UWA focusing on health paths through new school

Published 9:37 am Friday, December 6, 2019

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Students who want to pursue careers in medicine and health industries can now find a clearer path with the University of West Alabama’s establishment of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance. An array of degree programs will open doors for students interested in clinical and non-clinical health-related fields.

The school is part of UWA’s ongoing efforts to help improve the healthcare landscape of the Black Belt region. It comes as part of a re-design of health sciences curriculum that is designed to prepare students for competitive admission to professional schools in the health sciences as well as other non-clinical careers essential to the provision of quality healthcare.

Dr. R.T. Floyd chairs the new school within UWA’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and he serves as assistant dean of the college. Floyd, who has served on the University faculty for nearly 40 years, said that the increased emphasis on healthcare programs is a tremendous step in a positive direction and creates opportunities for students with broad ranges of interests.

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“UWA’s health sciences comprehensive major launched in the spring of 2018 and has five professional tracks, including four designed to prepare for admission to specific post-baccalaureate professional programs: athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant,” Floyd said. The fifth is the general track.

“The general track is designed for students pursuing careers in other health-related areas and non-clinical careers, including pharmaceutical or medical equipment sales, wellness coordination, healthcare advocacy, medical office administration, and more,” Floyd explained. “The program is also appealing to professionals already working in the health science fields at the associate degree level who want to further their studies and advance their careers in health science administration or related areas.”

Floyd urges students who are interested in professional school to plan ahead so their path is straight.

“Professional school admission requirements vary for each program and school,” Floyd said. “We encourage students to know the specific requirements, deadlines, application processes, and other details of the professional programs they want to choose. To do this, our students can work closely with their health sciences advisors at UWA to ensure progress and avoid delays in their pursuit of successful career paths.”

UWA’s health sciences programs like athletic training are giving students the world-class education and experiences they need to become successful and make a positive and lasting impact on the world of healthcare. Through careful design and innovation, the programs give students the tools they need for years to come.

For information on UWA’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, or any of the programs offered through it, contact Dr. R.T. Floyd at 205-652-3714 or rtf@uwa.edu.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, November 27 issue of the Demopolis Times.)