The Health and Wellness Department and the Dietetics and Nutrition Department merged in September 2015 to become the Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics Department. This reorganization created exciting opportunities for students interested in work in the growing field of health sciences.
Prior to Fall 1994
The purpose of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department was to teach service classes composed mostly of one-credit activity classes. In addition, two 3-credit health classes were offered, Personal and Community Health and Psychoactive Drugs. With encouragement from the dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences (SNSS), the current health and wellness program in the former Health and Wellness Department was created.
Spring 1994 to Spring 2015
During spring 1994, the first graduating class of the Health and Wellness Program included 15 students. In 1997, 32 students graduated from the program. The 2004 self-study report and the 2011 self-study report noted that enrollment of Health and Wellness majors was approximately 220 and 270, respectively.
Fall 2015 to Present
To strengthen the Health and Wellness program by improving academic resources, the Health and Wellness Department merged with another academic department from the SNSS to form the Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics (HND) Department.
This improved faculty resources as both departments have faculty with academic degrees in Health Education and Promotion, Exercise Science, Nutrition, and Community Health and Health Behavior.
The appointed chair is a registered dietitian, has an MPH degree, and a doctorate in Exercise Science. The HND also continues to have a collaborative relationship with the Institute for Community Health Promotion, which contributes three part-time faculty members with expertise in Community Health Promotion. Because of their work in community and public health promotion they are able to provide Health and Wellness majors with professional field experiences.
In 2016, the Coaching Minor moved into the HND Department with an updated curriculum and strong coaching instructors.
The Exercise Science minor was instituted in 2014, with an updated curriculum. The college is committed to building a quality Exercise Science program, as evidenced by their approval of a full-time tenure track faculty position. Dr. Leah Panek-Shirley was hired in fall 2016.
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