Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (July 19, 2018) — Saint Joseph’s University today announced the formation of its School of Health Studies and Education. The new school brings together — and builds upon — dozens of established undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in two rapidly changing and growing industries. The School of Health Studies and Education will officially open in Fall of 2019, but all degree programs are active and accepting applications.

This strategic reorganization comes at a time of increasing demand for healthcare professionals and educators equipped to address the complex social, educational and public health challenges facing our nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expected to add four million new jobs in the U.S. through 2026. Similarly, the need for educators in the U.S. is growing as a result of a nationwide teacher shortage.

“As our community locally and nationwide is working to address new challenges in health and education — the aging autism population, the opioid crisis, the increase in healthcare costs and higher public school enrollment than ever before — we sought to expand our focus on these disciplines and professions,” says President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. “Our goal is to produce dynamic leaders who understand the critical role that health and education play in transforming communities.”

Built upon the University’s commitment to the liberal arts and the Jesuit concept of cura personalis – care for the whole person — coursework in the School of Health Studies and Education will teach students to approach their work holistically and to actively practice this philosophy in their professions. Each program combines stimulating classroom material with hands-on learning opportunities, preparing students for success in a variety of career fields including teaching, special education, school administration, autism support services, health administration, as well as the pursuit of continuing education in educational research, physical or occupational therapy, nursing, and more.

The innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum of these programs is enriched by various hands-on experiential and professional opportunities such as urban teaching initiatives, service-learning programs, student employment at the University’s Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, research and practicums through the Institute for Clinical Bioethics, and field experience with the Alliance for Catholic Education Saint Joseph’s University.

This fall, the University will begin a national search for a dean to lead the school.