- Note: In the fall 2019 semester, the Interdisciplinary Health Services bachelor's degree program was renamed Healthcare Services and Sciences. Students admitted to the IHS program prior to fall 2019 should refer to their appropriate Undergraduate Catalog or consult with their academic advisor if they have any questions about this change.
The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Services and Sciences (BS-HSS) at Western Michigan University is an undergraduate program that prepares students to understand the healthcare world and how to work successfully in it. Through required courses and a capstone experience, students gain the knowledge and experience to take their place as interdisciplinary team members in today's health services systems. A student in BS-HSS can focus their studies in a number of ways. These include:
- The general HSS bachelor's degree program: This option must be paired with a minor to focus the program more clearly on student goals.
- The Clinical Practice in HealthTrack: This option is specifically designed for those who have an associate's degree in a clinical area and are licensed or certified in that discipline following a discipline approved licensing exam.
- The Physician Assistant Preparation (PAPrep) Concentration: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Physician Assistant graduate programs including, but not limited to, WMU's PA program by including required prerequisites.
- The Audiology Preparation (AudPrep) Concentration*: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Audiology doctoral programs including, but not limited to, WMU's Audiology doctoral program by including required prerequisites.
- The Blindness and Low Vision Studies Preparation (BLVSPrep) Concentration*: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to two of WMU's Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs, Orientation and Mobility for Adults or Vision Rehabilitation, by including required prerequisites (these prerequisites are similar to other programs but not identical).
- The Occupational Therapy Preparation (OTPrep) Concentration: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Occupational Therapy graduate programs including, but not limited to, WMU's OT program by including required prerequisites.
*The Pre-Audiology Preparation Concentration and the Blindness and Low Vision Preparation Concentration can lead a student to accelerated graduate programs in those areas. These programs are collaborations between the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs and the respective graduate department. Within these programs, some courses are utilized for both a BS-HSS degree and a graduate degree. Students must be accepted into the accelerated degree (for Audiology and Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs) through the respective program before taking the courses that apply to both degrees. Acceptance into these advanced programs is not automatic and if students are not accepted into the graduate program as undergraduates they must meet with their advisor to pursue a minor in their junior year.
The curriculum for this bachelor's degree has three parts:
- The HSS core is comprised of two elements: the HSS Core Major requirements and the HSS Core Cognate requirements. These elements provide an introduction of core competencies that are needed across health services disciplines including delivering patient and family centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, health literacy practices, quality improvement, informatics, and ethical decision making. In addition the HSS Core provides a more in-depth study of the organization and delivery of health services, safety practices, health disparities, diversity in delivering services, and health policy.
- Specialized knowledge obtained through a concentration, track or minor.
- A capstone experience that pulls together skills obtained throughout the program and applies them to an internship placement, a professional project, or a research project. (Students who are accepted into the Audiology accelerated degree program take courses that serve as a capstone in those programs. Clinical Practice in Health students may transfer equivalent coursework as well.) Please see more information at "Capstone Experience".
In addition to WMU’s main campus in Kalamazoo, MI., the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Services and Sciences is offered as a bachelor's completion program in an online format.