by Katie Stepp

The University of West Georgia has added a Bachelor of Science in Social and Behavioral Health degree to its curriculum. Approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in October, this new option fits within the institutional mission by offering a high quality undergraduate program that is in demand within the region and across the country.

Photo of a stack of textbooks with mortarboard and degree on top.Dr. Pam Hunt Kirk, associate professor of sociology, will serve as the coordinator of the new program and be responsible for promoting the program, overseeing the curriculum, and coordinating course offerings and rotation.

In addition, she will co-teach XIDS 2300 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Social Sciences: Health (a required course for the program), process and submit program reports, assess the program, mentor all majors, and develop internship opportunities.

This new offering will benefit UWG in numerous ways as it is a cross-college and interdisciplinary course of study.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer a degree that will meet the needs of our university, graduates and local community,” Kirk said. “I’m looking forward to serving in the coordinator role for this degree program, as liaison between our students and community organizations.”

The new B.S. in social and behavioral health will also allow the broader Carrollton community to attend to the growing need for qualified individuals in jobs related to the healthcare industry.

“Upon talking with and listening to partners in the community, it has been found that they desire graduates who have a degree that is recognizable,” Kirk continued. “The new degree in social and behavioral health definitely fulfills this desire that the Carrollton community has.”

When this new degree program opens in fall 2018, it will provide students with the opportunity to learn foundation skills necessary to succeed in the dynamic health environment.

“This program is both needed and relevant,” said Dr. N. Jane McCandless, professor and dean of the College of Social Sciences. “Students will study the cultural, social, behavioral and mental aspects of health, in addition to health analytics, methods and services. These graduates will then have employment options in hospitals, court systems, public health agencies, human services, in-patient behavioral health facilities, case management, assisted living facilities and nonprofit organizations.

Posted on January 2, 2018