The College of Charleston Board of Trustees voted on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, to approve the formation of the School of Health Sciences in order to meet the high demand for qualified healthcare workers in the Lowcountry, the state and the nation.
“With the establishment of the School of Health Sciences, the College of Charleston will prepare our students to be healthcare leaders throughout our communities,” said College of Charleston Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Suzanne Austin during a press conference to formally announce the new school. “Working with our community and healthcare partners, the College will offer programs that take advantage of our current expertise in public health, exercise science and lifetime physical activity to attract the next generation of scholars.”
According to a report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15% between 2019 and 2029. This job growth is anticipated across all categories of health care including healthcare administration/management, health informatics and other areas of healthcare support.
“The College of Charleston is primed to have one of the top undergraduate health sciences programs in the country,” said College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu. “By creating a stand-alone school, the College will better meet student demand and also the region’s needs. I am excited to see this academic program continue to grow and evolve in service to our students and the greater community.”
Austin said the School of Health Sciences will significantly increase opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
“The College already has a strong relationship with MUSC, including research collaborations involving our students and faculty,” she said. “We expect the School of Health Sciences to provide a platform for even more partnerships in the future.”
Dr. Zoher Kapasi, dean of the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina, says CofC’s School of Heath Sciences is an important addition to the region.
“We welcome the development of the new School of Health Sciences at the College of Charleston,” said Kapasi. “It will further provide a vital pipeline to develop the healthcare workforce in South Carolina and beyond.”
The School of Health Sciences will be located in the Silcox Physical Education Center on George Street, where the Department of Health and Human Performance is currently housed.
Austin said an internal search for an interim dean of the new school will commence soon.