Chairperson: Dr. Linda Behrendt
Department Office: Health and Human Services Building, A432
Department Phone: 812-237-3079 or 812-237-3297
Web site: www.indstate.edu/health/department/ahs
The Department of Applied Health Sciences’ programs focus on the prevention of illness and the promotion of healthy families and behaviors. An ongoing demand exists for competent health professionals and specialists in the areas of applied health sciences and research in both the public and private sectors. Course work in the department emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving and teaches students how to influence the psychosocial, physical, and economic well-being of individuals and families in a changing global community. All programs offer experiential learning through internships or supervised clinical practice. The goal of the department for such experiential learning opportunities is to allow students to establish a solid foundation in a variety of health professions through education and training in the classroom and in the field. Graduates from programs in the Department of Applied Health Sciences are well-prepared for careers in public and private settings.
Students selecting any of the majors in the department earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree upon successful completion of the University and programs requirement. Candidates for these degrees should consult the University requirements for graduation, including Foundational Studies requirements, described elsewhere in this Catalog. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate work in the department should refer to the Graduate Catalog.
Human Development and Family Studies
Human Development and Family Studies is certified by the National Council on Family Relations. This major involves the study of the theories, research, and educational practices that encourage optimal human development within the context of family life. Students gain a life course perspective by which human development and family behavior is understood and improved. Classes explore how children, youth, adults, and families develop, change, and face challenges throughout life (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and late life). Upon graduation students have met the requirements for the Certified Family Life Educator designation, which is nationally recognized. Graduates may find employment in Head Start programs, social service agencies, family crisis centers, Cooperative Extension Service, parent education programs, senior activity centers, foster care programs, runaway centers, hospitals, adoption agencies, and family planning organizations.
Food and Nutrition: Dietetics and Nutrition and Wellness
The Accelerated Dietetics program is for students who wish to become registered dietitians. Upon completion of the 5 year program, students graduate with a bachelor of science (B.S.) in nutrition and a master of science (M.S) in dietetics, which is required in order to sit for the Dietetic Registration National Examination to earn registered dietitian (RD) credential. The RD credential is required for entry-level dietetics positions in acute care facilities, long-term care facilities, community agencies, and food service operations among others.
The Nutrition and Wellness major prepares students who do not wish to seek the registered dietitian (RD) credential, but would still like to work in the area of nutrition in health and wellness settings.
The Bachelor of Public Health focuses on health promotion and disease prevention for local, state, national, and global populations. Students are provided with a solid foundation and background in public health issues and includes coursework in epidemiology, environmental health, health screening, mental health, substance abuse, communicable and chronic disease, health promotion planning and evaluation, anatomy and physiology, research, and statistics, along with an internship in community health. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CHES examination. Students may also choose to include one of the following concentrations with their degree: Health Administration, Health Communication, or Health Psychology.
The Health Administration concentration prepares students to become administrators in health care and business agencies. The concentration integrates courses from business (finance, accounting, management, marketing, human resources) with studies in anatomy, physiology, epidemiology, health education, biostatistics, health promotion planning and evaluation, research, and behavior theory, along with an internship in a health organization. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) examination, the national credential for health educators.
The Health Psychology option prepares students to work as health educators in the area of mental health and health behavior modification. Understanding why individuals engage in unhealthy behavior when they know the behavior is not healthy is essential to helping people adopt healthier lifestyles. Course work includes studies in epidemiology, health promotion planning and evaluation, research, statistics, psychology of health behavior, and interviewing along with an internship in a health agency. The integration of Health Psychology with Health Sciences emphasizes biological, behavioral, and social factors in health, wellness, and disease. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CHES examination.
The Health Communication concentration introduces students to formalized training in public relations campaigns, persuasion, interpersonal communications, and media relations. With health literacy a global concern, the integration of these communication courses with health science coursework prepares students to focus on population health through written and oral correspondences such as public service announcements, public health campaigns, social marketing efforts, and policy analysis. Health science coursework includes anatomy, physiology, epidemiology, health education, biostatistics, health promotion planning and evaluation, research, and behavior theory, along with an internship in a health organization. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) examination.
The Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Health Services is an interdisciplinary program that prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills needed for management-oriented leadership positions. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, program planning and evaluation, management, finance and marketing, safety education, public health administration, and health biostatistics. This program is designed specifically for health professionals who hold an Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in a health-related field and wish to further their education and careers in health care. All courses for this program are offered on-line only.
Students in any major (including those outside the Department of Applied Health Sciences) may elect to include a certificate in gerontology in their program of study. The 12-credit Gerontology Certificate includes a foundation of the biological aspects of aging, an overview of individual and collective experiences of aging in modern society, the study of how to promote health and wellness among older adults, and an internship working with older adults.
A Gerontology Certificate complements a degree in any field. For example, public health providers and health educators with knowledge of aging will be able to design the best interventions for the group with the most health issues. Interior designers who understand the physical changes associated with aging are better prepared to meet the needs of those designing their retirement home. Psychologists who know what mental changes are normal as we grow older can more easily identify problems that require treatment. Students in any field can increase their marketability by highlighting gerontology as an additional area of expertise.
Driver Education Instructor Training
All-grade or secondary content teachers can add this credential to their license with the Indiana Professional Standard Board through the Indiana Department of Education. This program consists of three courses (9 total credit hours) that are typically taken in one 8-week summer session. All three courses meet in a synchronous, interactive online format. Upon completion of the licensure courses, students are certified to teach driver education in the private sector. The program is recognized by the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association.
Faculty in the Department of Applied Health Sciences are dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities through course design, internships, and service-learning projects.
Dietetics - The Coordinated Program in Dietetics combines both academic and practicum hours over a two-year period, resulting in completion of the 1,200 hours required to sit for the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. The RD designation is critical for jobs and graduate programs requiring the RD component.
Health Sciences/Public Health - The internship hours required for this degree are integral to learning hands-on, practical skills required of professionals in the health arena. The experience provides for reflection and understanding of how material learned in college courses apply to real-life situations. Students comment repeatedly on the usefulness of the internship program and how the experience fully prepared them for professional careers or graduate work.
Human Development and Family Studies - The internship hours required for this degree are integral to learning hands-on, practical skills required of professionals in the human development and family studies field. The experience provides for reflection and understanding of how material learned in college courses apply to real-life situations. Students comment repeatedly on the usefulness of the internship program and how the experience fully prepared them for professional careers or graduate work.
All programs in the department sponsor active student groups that have close ties to professional organizations in their field. Scholarships are available for students majoring in any of the department’s programs. See the Department Chairperson or an academic advisor for information.