RMU Has New Health Sciences B.S. Degree

Robert Morris University's dean of education has more on the new degree.

Video Transcript

- Now more than ever, the world needs more doctors, more nurses, and medical professionals. Jobs in the health care industry are in high demand as the nation battles COVID-19. Now, Robert Morris University will offer a new degree program for students looking to jump into this growing industry. And joining me now live tonight over Zoom to talk all about it is Dr. Mark Myers, Dean of the RMU School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies. Dr. Meyers, thank you for joining me tonight.

MARK MEYERS: Thank you so much for having me.

- I'm curious how often does your school launch a brand new degree program.

MARK MEYERS: Well, that's an interesting question because RMU went through a program evaluation across all of our schools, and we just recently reorganized. So it's not typical to change programs every year, but I, as a new dean, coming in, was allowed to start these processes and have the conversation with my faculty.

- Very nice. In what ways did the current pandemic that we're going through influence a program like this and its structure?

MARK MEYERS: Sure. If there's one thing this time we're living in has shown us, is that health care must be continuously adaptive. And the pandemic has really illustrated the need for us to be flexible in how our students are prepared so they're ready to answer questions they may not even be able to imagine right now.

- Right. Who would have ever imagined this?

MARK MEYERS: Exactly.

- Can you describe the basic tenants of the new degree and how it translates into future job placements?

MARK MEYERS: Sure. The new degree is set up into concentrations. And so it'll fill into all of the areas of health care, and combining with our existing programs, will give us the entire continuum of health care being covered. So we'll have pre-professional programs. So if you want to go into occupational therapy, physical therapy, those type of programs, that partners with our existing premed programs that are successful already.

But we're also going to have a population health concentration that's designed for those future health care workers-- they're not clinicians, but they're going to be vital in addressing the inequalities and disparities that have become apparent during the pandemic-- and showing the RMU personal attention that we're famous for, it's not going to be a cookie-cutter program.

It's designed to be adaptive and personalized for each student so they're allowed to develop their professional journey while they're on campus, and they're going to be prepared to survive on the day one more so than they ever have been before.

- Yeah. That's always the greatest part about going to a school that's smaller, you can have that one-on-one that you maybe don't get in a larger environment. Do you anticipate heavy interest from high school juniors, seniors, or even adults in the community?

MARK MEYERS: We've actually gotten a lot of attention already, even in the last few days after the program's been approved, and it's really across the entire spectrum. Mostly from the high schoolers, but also from our local community colleges, that they are preparing folks to come in in multiple pathways. So what this really provides us is all of the [INAUDIBLE] of the professional health care providers, but we can go on clinical routes, we can go on leadership routes. But now we have those community health workers that are really going to be vital in the post-pandemic world.

- Thank you for taking the time to speak with us tonight and for sharing the information about the new program.

MARK MEYERS: Thank you so much. Have a terrific evening.

- You too.