March 15, 2024 - Registration is now open for CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI)’s new online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Science degree program. The fully online program is aimed at working professionals who would like to complete their four-year degree in order to advance in their careers or join a growing industry.

“It could be a working health aide, or a surgical tech looking to advance skills and opportunities toward a health management position,” said CSUCI Health Science Lecturer Ashley Parks. “Someone earning $18 to $24 dollars an hour today doing manual labor can double or triple their salary to, perhaps, $54 an hour with a degree. They can move into research or management roles.”

The critical need for health care professionals across the nation is what launched CSUCI’s efforts to design an online Health Sciences degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the health care and assistance field to add nearly 4 million jobs by 2026, making up about one-third of all new jobs. Looking further out, the BLS predicts the need for medical and health service managers will rise by 28.4% between 2022 and 2032.

The COVID pandemic dealt a one-two punch to the health care industry with one in five health care workers quitting their job during the pandemic because of burnout. That was followed by increased need for upgraded health protocols in industries that never had them before, thus requiring more health care consultants.

A $50,000 accelerator grant awarded from The CSU Commission on Professional and Continuing Education in 2023 funded the development of the program, which was rolled out on March 1 with classes beginning in Fall of 2024 through CSUCI’s Extended University (EU).

“This completion degree program is unique in that it is designed with the working adult in mind, a busy individual juggling the demanding realities of work and care for family,” said said Dr. Sonsoles de Lacalle, Chair of CSUCI’s Health Science program. “For this reason, the program will combine rigorous academics and a simplified schedule that allows for a sustainable pace.”

The curriculum will mirror the Health Science bachelor’s degree already offered by CSUCI. It will provide a foundation in bioethics and health education, promotion, management, policymaking, and organizations. While the degree is completed entirely online, some on-campus networking options will be offered.

One of the program’s goals is to serve military families stationed at Naval Base Ventura County, providing them with a degree they can complete even if they need to move before they finish because of deployment transfers. Juan Betancourt, head of the Department of the Navy Industrial Hygiene Division at Port Hueneme, is a CSUCI Health Science Lecturer who helped to develop the program.

Besides Parks, Betancourt and de Lacalle, Assistant Professor of Health Science Thomas Clobes helped launch the program, which was spearheaded by Associate Dean of Extended University Jaime Hannans.

Visit the Health Science program webpage to learn more and register for an upcoming information session.

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