In response to a growing shortage of qualified health care professionals in specific areas of expertise both in New Hampshire and across the nation, Colby-Sawyer College has announced plans to add five new bachelor degree programs in health sciences. In addition, the college will be growing its undergraduate nursing program over the next decade.
Beginning in the Fall of 2020, Colby-Sawyer plans to offer a series of programs as requested by local health care providers in areas of unique need – addiction studies, social work, medical laboratory sciences, mental health counseling, and health care management.
The addition of these programs keeps Colby-Sawyer current with the latest trends in demand for health care professionals. For example, a new program in addiction studies will equip Colby-Sawyer graduates with the tools necessary to address the opioid epidemic that claimed a total of 471 lives in New Hampshire in 2018 alone, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Programs in social work, medical laboratory sciences, mental health counseling, and health care management will be added to address staff shortages at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) and across New England.
“The increasing demand for the primary and specialty care services we provide, combined with our aging population, has created a critical need for health care workers at all levels,” D-HH’s Chief Human Resources Officer Aimee Giglio said. “As we look at ways to fill that critical need, we are very pleased with this opportunity to deepen our already strong relationship with Colby-Sawyer.”
Since 1981, D-HH has been a strategic partner with Colby-Sawyer through nursing clinical placements, internships, and various other experiential learning opportunities, with 80% of nursing graduates accepting positions within the D-HH system. Colby-Sawyer’s undergraduate nursing program is ranked first in New Hampshire by RegisteredNursing.org, and graduates consistently surpass the national pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination – the college has a four-year average pass rate of 99.24%, with 96.97% of students passing the exam on their first attempt in 2019.
“The market has shown great demand for these health science-related majors and we’re proud to be offering programs to meet the needs of the health care industry,” Colby-Sawyer President Sue Stuebner said. “The programs under review build upon the college’s highly regarded nursing program as well as our strengths in biology, psychology, and business.”
Colby-Sawyer College remains committed to the liberal arts and sciences and will continue to offer an array of disciplines in its 19 majors and 17 minors offered through the college’s three schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Social Sciences, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. All Colby-Sawyer students must complete 40 credits in a variety of disciplines, including fine and performing arts, humanities, literature, science, social science, and history. Students will continue to graduate with a breadth of knowledge that complement their major area of study.
“With these cumulative changes and our enhanced partnership with D-HH, Colby-Sawyer College will position itself as a leader among small private colleges in the Northeast,” Stuebner said. “We are excited about the direction the college is heading and the possibilities that exist for our current and future students.”