The program is an online degree that is designed to provide an opportunity to those working in the allied health field with an associate degree to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
“Northwestern’s program will be the first bachelor of applied science offered in Louisiana,” said Northwestern President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “Graduates will be prepared for career advancement in their respective allied health profession. We feel there will be great demand for this degree and Northwestern will develop a strong program that will help address employment needs in the health care industry.”
According to Dr. Laura Aaron, head of NSU’s Department of Radiologic Sciences, admission is limited to students with an associate degree and certification in their allied health specialty. Aaron said Northwestern developed the program based on discussions with Bossier Parish Community College and Delgado Community College. Representatives from both institutions indicated there was a strong need for a bachelor’s level program in allied health to provide career advancement opportunities for those in the field.
“The program was also developed in response to Louisiana’s GRAD Act which
encourages universities to align academic programs with associated institutions that meet workforce needs,” said Aaron. “According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the healthcare industry is expected to grow by more than 21 percent between 2008 and 2018. The proposed degree directly addresses employment needs in the health care industry by providing qualified allied health professionals to fill significant market demand for entry and mid-level administrative/management job positions.”
Students in the program take junior and senior level courses allowing them to develop knowledge and skill sets that can be used in multiple clinical settings. Course offerings will include health informatics, microbiology, genetics, web page development, and other relevant classes.
“We feel the program will be a strong one because of the career advancement opportunities offered by the BASAH degree and online course offerings that provide flexibility for working professionals,” said Aaron. “Another strong point will be the maximum transfer of credit from associate degree allied health programs.”
Aaron said Northwestern worked closely with BPCC and Delgado to align their associate programs with the Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health.
The new degree program will be Northwestern’s 29th online degree program.