DN PHOTO ALISON CARROLL
New College of Health to allow collaboration opportunities
Logistics for the new College of Health have been released.
The college, set to open in Fall 2016, will house seven majors and is estimated to have more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. Programs from the College of Applied Sciences and Technology, College of Sciences and Humanities and the Teachers College will become part of the new college.
Mitch Whaley, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Technology, is part of the faculty who created the interest to form the new college.
He said Ball State is currently designing a new building for the college that will be a “focal point,” but not all departments and schools in the College of Health will move there due to space. There will also be new or updated facilities for some programs.
Part of the plan for the college was to look at new programs to add to Ball State that could find a home in the College of Health in the future.
“I think the big impact is going to be that allied health students that are here getting their education and training will be commingling with students that are in other health professions, and that’s a real big thing within the marketplace,” Whaley said. “Our faculty will be in practice, and our students will be in the educational environment, so that nurses are working alongside social workers and dietitians and exercise physiologists, so that’s the environment for the future.”
Whaley said an interprofessional education environment is currently in the process of being created, and it will take a few years to implement that curriculum into the programs. The majority of the departments and schools have graduate programs, so students will be part of the “new academic enterprise” in the coming years.
“The faculty will be working to try and build the culture of the new college and the graduate students will be a big part of that,” Whaley said. “Faculty will be intermingling with each other in a way that they might not have been in the past, and so we’ll have research opportunities that will come out of that.”
Social work professor Matt Moore said his program should benefit from having other individuals involved who practice a multidisciplinary approach to helping students. With the college, he said his students will now be integrated with other helping professions.
He also said that the social work program is working on establishing a master’s program, and moving to the new college will encourage them to push harder for the program.
“We work interdisciplinary, but it’s a little bit more challenging when we’re spread across campus as opposed to being located in a central hub with other individuals,” Moore said. “I think it’ll be beneficial when we are together, but I think we’re so used to being in separate spaces in separate locations that we’re able to work through location as a barrier and still form partnerships and work collaboratively when those opportunities arise.”
Shelby Zann, a sophomore speech pathology major, is excited for the expansion and said she thinks the move will be beneficial to anyone in a health-science career.
“Expansion is a great thing, especially with the job outlooks increasing so much," Zann said. "This expansion could help students and faculty gain the tools to further education and experience within the department."
When freshman dietetics major Shannon Cook heard the College of Health was forming, she thought it would be a nice improvement because she feels that dietetics belongs in that group of programs anyway, and not in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.
“I think we’re in a college where it’s more about the internal results of how dietetics affects a person’s health… it’s not an activity, it’s something that people should take seriously," Cook said. “It’s about your health. I think it definitely needs to be in the health college.”