Lipscomb launched three new programs to enhance academic success around campus this fall: Physician’s Assistant, masters in Health Administration and B.A. in Advertising. Additionally, a hospitality program is expected to begin in 2019.
Administration said the addition of these new programs is intended to draw in prospective students and provide more opportunities for current students. By expanding the university’s departments, Lipscomb becomes a more diverse learning institution capable of meeting the needs of increasing enrollment.
“One benefit (to adding new courses) is reaching out to a broader base of prospective students, who are interested in careers that maybe we have not offered majors in so far,” communications professor Dr. Jimmy McCollum said.
Perhaps the largest addition to campus, the School of Physician Assistant Studies, can be found on the west side of campus in the Hughes Building. The Hughes Building that was first dedicated to the art department was transformed over the summer into a facility conducive to the demands of a contemporary PA school. The new school is directed by Dr. Stephen Heffington.
The program boasts a state-of-the-art gross anatomy Lab. Although these facilities are noticeable, faculty said there is also a large focus on clinical experience for students.
“The curriculum is designed to teach the knowledge, skills and clinical competence necessary to practice in any area of medicine as a physician assistant,” Heffington said. “All students will be well-prepared to take the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Students will expect a very rigorous didactic curriculum (throughout the course of the program).”
Students who have applied to the program expressed their own excitement about now being able to pursue their career goals at Lipscomb.
“I have absolutely loved my time at Lipscomb so far, and I attribute most of that to the unique community we have here,” Anna Jaronsinski said. “Being able to pursue my dream while also remaining a part of the Lipscomb community is what attracted me to apply here. I live in Columbia so having another option to being able to continue my education close to home is really exciting.”
Another addition to Lipscomb’s campus is the new advertising major in the Communications and Journalism Department.
“It was a program the administration suggested,” McCollum said. “Typically, curriculum ideas bubble up in the departments, and they get approved at the appropriate levels. This time, the administration made a suggestion, and we were happy to consider it and get it approved.”
Fifty-two hours are required to complete this major, most of which are already a part of the department’s available courses. A mix of journalism and business professors will work together to teach the coursework; however, new faculty will be hired to teach the additional classes in the fall of 2019.
Although the program is in its beginning stages, faculty members have lofty goals for the program. Eventually, the communication department would like to create an on-campus agency where students can work together and create advertising for real clients.
On the graduate level, the Master of Health Administration program was launched this year. Led by Dr. Bart Liddle, this new program requires 51 credit hours of academic work.
“Students in our Master of Health Administration program will develop a deep knowledge and understanding of how health care works in Nashville, our nation and around the world,” Liddle said. “Due to our focus on innovation, students will learn not only how health care is done today, but more importantly, how health care will be done in the future. Students will learn how to create value, how to lead effectively and how to think strategically in the exciting space of health care.”
The main goal for the Master of Health Administration is to become accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, which could make it the first accredited program in Middle Tennessee.
Also on the horizon for Lipscomb is a new Hospitality program. With the addition of this program, Lipscomb is seeking to impact the fast-growing Nashville population and tourism industry.