The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Services and Sciences (BS-HSS) at Western Michigan University prepares students understand the healthcare world and how to work successfully in it. Through required courses and a capstone experience, students gain knowledge and experience to take their place as interdisciplinary team members in today’s health services systems. A student in BS-HSS can focus their studies in a number of ways. These include:
a. The general program: This option must be paired with a minor to focus the program more clearly on student goals.
b. The Clinical Practice in Health Concentration: This option is specifically designed for those who have an associate’s degree in a clinical area and are licensed or certified in that discipline following a discipline approved licensing exam.
c. The Physician Assistant Preparation (PAPrep) Concentration: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Physician Assistant graduate programs including, but not limited to, WMU’s PA program by including required prerequisites.
d. The Audiology Preparation (AudPrep) Concentration*: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Audiology doctoral programs including, but not limited to, WMU’s Audiology doctoral program by including required prerequisites.
e. The Blindness and Low Vision Studies Preparation (BLVSPrep) Concentration*: 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 Occupational Therapy Preparation (OTPrep) Concentration: A preparatory program that prepares students to apply to Occupational Therapy graduate programs including, but not limited to, WMU’s OT program by including required prerequisites.
*The Pre-Audiology Preparation Concentration and the Blindness and Low Vision Preparation Concentration can lead a student to accelerated 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-HSS degree and a graduate degree. Students must be accepted into the accelerated degree (for Audiology and Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs) 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 advisor to pursue a minor in their junior year.
BS-HSS Mission Statement
The Healthcare Services and Sciences program mission is to help students to understand the healthcare world and how to work successfully in it.
The BS-HSS has three parts: (http://www.wmich.edu/healthservices/academics/)
- The HSS Core is comprised of the two elements: the HSS Core Major requirements and the HSS Core Cognate requirements. These elements provide an introduction of core competencies that are needed across health services disciplines including delivering patient and family centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, health literacy practices, quality improvement, informatics, and ethical decision making. In addition the HSS Core provides a more in-depth study of the organization and delivery of health services, safety practices, health disparities, diversity in delivering services, and health policy.
- Specialized knowledge obtained through a Concentration, Track, or Minor.
- A capstone experience that pulls together skills obtained throughout the program and applies them to an internship placement, a professional project, or a research project. (Students who are accepted into the Audiology accelerated degree program take courses that serve as a capstone in those programs. Clinical Practice in Health students may transfer in an equivalent coursework as well.) Please see more information at “Capstone Experience”.
To graduate, students must complete a capstone experience (or transfer in an equivalent): either an internship, capstone project or individual research. A capstone experience is one that integrates special studies with the HSS major and extends, critiques, and applies knowledge gained throughout the program. Students typically complete the capstone experience 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 the clinical placements in that program serves as their capstone experience.
- For students who are accepted into the Clinical practice in health track, they may be able to transfer clinical placement experience to serve as their capstone experience. However, if they are unable to transfer in a clinical placement with comparable requirements they will have to complete a capstone experience.
Internship in Healthcare Services (HSV 4900) - Appropriate for most students
Students completing an HSS 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).
When students first enter the program they should read the guidelines in the HSS Student Handbook found on the program webpage https://wmich.edu/healthservices/academics. This will help them consider what type of internship would be the most helpful to them in their future careers and to familiarize themselves with related background check information.
The requirements of the internship are:
- Completion of all prerequisites 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.
HSV 4890, HSV 4895 or HSV 4900
||December 1 (the previous year)
||March 1 (of the same year)
||June 1 (the previous year)
- Students should review the listing of internship sites on the BS-HSS 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 dismissed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present the Internship Coordinator, the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs will review the case.
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 (HSV 4895)
The capstone project provides students an opportunity to design and complete a project in health services. Only students who have completed at least one year of employment at a healthcare or health-related organization and have successfully applied for this option may select it. Students must complete a capstone experience application following the date guidelines for all capstone experiences. Students complete the project 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 healthcare services and sciences. This is generally at their place of employment, but not always. Capstone projects may take many different forms. Some examples are: patient satisfaction surveys in an applied setting, a written health literacy project, analysis of a health informatics system, clinical review of a therapeutic intervention, implementation of a quality improvement project, development of a patient manual or an educational program.
Students will work under the supervision of an HSS onsite capstone project instructor. Enrollment in the capstone project course requires departmental approval from the HSS internship coordinator. If you have at least one year of healthcare experience and desire to take the capstone project course, contact the HSS internship coordinator 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 dismissed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present, the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs will review the case.
Health and Human Services Independent Research (HSV 4890)
Restricted to certified, licensed, or registered health providers, this course requires the completion of a student created 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 also act as a resource person (the resource person may work outside of the University).
- The Program Coordinator must approve the research project at the beginning of the senior year.
- Students must document their research project 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 dismissed from the program barring hardship circumstances. If hardship circumstances are present the Program Coordinator and the Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs will review the case.
Admission to the General, Clinical Practice, or any of the Preparatory programs occurs when students, who have previously been admitted to WMU, select Healthcare Services and Sciences as their major as long as the student has a 2.0 GPA and is not on academic probation. However, all students must raise their GPAs to 2.5 before taking a capstone course.
Continuance and Graduation Policy
Student must obtain at least a “C” in all HSS required core courses with the Health Services (HSV) designation. Students may repeat courses to obtain the required grade of “C”. Only two repeated courses will count toward degree requirements. These two repeated courses may be the same course repeated twice or two separate courses repeated once each.
Students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA when applying for the capstone course. Those who do not have a 2.5 cumulative GPA in the semester before their capstone course may take one additional semester to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.5 or better. If after this additional semester they do not meet the 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement they will be dismissed from the program.
Audiology and Orientation & Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Accelerated Degree Admission:
Admittance to any BS-HSS accelerated degree program requires acceptance into that graduate program. This usually occurs during the junior year. All of the accelerated degree programs have some courses that count toward both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree. Students must 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)
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 Healthcare Services and Sciences program. Students should contact an advisor as early as possible. Advisors will assist students 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.
Specific program requirements to follow.