Bellarmine offering 13 new academic programs in Fall 2022

August 3, 2022


Photo of Bellarmine arch and green trees

In keeping with Bellarmine’s focus on academic innovation, the university will offer 13 new programs of study beginning in Fall 2022—one master’s degree, seven bachelor’s degrees and five minors. 

“These new programs have been designed to meet emerging needs in our community and beyond,” said Dr. Paul Gore, vice president for academics and Bellarmine provost, “and they appeal to a broad spectrum of students, from traditional undergraduates to adults who wish to complete their degrees or augment an existing degree.”
The new programs are:
  • Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership and School Administration, K-12
  • Bachelor’s degree or minor in Health Humanities
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Health Science (Hybrid)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Studies Communication Track (Degree Completion, Online)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing
  • Medical Laboratory Technician to Medical Laboratory Science Degree (Degree Completion, Online)
  • Bachelor’s degree or minor in Public Health
  • Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology (Combined Major)
  • Minor in Esports
  • Minor in Interfaith Ecumenical Studies
  • Minor in Neuroscience
Here are more details about each.
Master of Arts in Education for Instructional Leadership and School Administration, K-12
This new master’s program is for current teachers with bachelor’s degrees and three years of teaching experience who are interested in earning their Level 1 principal certification. It will run concurrently with Bellarmine’s established Education Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership and School Administration, K-12, which requires that applicants already have a master’s degree. 
The new program comes in response to the state Education Professional Standards Board’s removal of the requirement that all principal-preparation candidates have a master’s degree to enter a program, said Rosie Young, chair of Advanced Education Graduate Programs at Bellarmine. 
“Part of the state's rationale was to help with the diminishing number of educators going into administrative positions. Just like there is a local and national shortage of teachers, the number of people going into administration is dwindling,” Young said. “It was seen as an option for those exceptional bachelor's-level teachers to enter administration.”
Both of Bellarmine’s degree programs, she said, “will prepare leaders who can respond to social change, innovate and create equitable and culturally responsive schools that help students and educators thrive.” 
Bachelor’s degree or minor in Health Humanities
Through critical thinking and analysis in the fields of literature, writing, bioethics, spirituality, fine arts, social sciences, anthropology, politics and law, this new interdisciplinary major and minor will allow students to explore health from person- and society-centered perspectives.
“Students completing the Bachelor of Arts or minor in Health Humanities will be able to understand factors that complicate the roles of healthcare professionals, caregivers and patients and engage in innovative solutions for those challenges,” said Dr. Mark Wiegand, associate provost. “They will learn how to advocate for patient-centered care and be able to collaborate with disciplines within health care as well as other disciplines.” 
The Health Humanities program will prepare students for careers as medical and health services managers, health or science writers, healthcare advocates, community health workers, health information technicians, recreational therapists, chaplains, hospice care workers, death doulas/death midwives, journalists, artists, teachers, health policy researchers, health care lawyers, medical interpreters, and health care navigators, among others. Students will also be prepared to go on to a variety of clinical and/or graduate programs, including nursing or medical school.
This new program was developed through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Accelerated Bachelor of Health Science (Hybrid)
This program will prepare students for critical and much-needed positions in the growing field of Medical Laboratory Science—the behind-the-scenes professionals who test blood and other body fluids that inform decisions by doctors and other medical experts.
The 16-month hybrid MLS program, combining online and in-person learning, is designed for those interested in earning a second degree and for advanced-standing transfer students with 51 or more credits seeking careers at laboratory facilities and hospitals.
Students will gain analytical skills and technical expertise in clinical chemistry, medical microbiology, immunohematology, hematology and clinical immunology through full-time online learning and a few hands-on laboratory classes each semester. They will also gain workplace experience in clinical laboratories through a semester-long rotation at local hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Bellarmine has a 100 percent graduation rate in its Medical Laboratory Science program at its main campus, along with a 100 percent placement rate.
“There is a critical shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists, so we are pleased to introduce programs that can increase the numbers of these important professionals,” said Dr. Karen Golemboski, professor of Medical Laboratory Science. “The new hybrid program will provide flexibility for those who are unable to, or prefer not to, attend our on-campus program.”
Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Studies, Communication Track (Online)
Communication plays a significant role in shaping society, business and culture. Understanding how it operates across diverse and changing forms of media is therefore essential to success in a wide range of careers. The new Communication Track in Bellarmine’s online degree-completion program adds three courses—Technical Writing, Digital Production Studio and Communication Ethics—to some of the humanities and social science courses included in the online Integrated Studies major. 
“The Communication Track in Integrated Studies will give students the skills needed to write and create effectively in new and emerging media, and the wisdom to become ethical trailblazers and agents of social change,” said Dr. Laura Hartford, associate dean of the Bellarmine College of Arts and Sciences.
Bachelor’s degree in Marketing
Marketing is the lifeline of an organization, as it connects the business with its customers. With the rapid growth of digital marketing, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6.7 percent employment growth rate for marketing managers between 2019 and 2029.
The new Marketing major in the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business will prepare students for a variety of professional opportunities in sales, product management, marketing research, retailing, advertising, business-to-business marketing, international marketing, and other aspects of the field. 
“We are excited to finally add Marketing to the Rubel School, as it has been a significant missing piece to the business education at Bellarmine,” said Dr. Carla Childers, associate professor of Marketing.
In addition to most of the required B.A. in Business Administration degree courses, Marketing majors will complete courses in the areas of Marketing Research, Digital Marketing, Professional Selling, Consumer Behavior, and Marketing Strategy. 
Medical Laboratory Technician to Medical Laboratory Science Degree (Degree Completion, Online)
This 48-credit, four-semester, completely online program is designed for individuals with an associate degree who are certified as Medical Lab Technicians (ASCP) and wish to become MLS-certified.  
“The MLT to MLS ‘bridge’ program, as these are often referred to, will allow laboratory professionals to obtain a more advanced credential, with additional career options and increased salary, while continuing to work,” said Dr. Golemboski. “Both of these new programs leverage high-quality online learning to address a significant workforce shortage in an essential area of healthcare.”
Bachelor’s degree or minor in Public Health
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated the United States will have a shortfall of more than 250,000 public health workers. The new Public Health program will prepare students to serve in numerous roles within various fields of public health practice, to craft policy and conduct research, lead public health organizations, and develop innovative and preventive practices to improve quality of life.
“The implementation of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health and accompanying minor aligns with Bellarmine’s focus on social justice; diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; community engagement efforts; and the university’s strengths related to programs in health and environmental sciences, biology, healthcare leadership, and the liberal arts,” said Assistant Provost Mark Wiegand. “As designed, the major distinguishes Bellarmine from any local competition by being a truly multidisciplinary degree for students to pursue.” 
Majors in public health will explore assessing and addressing health disparities, social determinants of health, socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic disparities, metrics of public and population health, research in public health, and interventions to improve public health of communities.  
The minor will be attractive to students majoring in a variety of areas, including Biology, Pre-Medical Studies, Health Services Administration and Aging Studies, Exercise Science, Nursing, Psychology and Communication. Required courses are drawn largely from Health Care Administration and Public Health, Biology and Sociology.
Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology (Combined Major)
Anthropology began as a minor at Bellarmine over a decade ago, and by the end of Spring 2022 had nearly as many students enrolled as the Sociology major. Combining the two disciplines into a single major gives BU students who want to pursue a career or graduate studies in either area a broader base of academic preparation. Students may choose to emphasize either Sociology or Anthropology and select courses accordingly, along with five required core courses. 
“Anthropology encourages us to connect with and respect the beliefs, values and practices of diverse cultures, and I’m especially proud that Bellarmine has elevated the discipline to the status of a major,” said Dr. Frank Hutchins, professor of Anthropology. “We need these inclusive perspectives now more than ever.” 
Minor in Esports 
The Esports industry, the competitive subsection of video games, has grown significantly in the past 10 years. High-profile Esports events have larger prizes for winners than Wimbledon, the Indy 500 and the PGA Masters and viewership numbers larger than the NBA Finals and the World Series.
In addition to the gamers themselves, Esports-related careers include managers of teams and organizations, event planners, marketers, art/game designers, video/audio producers, content creators and streamers and broadcasters. 
The cross-curriculum Esports minor, when paired with any number of majors including Sports Administration, Business or Communication, will provide the training necessary for students to pursue their career objectives. Courses in the minor will include an introduction to Esports management, the business of Esports, video history and culture, and gaming ethics, among others.
Bellarmine is one of a small number of universities offering Esports through both the academic and student club areas. The minor will be housed in the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences.
“Our collective focus has always been preparing students for rewarding and high-demand career paths related to the health/wellness/fitness/sports industries, rehabilitation, injury prevention and performance enhancement, to name just a few,” said Dr. Tony Brosky, dean of the school. “With the growth and popularity in Esports, this seemed like the perfect time to expand this offering.”
Minor in Interfaith and Ecumenical Studies 
From its founding in 1950, Bellarmine has been an institution grounded in the Catholic tradition and universally open to all people. Bellarmine has a special relationship with Trappist monk Thomas Merton, one of the most significant interdisciplinary Catholic thinkers of the 20th century, whose archive is housed at the Thomas Merton Center on campus.
“Merton built deep and enduring friendships with people across lines of social and religious difference and gathered wisdom from Eastern and other religious traditions,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, professor of Theology.
Inspired by Merton and in keeping with Bellarmine’s goal of preparing students for global citizenship, the new minor in Interfaith and Ecumenical Studies will help students develop religious literacy involving multiple traditions; identify within these traditions the basis for dialogue and collaboration; and engage those with diverse faith perspectives and worldviews to address contemporary social concerns.
Minor in Neuroscience
Like the Neuroscience major, the new minor is a partnership between the Psychology and Biology Departments. Both are designed to establish a broad foundation and understanding of nervous system development and function at all levels, from molecules to behavior, and to prepare undergraduates for graduate programs and careers in research, medicine, rehabilitation and clinical work related to nervous system function and dysfunction. The minor requirements include classes from both departments as well as three seminal Neuroscience courses.
“As part of one of the fastest growing programs at Bellarmine, the Neuroscience minor is an excellent path to expand students’ knowledge of how we understand and interact with the world around us,” said Dr. Paul Kiser, chair of the Department of Biology and director of the Neuroscience program.
“It is ideal for pre-medical or pre-healthcare students in any major, as well as for any student with an interest in the science of how our brains and nervous systems work.” 

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