The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services (BS-IHS) at Western Michigan University prepares students to take their place as interdisciplinary team members in today’s health services systems. A student in BS-IHS can focus their studies in a number of ways. These include:
a. The general program: This option can be paired with a minor or concentration to focus the program more clearly on student goals.
b. The clinical practice in health track: This option is specifically designed for those who have an associate’s degree in a clinical area and are licensed in that area following a discipline approved licensing exam.
c. The Pre-Physician Assistant track: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to WMU’s PA program by including required prerequisites (these prerequisites are similar to other PA programs but not identical).
d. The Pre-Audiology Track: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to WMU’s Audiology doctoral program by including required prerequisites (these prerequisites are similar to other AuD programs but not identical).
e. The Blindness and Low Vision Studies track: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to two of WMU’s Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs, Orientation and Mobility for Adults or Vision Rehabilitation, by including required prerequisites (these prerequisites are similar to other programs but not identical).
f. The Pre-Occupational Therapy track: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to WMU’s graduate program by including required prerequisites (these prerequisites are similar to other OT programs but not identical).
The Pre-Audiology track, the Blindness and Low Vision track and the Occupational Therapy track can lead a student to combined undergraduate and graduate programs in those areas. These programs are collaborations between the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs and the respective graduate department. Within these programs, some courses are utilized for both a BS-IHS degree and a graduate degree. Students must be accepted into the accelerated degree (for Audiology and Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs) or the 4+1 program in Occupational Therapy through the respective program before taking the courses that apply to both degrees.
For more information about the graduate level concentrations see the links under “Admission” below. Acceptance into these advanced programs is not automatic and if students are not accepted into the graduate program as undergraduates they must meet with their advisors to pursue a minor or concentration in their senior year.
BS-IHS Mission Statement
Students will be competent in working in interdisciplinary teams; providing patient and family centered services; building health literacy skills; developing quality improvements; and utilizing informatics for documentation, training, program development and evidence-based research.
The BS-IHS has four parts: (http://www.wmich.edu/healthservices/academics/)
- The pre-professional sequence and general education requirements embraces a broad spectrum of natural, behavioral and social sciences as well as arts and humanities, providing students with the knowledge necessary to understand the determinants of health and social wellness.
- The IHS professional core provides for a more in-depth study of the organization and delivery of health services, safety practices, health disparities, diversity in delivering services, and health policy. These core competencies that are needed across health services disciplines include delivering patient and family centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, health literacy practices, quality improvement, informatics, and ethical decision making.
- A capstone course that pulls together skills obtained throughout the program to be used in an internship placement, a professional project, or a research project.
- Specialized knowledge obtained through a minor, a concentration, or a specialized track.
More about Capstone Coursework:
To graduate, students must complete a capstone experience: either an internship, capstone project or individual research. A capstone experience is one that integrates special studies with the IHS major and extends, critiques, and applies knowledge gained throughout the program. The capstone experience is typically completed in the final semester before graduation.
- Most students will complete an internship as their capstone experience.
- Students who have at least one year of paid experience in healthcare or in a health-related organization may opt to complete a capstone project instead of an internship.
- Occasionally a student with extensive healthcare experience may decide that their future goals are best supported by completing an individual research project.
- For students who are accepted into the Audiology accelerated degree program or the 4+1 program their clinical placements in those programs serve as an internship.
Health and Human Services Internship (HSV 4900) - Appropriate for most students
Students completing an IHS internship integrate and apply their knowledge and abilities, as well as hone skills in preparation for employment or graduate study in a healthcare or health-related organization.
In the semester prior to the internship, students meet with the internship coordinator to establish an appropriate, supervised placement that will further their education and professional objectives. A minimum of 200 clock hours is required for internships (some internships require more). A classroom seminar accompanies the internship placement (HSV 4900).
Student should read the guidelines in the student handbook when they first enter the program to begin to consider what type of internship would be the most helpful to them in their future careers and to familiarize themselves with background check information.
The requirements of the internship are:
- Completion of all pre-requisites prior to enrollment in any of the capstone courses.
- Application to the internship program. Application includes the application form, the student’s resume and unofficial transcripts. All applications must be submitted via the Intern Placement Tracking (IPT) system found on the program website at www.wmich.edu/healthservices/academics/internships. Application must be made by the deadline for the semester in which a student wishes to begin the internship. See below for deadlines and please note that they are one academic school year ahead of the semester in which the student wants to complete the internship.
- Students should review the listing of internship sites on the BS-IHS website http://www.wmich.edu/healthservices/academics/internships/descriptions and mention any placements that they are interested in on their application.
- After the application is received the student will meet with the internship coordinator to establish an appropriate, supervised placement that will further their education and professional objectives.
- Students must enroll in HSV 4900 and attend the internship seminar.
- Students engaged in an internship must give evidence of having health insurance at the time of course enrollment.
- Liability insurance coverage will be provided by the University through a fee assessed at the time of enrollment in HSV 4900.
- Students must have the minimum of a 2.5 GPA to enroll in HSV 4900 and to complete an internship. If a student misses the minimum GPA the student will be given one semester to achieve the 2.5 before taking the course. If a student is unable to achieve the 2.5 GPA in one semester the student will be removed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present the case will be reviewed by the Internship Coordinator, the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs.
Students who are registered, certified, or licensed healthcare professionals may pursue a clinical experience providing it exposes the student to the development of new skills, or is in a situation outside their usual employment.
Capstone Project in Health Services (HSV 4895)
The capstone project provides students an opportunity to design and complete a project in health services. It may be selected only by students who have completed at least one year of employment at a healthcare or health-related organization. The capstone project is completed over one semester, typically the student’s final semester of his/her undergraduate career.
The capstone project requires students to conceive, plan, and implement a special project in an area within the scope of interdisciplinary health services. Capstone projects may take many different forms. Some examples are: analysis of a health informatics system, clinical review of a therapeutic intervention, implementation of community or public health services, review of ethical considerations in a specific healthcare setting, assessment of public health policy, or an educational program development.
Students will work in small groups under the supervision of an IHS capstone project instructor. Enrollment in the capstone project course requires departmental approval from the IHS internship supervisor. If you have at least one year of healthcare experience and desire to take the capstone project course, email Kathy Lewis Ginebaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Students must have the minimum of a 2.5 GPA to enroll in HSV 4895 to complete a capstone project. If a student misses the minimum GPA the student will be given one semester to achieve the 2.5 GPA before taking the course. If the student is unable to achieve the 2.5 GPA in one semester the student will be removed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present the case will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs.
Health and Human Services Independent Research (HSV 4890)
Restricted to certified, licensed, or registered health providers, this course requires the completion of a credible research project related to a current issue in health and human services.
If a healthcare provider chooses HSV 4890: Independent Research (3 hours), the project must conform to the following standards:
The student must select a research committee consisting of a faculty mentor knowledgeable in the field of inquiry and a reader who will act as a resource person (the resource person may work outside of the University).
- The research project must be approved by the Program Coordinator at the beginning of the senior year.
- The completion of the research project must be documented in a paper written in the professional or academic style appropriate to the discipline and presented in a public forum approved by the Program Coordinator.
- Students must have the minimum of a 2.5 GPA to enroll in HSV 4890 and conduct independent research. If a student misses the minimum GPA the student will be given one semester to achieve the 2.5 GPA before taking the course. If the student is unable to achieve the 2.5 GPA in one semester the student will be removed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present the case will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs.
General Program, Clinical Practice in Health Focus, and pre-clinical program tracks:
Students are admitted into the General, Clinical Practice in Health Focus, or the pre-clinical program tracks in consultation with their advisor once they complete a minimum of 30 academic credits and completion of the pre-professional requirements with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5.
Please contact your advisor for official admission into the program after completing the pre-professional requirements.
Audiology, Occupational Therapy (4+1 program), Orientation & Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation:
Admittance to any BS-IHS accelerated degree program requires acceptance into that graduate program. This usually occurs during the junior year, although students may apply to the Occupational Therapy 4+1 program earlier. All of the accelerated degree programs have some courses that count toward both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree. Students are advised to consult information from the graduate departments for more information. Please see the links below.
Graduate Accelerated Degree Programs (all of the programs below require a separate application and are competitive)
Occupational Therapy (4+1) http://www.wmich.edu/healthservices/academics/bs-ot
(Students must be accepted into the Occupational Therapy program; students begin occupational therapy courses as an undergraduate receiving a BS-IHS degree and an OT master’s degree).
Orientation and Mobility (Blindness and Low Vision Studies) http://www.wmich.edu/visionstudies/academics/accelerated
Visual Rehabilitation (Blindness and Low Vision Studies) http://www.wmich.edu/visionstudies/academics/accelerated
The College of Health and Human Services provides advising to all students who wish to enroll in and who are admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services program. Students should contact an advisor as early as possible. Advisors will assist student in program planning, and in the selection of a particular program track, concentration, or academic minor. Failure to meet with an advisor on a regular basis may result in difficulty in completing the program in a timely manner.
Students must meet the University’s graduation requirements. In addition, students must maintain a grade point average of 2.5, with no less than a “C” in any IHS professional core course. Students may repeat no more than once, one course in the IHS professional core. Specific program requirements to follow.