the past five academic years. Jerry Cleland, chair of DePaul’s Department of Psychology, will serve as interim dean of the CSH. Charles Suchar, who has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will continue to serve as dean of LAS.
“The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will remain the heart of the DePaul undergraduate experience and home to a number of renowned graduate and interdisciplinary liberal arts academic programs and centers,” said Epp. “The realignment allows DePaul to build an even stronger program of liberal arts studies by better focusing on these disciplines, while at the same time responding to the emerging educational needs of the communities it serves.”
CSH and LAS will work closely to achieve interdisciplinary integration at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. No reduction in programs, degrees, faculty or staff is expected as a result of the change. As CSH grows, it is expected that new degree programs and faculty and staff positions will be added.
“By educating future scientists, mathematicians, health care providers and caregivers, science educators, researchers, managers, and administrators—all with a firm foundation in a liberal arts education and strong commitment to social justice and civic engagement—the College of Science and Health will strengthen DePaul’s expression of its Vincentian, Catholic and urban identity,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president.
With more than 25,000 students, DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on two Chicago campuses, four suburban campuses and several international locations. Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more information, visit www.depaul.edu.